Felt’s Facts: Week 9’s prep football heaven begins tonight

Felt’s Facts – Week 9 2017

COMMENTARY – It’s prep football junkie heaven as beginning Wednesday, Oct. 11, there are varsity games on seven of the following 10 days.

Region Championships

The next two weeks will be crammed with meaningful games for postseason qualifying and seeding and to determine champions for the 18 regions.

Weber (Region 1) is the only team to claim a league title so far. But 10 teams, the sole undefeated squads in their respective regions, own at least a share of a league championship: Kearns (Region 2), East (Region 3), Bingham (Region 4), Viewmont (Region 5), Stansbury (Region 11), Sky View (Region 12), Morgan (3A North), Juan Diego (3A South), South Summit (2A North) and Beaver (2A South). Those 10 teams wrap up region play this week.

Felt’s Facts notes that Lehi (Region 6), Corner Canyon (Region 7), Springville (Region 8), Dixie (Region 9) are also the only undefeated teams in their respective regions, but those teams have two weeks of league games left and have yet to clinch at least a share of a league championship.

In Region 10, if Orem defeats Payson this week, Orem hosts Spanish Fork for the region crown during Week 10.

Playoff Fever

Fifty-nine teams have booked tournament tickets, leaving 35 squads fighting for the remaining 21 berths. Nine schools – Davis and Layton (Region 1); Copper Hills and Taylorville (Region 3); Westlake (Region 4); West (Region 6); Canyon View (Region 9); Uintah (Region 10); and Ben Lomond (Region 11) – have been booted from postseason contention.

Copper Hills and Davis finish their seasons this week since both have byes during Week 10. Incidentally, Davis misses the state tournament for the first time since 2006 after making 11 straight appearances. The Darts (1-7) hope to upset Syracuse and avoid a one-win season for the first time since 1952 (1-8-1).

The 3A and 2A classifications begin their tournaments next week, while the rest of the state joins in two weeks.

Postseason Streaks

San Juan has qualified for the state tournament for a state-record 41 consecutive seasons. The Broncos last failed to appear in the playoffs in 1976. Highland is in for the 35th straight year, since 1983, the third-longest all-time streak. (Delta has the second longest streak, appearing 38 times in a row from 1975-2012.) Rich is in for the 33rd straight season, since 1985 (fourth longest streak) and Bingham is in for the 29th consecutive year, since 1989 (fifth longest). Beaver qualifies for the 28th straight time, since 1990 (tied for the sixth longest streak with Skyline, 1985-2012, and Timpview, which hasn’t locked up a berth yet, 1990-2016). Hunter makes its 27th straight, since 1991 (ninth longest streak).

At the other end of the spectrum, Carbon is assured a tournament berth for the first time since 2000 as all Class 3A teams qualify, regardless of record. No active school has gone longer without a postseason appearance. Bonneville is in the tourney for the first time since 2009 and Granger’s last appearance came in 2012. Both those teams qualified based on their region standing.

First-time Matchups (5)

  • Cyprus at Westlake
  • Mountain Crest at Green Canyon
  • Ridgeline at Sky View
  • Skyridge at Maple Mountain
  • Summit Academy at Juan Diego

Most-played Rivalries (min. 50 games)

By games played; series leader listed first:

  • North Summit-South Summit (88th meeting) – North Summit holds a 46-37-4 series lead, but South Summit has won three straight and seven of the last eight over the Braves to cut the margin. The rivalry is the sixth most-played active series and the 10th most-played overall. They’ve dueled at least once a year since 1942 except for the 1954 and 1959 seasons.
  • Logan-Bear River (84th) – the Grizzles lead the series 51-29-3 since 1925; BR won last year to snap Logan’s four-game winning streak in the series.
  • Kanab-Parowan (76th) – the Cowboys own the series 70-4-1 since 1949 and have celebrated victory over the Rams 53 straight time since 1971. But Parowan (6-1) has shut out five of seven opponents this season. Among all 106 football teams, the Rams lead the state in scoring defense (2.9 ppg – the next best defense is allowing 8.3 pgg) and in scoring margin (44.0 ppg – the next best is 38.0). Parowan is second in scoring offense (46.9 pgg – just 0.1 ppg out of first). Visiting Kanab is 3-5 this year so perhaps the longest series winning streak in state history will come to an end this week.
  • San Juan-Grand County (73rd) – the Broncos lead the series 44-28 since 1956 and have won four in a row over the Red Devils.
  • Duchesne-Altamont (69th) – the Eagles have taken eight straight to dominate the series 41-27 since 1973. Among active rivalries, it’s tied for the third most-played uninterrupted series in the state (with Ogden-Ben Lomond).
  • Ogden-Ben Lomond (69th) – the Iron Horse game finds Ogden controlling the series 46-22 since 1952, but BL has taken three straight from the Tigers. Among active rivalries, it’s tied for the third most-played uninterrupted series in the state (with Duchesne-Altamont). The two teams met four times in playoff games, so in actual “Iron Horse” contests, Ogden has a 45-19 lead.
  • Juab-North Sanpete (54th) – the Wasps have captured three of the last four clashes to up their series lead to 28-25.
  • Bountiful-Viewmont (53rd) – the Braves lead the series 31-21 since 1964 and have won the last five contests against the Vikings.
  • Orem-Payson (52nd) – the series renews for the first time since 2010 with Orem ruling 33-12-6 since 1931 although Payson is on a two-game winning streak in the series.
  • Skyline-Olympus (52nd) – the Eagles lead the Battle for the Rock series 27-23-1 since 1962. Oly has captured the last two games and seven of eight over the Eagles since the series resumed in 2009 following a three-year break. The rivals grappled for the 1977 Class 4A championship (Skyline won), so in actual “Rock” contests, the Eagles lead 26-23-1.

