Felt’s Facts – Week 8 — 2015
It’s prep football junkie heaven as beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7, there are varsity games on seven of the following 10 days. With seven weeks in the books, it may seem the season is nearing its conclusion. But there’re still seven weekends of football left until the last champions are crowned.
Undefeated Region Matchups
Eight regions, including all four leagues in Class 5A, feature a pair of teams that remain undefeated in region play. Class 1A North and South each have three 1-0 teams, but they’ve barely begun region competition. This week, just two contests match unbeaten-in-region teams. In Class 4A, it’s Timpview at Corner Canyon (Region 7) and in 2A South, San Juan hosts Beaver.
Postseason at a Glance
Looking toward the postseason, 20 teams have already secured playoff berths, but 18 of them qualify just by showing up – all of Class 3AA South and the entire 2A classification. Logan (3AA North) and Juab (3A South) have played their way in.
With 20 berths locked up, 52 spots remain up for grabs.
Fourteen teams clinch playoff berths by winning this week regardless of the outcome of other games. In the larger classifications, they include Bingham and Jordan (Region 3), Lone Peak (Region 4), East (Region 5), Olympus (Region 6), Timpview (Region 7) and Springville (Region 8). Smaller classification candidates include Juan Diego (3A North), Canyon View, Manti and North Sanpete (3A South), Altamont (1A North), and Kanab and the winner of Monticello at Diamond Ranch (1A South).
Other teams can clinch berths, too, but they’re dependant on the results of other games.
Entering Week 8, seven teams remain undefeated. Diamond Ranch (5-0) is off to its best-ever start. The Diamondbacks have won five in a row for the second time in school history and first time since 2012. Mountain Crest hasn’t started 6-0 since an 8-0 start in 1998.
Springville (7-0) has its best record since starting 10-0 in 2004. Sky View last saw 7-0 when the Bobcats won their first 11 contests in 2006. Lone Peak (7-0) is also off to its best start since its 14-0 season in 2011.
Davis (7-0) started 9-0 in 2013 while South Summit (7-0) has matched its best-ever start of 2013.
Most Wins Since…
Nearly unbeaten Kearns (6-1) hasn’t won six games since going 7-4 in 2010. The Cougars haven’t been 6-1 since 1992 when they won 10 of their first 11 contests…. American Leadership (4-3) celebrates four wins for the first time in its 10-year history…. Provo (5-2) guns for six victories for the first time since 2009.
Consecutive Winning Seasons
Bingham (6-1) is guaranteed its 12th straight winning campaign while Jordan (6-1) has secured its 11th straight and Davis (7-0), its 10th in a row. Highland (5-2), which has a bye this week, and San Juan (5-2) need one more victory to extend their streaks to 13 seasons, which would be the current state-high. (Skyline holds the all-time record: the Eagles had 23 consecutive winning seasons from 1989-2011.)
This Week’s First-time Matchups
Five games pair programs meeting for the first time: Altamont at Wayne, Salem Hills at Westlake, Stansbury at Logan, Syracuse at Granger and Timpview at Corner Canyon.
Most-played Rivalries (min. 50 games)
Springville and Payson renew Utah’s fifth most-played rivalry for the 93rd time but first since 2010. Springville controls the series 54-31-7 and has won the last three.
Kanab holds a rather lopsided 68-4-1 series edge over Parowan as they play for the 74th time, but first since 2012. The series began in 1949 and Kanab has won 51 straight over the Rams since 1971.
Dixie and Hurricane battle for the 65th time; Dixie dominates this series 44-19-1 since 1949. They’ve split the last four, but in their last meeting, Dixie defeated the Tigers 27-19 to capture the 2014 Class 3AA state championship.
Juab leads its series with North Sanpete 27-23 going into their 51st meeting. They’ve split the last four.
Other Game Notes from Around the State
Box Elder and East last faced off in 2012 and meet for the 11th time, but their only other regular season matchup came back in 1925. East leads the series 7-2-1. The tie occurred in the 1926 state championship game and both were declared state champs.
Ogden started Utah’s second prep football program in 1898 and Park City started the third in 1901. But these two venerable schools meet for just the fifth time since 1921 and first since 2007. The series is tied 2-2.
Alta and Provo’s only previous meeting was in a 1990 4A first round contest at Alta, which Provo won 33-12.
Layton and West duke it out for the 14th time, but they last met to decide the 1978 Class 4A
champion. Layton prevailed 28-21 to claim its only state football championship.
