Felt’s Facts: Utah vs. the nation in Week 2 of high school football

Felt’s Facts – 2015 Week 2

Utah vs. The Nation

Over the past several seasons, Week 2 has featured the highest concentration of games against out-of-state opponents, and 2015 is no exception. This year, there are 32 games against non-Utah teams. That’s higher than usual, but only because Monument Valley and Whitehorse play 13 of those games, competing as independents against other Navajo Nation schools. Excluding their schedules, 13 of this season’s 19 games versus non-Utah teams are contested this week.

Before last year, Pleasant Grove had played 86 seasons without facing an out-of-state opponent. For the second season in a row, the Vikings travel to California – this year invading Del Oro in the Sacramento area.

This season’s blockbuster finds Bingham hosting national power Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Sept. 4. East hosts Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) on Sept. 18 and Jordan entertains Cherry Creek (Denver) on Sept. 19 in two other featured games to be played in Utah.

Altamont and East each play a pair of games against out-of-state foes. The Longhorns visit Lyman (Wyo.) (this week) and host West Wendover (Nev.) while East travels to Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (this week), and hosts Valor Christian.

Ogden faces a non-Utah team for the first time since 1987 as the Tigers kick off the 2015 Rocky Mountain Rumble in Pocatello this Saturday. This year’s four-game event matches Utah and Idaho teams with Ogden playing Minico (Rupert) at 10 a.m., Riverton meeting Skyview (Nampa) at 1 p.m., Tooele taking on Shelley at 4 p.m. and American Fork going against Highland (Pocatello) at 7 p.m. (The games will be streamed at idahosports.com.)

Some teams seek out-of-state competition for geographical reasons, others to test their teams against non-Utah powers and others because they’re unable to schedule an in-state opponent. But 14 schools currently fielding teams haven’t seen the need to battle a non-Utah school.

Eight of those, Corner Canyon, Herriman, Maple Mountain, Salem Hills, Stansbury, Summit Academy, Syracuse and Wayne, have been playing football for less than 10 seasons. But Murray has gone 98 years without facing an out-of-state team, South Sevier has gone 61, Bountiful, 60, Kearns, 50, Taylorsville, 35 and Timpanogos, 20.

First-Time Matchups

Thirteen games feature first-time pairings. In non-state battles, in addition to the four Rocky Mountain Rumble contests, PG is at Del Oro, East plays at Centennial and Dixie hosts Mohave (Bullhead City, Ariz.).

The half-dozen first-time meetings between in-state teams involve Roy descending on Jordan, Corner Canyon visiting Maple Mountain, Milford hosting Wayne, Copper Hills traveling to Murray, Salem Hills playing at Stansbury and Monticello hosting San Juan J.V.

Incidentally, Monticello has played San Juan’s varsity team 66 times from 1956 through last year, but with greater disparity in team size, elected to play the JV squad this year.

Week 2’s Most-Played Rivalries

Two of the top-10 longest running rivalries are contested this week. Millard hosts Delta in their 92nd meeting, the seventh most-played rivalry. The Eagles lead the series 49-38-4 reaching back to 1926.

Also, Kanab travels to Beaver for their 87th matchup, the ninth most-played rivalry. Beaver leads this one 48-38 since 1950 and has won five straight over the Cowboys.

In another long-running series, Payson invades Provo in their 70th meeting since 1913. Provo commands the series, 42-22-5.

Two games feature teams that meet for the 56th time: Morgan at South Summit (the Trojans lead 34-20-1 since 1942) and South Sevier at Richfield (which dominates 38-17 by taking five in a row and seven of the last eight in a series that began in 1920).

Logan and Sky View battle for the 54th time; the Grizzlies have a 32-21 margin. Springville and Lehi also clash for the 54th time, but first since 2009; the Red Devils claim a narrow 27-25-1 series edge.

Bountiful hosts Viewmont in a bitter cross-town rivalry, leading the series 29-21, as they meet for the 51st time.

Granger and Kearns tangle for the 46th time. The Lancers lead the series 31-14; it’s been played nearly annually since Kearns opened in 1966, taking only a four-year hiatus from 2005-2008.

Howdy Stranger

A slew of other games pair teams that haven’t met since at least 2010:

  • Union at Hurricane (last met in 1988; fourth meeting)

  • North Sanpete at Timpanogos (2005; fifth)

  • West Jordan at Mountain View (2008; seventh)

  • Wasatch at Westlake (2009; second)

  • Bonneville at Northridge (2010; eighth)

  • Hillcrest at Alta (2010; 32nd)

  • Hunter at Cyprus (2010; 14th)

  • Orem at Spanish Fork (2010; 34th)

  • Virgin Valley (Mesquite, Nev.) at Cedar (2010; third)

  • West at Skyline (2010; 17th)

Milestone Games

Rich and South Sevier try for their 200th school win…. Lehi plays its 800th game and Pleasant Grove, its 750th.

Lightning Strikes Twice…

For the second straight season, Juab defeated Millard in a weather-shortened game. Last year’s opener stopped at halftime with the Wasps leading 14-0. Last week, Juab held a 34-13 margin when a lightning storm halted action in the third quarter.

But maybe lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place since the 2014 contest was in Nephi while this year’s game was in Fillmore.

In Utah prep history, only 17 of over 30,000 games have been cut short, but considered complete. Seven of those have come since 2011. Most stoppages occurred because of long-lasting lightning storms, but power outages and injuries have also terminated games early.

Games count if at least one half has been played and there’s mutual agreement by both teams.

Coaching Success

Four of the 17 coaches who are in their first year as head coaches prevailed in their debut contests: Jordan Smith (Spanish Fork), Alema Te’o (Alta), Aaron Tillett (South Summit) and Curtis Ware (Gunnison Valley).

Two more coaches, who have returned this season as head mentors, also tasted success: John Lambourne at Bingham (previously at Hunter in the mid-1990s) and Robert Steele, back for his second stint at Orem (previously there from 2002-10).

Shutout Shoutouts

Nine teams blanked their opponents last week. Two, American Leadership and North Sevier, hadn’t posted a shutout in at least seven seasons. ALA whitewashed an opponent for the first time since 2007 and a span of 77 games. Only Lehi has gone longer (2004, 107 games). North Sevier hadn’t silenced an opponent since 2008, a stretch of 59 games.

Consecutive Scoring Games

Last week, East scored in its 57th consecutive game going back to 2010, tying a school record set from 1951 until 1957.

Jordan Rolls On

Despite the graduation of record-setting quarterback Austin Kaftentzis, Jordan’s offense hasn’t missed a beat. The ‘Diggers piled up 739 yards of total offense last week, the fifth-best performance on record. QB Drew Lisk amassed 618 yards of total offense himself, the fourth-most all-time. Spencer Curtis caught 11 passes totaling 271 yards, the fifth-most reception yards in Utah prep history.

See you on the sidelines!

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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