Been a While…

Seven contests pair teams that haven’t met for at least five seasons.

  • Timpview at Jordan (last met in 1982) – Jordan defeated the Thunderbirds 31-6 in a Class 3A first-round game in their only other meeting.
  • Delta at American Leadership (2010) – Delta blanked the Eagles 48-0 in a Class 3A first-round contest in their only other matchup.
  • Orem at Payson (2010) – see Most-played Rivalries, above
  • West Jordan at East (2010) – The series is tied 1-1; WJ won a non-region game in 2010 and the Leopards gained revenge in 2010.
  • Mountain View at Salem Hills (2012) – MV holds a 2-1 series lead as they battled annually from 2010-12.
  • Highland at West (2012) – Highland has a 22-20 edge in the series and has a four-game winning streak over the Panthers.
  • Timpanogos at Springville (2012) – The series is tied, 2-2.

Most Wins Since…

With four victories, Clearfield has its most wins since 2007; a victory at Fremont gives the Falcons their most wins since 2004 (6-5)…. North Sevier (5-3) enjoys its most wins since 2008 (10-3)…. Northridge has five victories for the first time since going 9-3 in 2012.

Orem (6-2) hasn’t won six games in a season since 2012 (8-4)…. Payson (4-4) also has its most victories since 2012 (4-7).

At 7-1, Weber has its best record since 2009 (7-4); a victory over winless Layton rewards the Warriors with eight victories for the first time since 1999 (11-2).

Cedar (5-3) shoots for its sixth season win for the first time since 2011 (6-6) while Viewmont (6-2) aims for seven victories for the first time since 2011 (8-4).

Milestone Games

Jordan seeks its 550th victory while Murray aims for its 350th. Bonneville plays its 600th game.

Among coaches, Lehi’s Ed Larson vies for his 50th career victory including stops at Provo, Ogden and Timpanogos. Riverton’s Blaine Monkres, in his 27th season overall, directs his 300th game including stints at Morgan, Fremont, Dixie and Murray. Wasatch’s Steve Coburn, in his 15th season overall, coaches his 150th including stops at Morgan, Ogden, Cottonwood and North Sanpete. Box Elder’s Robbie Gunter directs his 100th game in nine seasons with the Bees.

Most-Improved

Millard continues to enjoy the biggest turnaround of 2017, improving 6.0 games. (The NCAA calculates this by taking the difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.) The Eagles have gone to 5-3 from 0-10 in 2016.

Following Millard, two teams have improved 5.0 games: North Sevier (to 5-3 from 1-9) and Weber (to 7-1 from 3-7). Altamont enjoys an improvement of 4.5 games (to 4-3 from 1-9),

Region Champs II

For the 11 teams that have secured at least a share of a league crown, here are the number of region championships, including this year, and the previous year won for each school.

  • Beaver – 17th, 2015
  • Bingham – 25th and sixth straight (longest current streak), 2016
  • East – 36th and third straight, 2016
  • Juan Diego – 13th, 2015
  • Kearns – fifth, 1993
  • Morgan – 23rd and second straight, 2016
  • Sky View – eighth, 2015
  • South Summit – 14th, 2015
  • Stansbury – fifth and second straight, 2016
  • Viewmont – sixth and second straight, 2016
  • Weber – sixth, 1996

By winning this week, the following schools get at least a portion of a region championship – and, for the successful, here are their number of region titles, including this season, and the last year each won.