Worth Noting from Last Week
Brighton’s Simi Fehoko became the fourth Utah prep gridder to surpass the 3,000-yard mark for career reception yards. With 3,076, he’s 20 yards short of third-place Inoke Lotulelei (Cottonwood, 2011-12). He needs 370 more yards to overtake state leader Austin Raught (3,445 at Fremont, 2003-05).
Fehoko has 33 touchdown receptions in his three-year career, tied for the fourth-most all-time. He’s three shy of third-place Marquis Wilson (Juan Diego, 2004-04). Fehoko needs eight to match state record holders Austin Raught (Fremont, 2003-04) and Cody Raymond (Jordan, 2005-07).
Jordan’s Spencer Curtis climbed into ninth place in career reception yards (2,397). Sky View’s Bryce Mortenson had 144 receiving yards against Brighton last week to vault him into the top-20 and over 2,000 yards in the same category. He’s ranked 18th with 2,107 career reception yards.
American Fork’s Tanner Smith has thrown for 5,988 yards over his career. He’s on the verge of becoming just the 21st QB to reach the 6,000-yard mark.
This season is turning into a banner year for field goal kickers. Last week, Maple Mountain’s Tanner Dayton hit three field goals, marking the 11th time in seven weeks that a player has booted three field goals in a game. It was Dayton’s second time this season. Seven other kickers have made three in a game, as well.
But none more than Wasatch’s Skyler Southam who has kicked three in three separate games. Southam is the second player to accomplish that in a season, joining Bingham’s Chayden Johnston (2014). Southam also holds the record for career field goals with 30.
Let’s put the “at least three FGs in a game” in historical context. The most times that’s happened in any previous season was 10, in 2012 by 10 players and in 2014 by seven players. As stated, it’s already happened 11 times this year.
Alta and Mountain Crest lead this week’s list of most-improved teams over last year. Alta has gone from 2-9 to 5-2, an improvement of 5.0 games. MC has also improved 5.0 games, from 4-8 to 6-0. (The NCAA calculates the improvement by taking the difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.) Four teams have improved by 4.5 games: Altamont (0-10 to 3-4), Kearns (3-7 to 6-1), Lehi (0-10 to 3-4) and Maple Mountain (4-8 to 6-1).
Current Winning Streaks
South Summit (7-0) enjoys a school-record 17-game undefeated streak. The Wildcats are the only team to carry over a winning streak from last year. Thus, the other four 7-0 teams, Davis, Lone Peak, Sky View and Springville, have the next longest current winning streaks. Beaver (6-1) and Mountain Crest (6-0) have won six in a row.
Bonneville and Cedar try for their 350th victories, while Sky View shoots for its 250th and Altamont aims for its 150th.
Union plays its 200th game and Enterprise its 200th.
In the coaching ranks, Larry Wall directs his 350th game at Bountiful. He’s compiled a 234-115 record there in 31 seasons. Only Roger DuPaix coached more games – 413 – in 35 seasons at Highland (1977-85) and Skyline (1986-2011).
Prolific Scoring Offenses
Recent studies analyzing the season scoring average of all teams indicate that college football scores are on a rising trend. (The average is calculated by totaling the points scored during a season by all teams and dividing by the number of schools.) That trend extends to Utah prep football as well. The season scoring average of all Utah high schools shows a rising trend since 2000. Looking at just the past decade (chart below) shows the average has increased a total of 4.5 points. The average is up over half a point so far this season.
2006 – 20.9
2007 – 21.7
2008 – 21.6
2009 – 23.6
2010 – 22.4
2011 – 22.7
2012 – 23.1
2013 – 24.6
2014 – 24.6
2015 – 25.3 (through Week 7)
The increase in offense is evidenced in another way, too. Over the past six seasons (2009-14), a total of 18 squads finished the year averaging over 40 points per game. Compare that with the previous nine years (2000-08), when a total of just nine teams ended up averaging over 40 points a game in a season.
This Week’s Top-5…
Scoring teams: Canyon View, 46.3 ppg; Jordan, 45.7; Diamond Ranch 42.0; Lone Peak, 41.0; South Summit 39.6.
Defensive teams: Kanab, 6.7; Duchesne, 8.2; Bingham, 8.3; South Summit 10.7; Lone Peak, 11.1.
By victory margin: Diamond Ranch, 30.2; Lone Peak, 29.9; South Summit, 28.9; Sky View, 26.6; Davis and Bingham, 26.0.
Despite the impressive offensive statistics cited in the last section, defense still rules at Bingham. The 6-1 Miners have allowed just three touchdowns by Utah teams. They’ve blanked eight of their last 16 in-state opponents. Bingham – and Duchesne – have each posted a state-high four shutouts this season.
See you on the sidelines!
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