Week 3 is upon us and we’ve got the trivia and fun facts on Utah high school football from around the state.
Entering the third week of the season, 31 teams remain unbeaten, and five contests pit undefeated squads, all with 2-0 records, against each other: Bingham at Long Peak, Olympus at Davis, Park City at South Summit, Springville at Skyridge and West Jordan at Skyline.
Four more games match eight of the remaining 31 winless teams: Carbon at Snow Canyon, Cyprus at Copper Hills, Morgan at Payson and Wayne at Monticello.
Four schools head into Week 3 with their best starts in several years. Bear River last began 2-0 in 2012. With a home win over Box Elder, the Bears will see 3-0 for the first time since the undefeated championship season of 2004. Ben Lomond started 2-0 for the second straight season, but the Scots can go 3-0 for the first time since 1967 with a victory at winless Ogden.
Fremont hasn’t been 2-0 since 2007, when it won its first three contests. West Jordan last started 2-0 in 2009, when the Jaguars won their first four games.
Two weeks ago, new Skyridge became the 33rd team to win its first-ever game. With their 42-14 victory over West last week, the Falcons became just the 17th to win their first two. But Skyridge would have to win its next four to catch East Carbon, which won its first six games in its first year, 1959. Aside from East Carbon, no school has started better than 4-0 its first year.
Four teams that haven’t lost since last season lead the state with the longest current winning streaks. Beaver has won 13 in a row, East has taken 10 straight, and Ben Lomond and Parowan, three each.
Orem suffered its first shutout since 2010, ending a streak of scoring in 56 consecutive games.
Eight of the 27 coaches who are new to their school remain undefeated after two weeks. That includes five who are first-time head coaches: Zac Erekson (Skyline) and John Lehman (Skyridge) in 4A; Josh Montzingo (Park City) in 3AA; Andy Messersmith (Enterprise) in 2A and Andru Jones (Layton Christian) in 1A. The three undefeated coaches with previous experience at another school include Mike Grajek (South Summit), Les Hamilton (Summit Academy) and Randy Hunter (Beaver) all in 2A.
Utah vs. the Nation
Utah teams compiled a 9-8 record against out-of- state foes last week, bringing the season record to 9-9. Seven more games featuring Utah and out-of- state opponents are contested this week, including Desert Hills at Foothill, Nev., and Hurricane at Moapa Valley, Nev.
Box Elder visits Bear River in the state’s longest-running active uninterrupted rivalry, which began in 1923. The rivalry is tied for the third most-played series overall. Going into the 96th meeting, Box Elder owns a 68-25- 2 advantage. Since 1959, the winner has carried home the Golden Spike.
In another traveling trophy matchup, Layton invades Northridge in the Battle for the Sword. Northridge holds a commanding 18-6 series lead going back to 1992 and won six in a row before the Lancers prevailed last year.
And in the 20th Battle for the Pick, Canyon View visits Cedar trailing 16-3 in the rivalry that began in 1992. CV nipped the Redmen last year, 42-41, to add to its 2000 and 2005 victories.
In addition to Bear River-Box Elder, there are three other long-running series contested this week. Uintah hosts Union in their 76th encounter since 1951; Union leads the rivalry, which was interrupted in 1969, ’70 and ’72, by a 39-35- 1 margin. Tooele travels to Murray in their 67th meeting since 1925. Tooele leads this series 34-31- 1. Bonneville visits Weber as they matchup for the 57th time since 1960; Bonneville enjoys a 38-17 advantage.
Forty-four of this week’s 56 games reprise Week 3 matchups from last season, but at the opposite field from last year. Two more pair teams that met last year, but on different weeks (Ogden-Ben Lomond and Whitehorse-San Juan J.V.). That leaves five first-time matchups and five renewed series, listed below.
- Hunter vs. Mountain View (Idaho)
- Layton Christian at Agassi Prep (Nev.)
- Orem at Arbor View (Nev.)
- Ridgeline vs. Spanish Fork
- Skyridge vs. Springville
- West vs. Timpanogos
- Morgan travels to Payson in their first encounter since 1978. Payson leads the series 2-1; all three games were also regular season contests.
- Snow Canyon hosts Carbon in their first matchup since 2000. SC leads 2-0 as the Warriors defeated the Dinos in Class 3A playoff games that year and in 1999.
- Wasatch holds a 2-0 lead over host Mountain View as they pair off for the first time since 2014.
- Roy entertains Corner Canyon in their second-ever meeting; Roy won a Class 4A semifinal over the Chargers in 2014.
Judge Memorial and Morgan seek their 450th win, Bonneville and Lehi go for their 350th and Fremont shoots for #150…. Juab takes the field for the 600th time.
Among coaches, Timpview’s Cary Whittingham and Monument Valley’s Jim Dandy aim for their 50th win…. Scott Henderson directs his 200th game in stints at Parowan (1987-93), Granite (1995-98), Taylorsville (2004-08) and Hunter (since 2012). San Juan’s Monty Lee coaches his 150th for the Broncos.
From Last Week
Much has been made of the baseball-like score when Olympus defeated Highland 5-3. And rightly so. In the annals of Utah prep football more than 31,300 games have been played, but there’s only been one other 5-3 score. It also involved Highland. But the Rams won that one over Davis on Oct. 2, 1964.
Rich posted another unusual score, defeating Bear Lake (Idaho) 2-0. Prep fans haven’t seen that final score since 2008 when West Jordan beat Lehi 2-0.
(For the nerdy, those 2-0 and 5-3 final scores are examples of what Felt’s Facts calls a “single-digit game,” when both teams score in single numbers. Other examples are 6-3, 7-4 and 8-6. In football, before overtimes eliminated ties, there were 45 possible combinations of such “single-digit games” ranging from 0-0 to 9-9. In Utah, these 10 final scores have never been posted: 3-2, 3-3, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 5-2, 5-4, 5-5, 7-5 and 8-4. Of course, with overtimes, we’ll never see those “missing” final scores of 3-3, 4-4 or 5-5.)
(For the truly nerdy, there have been 2,554 “single-digit games” in Utah prep football. That’s just over eight percent of all final scores.)
Near the other end of the spectrum in last week’s games, Pleasant Grove lost a triple-overtime thriller to Rocky Mountain (Idaho), 51-50. The 101 points puts the game as the sixth-most points scored in an overtime contest.
Taylorsville dropped a 55-48 battle to Basic (Nev.). The 48 points are the sixth-most points scored in a losing cause in a regulation-length game.
Alta’s Joshua Davis amassed 444 all-purpose yards as the Hawks thrashed Hillcrest 67-26.
Davis’s achievement ranks sixth all-time. (Box Elder’s Joe Call holds the record with 593 yards from a game played in 1925.)
Dixie junior Hobbs Nyberg caught 12 passes for 264 yards in the Flyer’s 47-21 loss to Lone Peak. Nyberg’s reception yards ties him for 12th-most all-time. (Wasatch’s Keefer Babbit holds the record with 314 yards in a 2010 contest.)
Against Lone Peak, Dixie QB Jacob Barben threw for 467 yards, the most this year and the 28th most all-time. Barben is in good company as he’s sandwiched between the career-high marks of two of Utah’s most prolific passing quarterbacks, Luke Falk (469 yards) and Riley Nelson (465 yards), who both played at Logan.
Note that Dixie is at Alta this week, giving fans a chance to see Davis, Barben and Nyberg on the same field.
A performance from Week 1 bears mentioning. Provo’s Ty Jones had 253 reception yards, which at the time ranked 19th all-time. After Nyberg’s Week 2 feat, Jones now ranks 20th.
See you on the sidelines!
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