Felt’s Facts – 2016 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 2016 is no exception. This year, there are a record 41 games against non-Utah teams. Monument Valley and Whitehorse play 14 of those games competing as independents against other Navajo Nation schools. Excluding their schedules, 18 of this season’s 27 games versus non-Utah teams are contested this week.
Three schools play their first-ever game against an out-of- state opponent. Taylorsville, in its 36th season, takes on Spring Valley (Las Vegas, Nev.) as part of the Vivint Invitational at Orem. (Orem hosts Utah’s East and Mountain Crest plays Basic from Henderson, Nev., in the other two games.)
For its first out-of- state trip, 10-year- old Syracuse tangles with Rigby (Idaho) as part of the Rocky Mountain Rumble at Idaho State’s Holt Arena in Pocatello. Stansbury, in its eighth season, goes across state lines for the first time and meets Minico (Rupert, Idaho) in the same tournament.
Some teams seek out-of- state competition for geographical reasons, others as a test against non-Utah powers and still others because they’re unable to schedule an in-state opponent one particular week. But 13 schools currently fielding teams haven’t seen the need to battle a non-Utah school.
Eight of those, Corner Canyon, Herriman, Maple Mountain, Ridgeline, Salem Hills, Skyridge, Summit Academy and Wayne, have been playing football for less than 10 seasons. But Murray has gone 99 years without facing an out-of- state team, South Sevier has gone 62, Bountiful, 61, Kearns, 51 and Timpanogos, 21.
Utah’s all-time record against out-of- state opponents is 1,177-960- 69 (.549). That’s 2,206 games since West (then known as Salt Lake High) tied Denver East 0-0 in 1899 in the first contest involving a non-Utah foe. That game, played in Salt Lake, included Governor M. Wells among the estimated 4,000 spectators. That was a large crowd for a prep game at the time, when high school games typically attracted 300 to 500 fans. The game was of such magnitude that drug stores around the city sold tickets in the weeks leading up to the contest.
Those 2,206 games equal just over seven percent of all Utah prep contests.
Among Utah high schools, Grand County has played the most games, 177, against non-Utah foes. (Forty-two of those games have been against Montezuma-Cortez, Colo.; they meet for the 43rd time this weekend, at Grand.) San Juan is next with 123 contests, followed by Whitehorse, 117; Monument Valley, 112 and Hurricane, 95. The rest of the Top-10: Monticello, 88; Dixie, 83; Rich, 73; Carbon, 65 and Logan 60.
The most commonly played out-of- state opponent: Preston, Idaho, 137 games. The Indians were included in a Northern Utah region for 15 seasons from 1925 to 1939 and won region titles in 1925 and 1927. (Although Preston was never a real threat to win a state championship, the possibility existed that a non-Utah school could have won a Utah football state title.)
The rest of the Top-10 out-of- state opponents: Lincoln County, Nev., 117; Moapa Valley, Nev., 114; White Pine, Nev., 80; Virgin Valley, Nev., 76; Grand Junction, Colo., 74; Montezuma-Cortez, Colo., 58; Pocatello, Idaho, 52; Rangely, Colo., 50 and Las Vegas, Nev., 40.
Sixteen games feature first-time pairings and 12 of those involve non-state battles. Five come in the Rocky Mountain Rumble. In addition to Syracuse vs. Rigby and Stansbury vs. Minico, Box Elder meets Skyview (Nampa, Idaho), Pleasant Grove faces Rocky Mountain (Meridian, Idaho) and Snow Canyon plays Shelley (Idaho).
In the Orem Invitational, Taylorsville vs. Spring Valley (Nev.) and Mountain Crest vs. Basic (Nev.) are first time matchups.
Other out-of- state, first-time meetings include American Fork at Hinsdale Central (Ill.), Rich vs. Bear Lake (Montpellier, Idaho), San Juan vs. Bayfield (Colo.), Timpview at Helix (La Mesa, Calif.) and Juab at Star Valley (Afton, Wyo.).