  • American Fork – 19th, 2014
  • Bonneville – 19th, 2002
  • Bountiful – 13th, 2012
  • Corner Canyon – third, 2014
  • Dixie – 26th and third straight, 2016
  • Granger – 10th, 1999
  • Lehi – 13th, 2004
  • Ridgeline – first
  • Springville – 25th and third straight, 2016
  • Summit Academy – second and second straight, 2016
  • Union – 12th, 2007
  • West Jordan – fourth, 1999

Granger Rusher

The Lancers’ Mosese Sonasi is averaging 250.5 rushing yards per game and is on track to crush the state record held by Snow Canyon’s Kyle Coop. He averaged 236.0 in 2004.

Apologies for not catching this sooner, but Sonasi rushed for 388 yards on Aug. 25 against Olympus, the seventh best rushing performance in state history. His 360 yards on Sept. 29 against American Fork ranks tied for 12th best. Sonasi’s 41 carries on Sept. 1 against Bountiful is tied for ninth-most ever in a game.

Career Stat Update

Here’s this week’s update on players who rank in the top-20 in all-time career performances that Felt’s Facts has been tracking this season. The list is alphabetical by school and then by player.

Alta’s Will Dana ranks:

  • 20th (tied) in TD passes – 63 – and is 12 away from the top-10.

Alta’s Zach Engstrom ranks:

  • 11th in receiving yards – 2,697– and needs eight more to reach the top-10 and 399 to reach the top-5.
  • 12th (tied) in receptions – 157 – and needs nine more to reach the top-10.

Alta’s Jett Sollis ranks:

  • 17th in extra points – 122 – and is 20 away from the top-10.

Corner Canyon’s Conner Ebeling ranks:

  • 16th (tied) in field goals – 19 – and needs six more to reach the top-10.

Dixie’s Hobbs Nyberg ranks:

  • eighth in receiving yards – 2,734 – and needs 362 more to reach the top-5.
  • 16th in receptions – 142 – and needs 14 more to reach the top-10.
  • 18th (tied) in touchdown receptions – 28 – and is four away from the top-10.

Jordan’s Crew Wakley ranks:

  • 12th in total offense – 8,355 yards – and is 802 yards away from the top-10.
  • 11th in touchdowns-responsible-for – 96 – and is one away from the top-10.

Lehi’s Cammon Cooper ranks:

  • Second in passing attempts – 1,211 – and is 223 short of the state record.
  • Third in completions – 736 – and is 15 away from second and 75 shy of the state record.
  • Fourth in passing yards – 9,345 – and is 313 away from third place.
  • Third (tied) in touchdown passes – 90 – and is 11 away from second place.
  • Eighth in total offense – 9,345 yards – and is 106 yards away from seventh place and 529 away from the top-5.
  • Ninth (tied) in touchdowns-responsible-for – 97 – and is six away from the top-5.

Lehi’s Dallin Holker ranks:

  • 14th in receptions – 154 – and needs 12 more to reach the top-10.

Lehi’s Kade Moore ranks:

  • Seventh in receptions – 186 – and needs 12 more to reach the top-5.
  • 13th in receiving yards – 2,639 – and needs 66 more to reach the top-10.

Pine View’s Connor Brooksby ranks:

  • 16th (tied) in field goals – 19 – and needs six more to reach the top-10.

South Summit’s Keegan Stracher ranks:

  • 20th (tied) in receptions – 132 – and needs 34 to get to the top-10.

Taylorsville’s Dane Leituala ranks:

  • Fifth in total offense – 9,874 yards – and is three yards away from fourth place and 73 from third.
  • Eighth in touchdowns-responsible-for – 98 – and is five away from fifth place.
  • 19th (tied) in 100-yard games – 18.

Another note: 51 players have passed for more than 5,000 yards during their career, including five that joined that club earlier this season (by current yards): Taylorsville’s Dane Leituala (6,005 yards), Jordan’s Crew Wakley (5,834 yards), Alta’s Will Dana (5,656), American Fork’s Bronson Barron (5,652) and Corner Canyon’s Zach Wilson (5,503).

From Last Week

Jordan’s 62 points against Alta’s 69 were the second-most in a losing effort in state history in a regulation (non-overtime) game. Jordan was at the happy end of the state record when the Beetdiggers defeated Taylorsville 91-83 just last year.

The 131 combined points ranks as the ninth-most points scored in all games in state history. It’s the fifth-most scored in a regulation game.

The teams combined for 1,462 yards of total offense, the fourth-most on record. Alta’s 732 total yards ranks as the 11th most for a team and Jordan’s 730 is the 13th most.

Individually, Jordan’s Crew Wakley had 674 yards of total offense (436 through the air and 238 on the ground). That’s the fifth best performance in state history. But it’s Wakley’s second best as he totaled 738 against Taylorsville last year.

East rushed for 646 yards, the fourth-most in a single game in Utah prep history.

See you on the sidelines!

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