That last-mentioned game marks Juab’s second out-of- state contest and first since a 1974 loss to Moapa Valley (Nev.).
The four first-time meetings between in-state teams involve Cottonwood descending on Bear River, Ridgeline visiting Provo, Skyridge traveling to West and Union hosting Summit Academy.
Week 2’s Most-Played Rivalries
Two of the top-10 longest running rivalries are contested this week. Delta hosts Millard in their 93rd meeting, the sixth most-played rivalry. The visiting Eagles lead the series 50-38- 4 reaching back to 1926.
Also, Beaver travels to Kanab for their 88th matchup, the ninth most-played rivalry. Beaver leads this one 49-38 since 1950 and has won six straight over the Cowboys. The Beavers look to extend their overall winning streak of 12 games, the longest current streak in the state.
Three games feature teams that meet for the 57th time: South Summit at Morgan (the home Trojans lead 34-21- 1 since 1942), South Sevier hosting Richfield (the visiting Wildcats dominate 39-17 by taking six in a row and eight of the last nine in a series that began in 1920) and Grantsville at Tooele (the host Buffaloes command this one 41-12- 3 since 1915).
Logan and Sky View battle for the 55th time, at Sky View; the visiting Grizzlies have a 32-22 margin. Springville and Lehi also clash for the 55th time, at Springville; the host Red Devils claim a 32-18- 1 series edge.
Bountiful visits Viewmont in a bitter cross-town rivalry as they meet for the 52nd time. Bountiful leads the series 30-21.
In another long-running series, Davis invades Weber in their 51st meeting since 1926. Davis commands the series 35-12- 3.
In addition, Highland battles Olympus for the 49th time (Highland leads the series 29-19 since 1958), Layton clashes with Clearfield in their 48th meeting (Layton leads 25-22 since 1968) and Granger tangles with Kearns for the 46th time (Granger controls the series 31-15; this rivalry has been played nearly annually since Kearns opened in 1966, taking only a four-year hiatus from 2005-08).
Seven other games pair teams that haven’t met in at least five seasons:
- Cyprus at Park City (last met in 1954; eighth meeting)
- Spanish Fork at Skyline (1970; second)
- Emery at Payson (1990; fourth)
- Dixie at Lone Peak (1998; third)
- Hunter at Riverton (2008; seventh)
- Salem Hills at Desert Hills (2009; third)
- East at Orem (2011; sixth)
Judge Memorial and Morgan try for their 450th win, while Bonneville and Lehi go for victory #350. Morgan is also playing its 800th game and American Leadership, its 100th.
Twenty-seven coaches with new teams roamed the sideline as the season began last week and compiled a 10-17 record. Eighteen of them are in their first-ever year of coaching. Six of those prevailed in their debut contests: Anthony Chidester (Parowan), Zac Erekson (Skyline), Andru Jones (Layton Christian), Andy Messersmith (Enterprise), Josh Montzingo (Park City) and Preston Parrish (Spanish Fork).
Four more coaches, who have returned this season as head mentors, also tasted success: Mike Grajek at South Summit (previously at Milford in 1993 and Morgan, 1994-96), Les Hamilton at Summit Academy (previously at Grantsville, 2003-04; Alta, 2005-10; Hunter, 2011 and Pleasant Grove, 2012-15), Randy Hunter at Beaver (previously at Enterprise, 2000-03 and Canyon View, 2004-07), and Mark Wootton at Pleasant Grove (previously at North Sanpete, 1991-2003 and Mountain Crest, 2001-15).
A pair of games this week pit first-year coaches against each other. In one of those games, coach Messersmith of Enterprise matches wits with Parowan’s coach Chidester. In the other, Skyline’s coach Erekson leads his Eagles against Spanish Fork’s coach Parrish.
As mentioned, Beaver holds the longest current winning streak at 12 games. East has captured 10 in a row, Herriman, five and Ben Lomond and Parowan, two… Morgan suffered its first shutout since 2009, ending a streak of 70 straight scoring games, and just its second since 2002.
See you on the sidelines!
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