Felt’s Facts: Playoffs creep closer in prep football

Felt’s Facts – Week 7 – 2017

Undefeateds

After six weeks of the 2017 season, seven teams remain unbeaten and 10 have yet to win. During the rest of the regular season, no games match any of the undefeated teams or pair any of the winless squads.

Of the unbeaten teams, two reside in Class 5A – Corner Canyon (Region 7) and Skyridge (Region 8) and two more in Class 2A – Grand County (South) and South Summit (North). Should those teams remain undefeated through the state semifinals, they’d meet for the championship in their respective classifications.

Bingham (Region 4) is the sole surviving unblemished team in Class 6A, Sky View (Region 12) in 4A and Summit Academy in Class 3A (South).

Grand’s 6-0 start is the best for the Red Devils since 1974 when Grand won its first nine games before losing in the state semifinals.

Postseason Preview

The playoffs for most classifications are four weeks away and just three weeks away in Class 2A. This week, a Bingham victory over Lone Peak coupled with a Westlake loss to Pleasant Grove guarantees the Miners a postseason appearance for the 29th straight season. East and West Jordan secure berths by winning if Taylorsville loses to Riverton. Other teams clinch ties by winning.

All of Class 1A and 2A qualify for the playoffs just by fielding a team, so 20 schools have already secured tournament berths. Yet, Class 1A doesn’t begin Region play until next week.

All Class 3A teams also qualify for the playoffs just by purchasing uniforms, so that’s 32 teams that have already made the postseason.

That means 80 teams will appear in postseason play – a record number by eight teams – and there will be 74 playoff games – also a record number by four games.

That means Carbon makes the tourney for the first time since 2000!

Realignment’s Matchup Effect

The latest realignment created five games where teams face off for the first time and five more where schools haven’t met since at least 2010.

The first-time meetings:

  • Corner Canyon at Brighton
  • East at Copper Hills
  • Green Canyon at Ridgeline
  • Lehi at West – Notably, West is in its 124th season (since 1893) and Lehi in its 96th (since 1919 – no team in 1920, ’23 or ’24), but these two have never battled on the gridiron before.
  • Summit Academy at Juab.

Games that feature teams brought together for the first time in a while:

  • Granger at American Fork (last met in 1960) – series tied 1-1, also met in 1959
  • Mountain View at Uintah (1984) – MV leads 4-0; they met annually from 1981-84
  • Ben Lomond at Bonneville (1988) – Bonneville leads 14-4
  • Delta at South Summit (2010) – series tied 3-3
  • Viewmont at Roy (2010) – Roy leads 6-2

This Week’s Most-played Rivalries (min. 50 games)

Meanwhile, five more games pit teams that have faced each other at least 50 times – or will by Friday night. They’re listed in order of most-games-played with the series leader mentioned first.

  • Spanish Fork and Payson play for the 97th time since 1917. SF has a 10-game winning streak over the Lions and leads the series 49-43-4. The series began in 1917 and is tied with Bear River-Box Elder for the most-played active rivalry and for the third most-played all-time.
  • Richfield and North Sanpete meet for the 69th time since 1923. Richfield leads the series 38-28-2, but NS has captured the last three against the Wildcats.
  • Logan holds a 32-23 series edge over Sky View going into their 56th battle. SV has taken the last three over the Grizzlies. The series began in 1964 and is the fifth longest uninterrupted active series in the state.
  • Davis and Weber duke it out for the 52nd time since 1926. Davis enjoys an eight-game winning streak in the series to extend its lead to 36-12-3.
  • Highland controls its series with Olympus 29-20 as they clash for the 50th time since 1958; they’ve split their last four duels.

Most Improved, Turnarounds and Shutouts

Millard leads the state as the most-improved team so far this season, moving from 0-10 in 2016 to 4-2 this year, an improvement of 6.0 games. Altamont (1-9 to 4-1) is 5.5 games better after six weeks of play. Judge Memorial (0-10 to 3-3), North Sevier (1-9 to 4-2) and Payson (also 1-9 to 4-2) have improved by 5.0 games. (The NCAA calculates this by taking the difference in year-to-year victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.)

North Sevier enjoys its most victories since going 10-3 in 2008. Payson last won four games in 2012, but hopes for its fifth for the first time since 2009.

Parowan (4-1) has its most wins since 2013 when the Rams won six games. Parowan has already set school records for season shutouts – four – surpassing the three posted by the 2001 Rams, and for consecutive shutouts – three.

Weber (5-1) hasn’t won five games since 2013; a victory over Davis rewards the Warriors with their most wins since the 2009 team went 7-4. Weber has blanked three opponents for the first time since its 1999 state championship season.

Riverton posted its first shutout since 2011, a stretch of 63 games. Syracuse suffered its first whitewashing since 2010 after scoring in a school-record 77 games. Juab has now scored in 51 straight games, also a school record.

Milestone

Murray seeks its 350th win as the Spartans host Skyline.

Career Marks

With 414 yards through the air last week, Lehi’s Cammon Cooper climbed to fourth all-time in passing yards (8,652) and is 1,007 yards short of third place. Cooper ranks third in attempts (1,142) and is 12 away from second, and places third in completions (689) and is 63 shy of second. He’s fifth in touchdown passes (79) and needs one more to reach fourth place. Cooper is 11th in total offense (8,575 yards) and is 202 yards away from 10th.

Taylorsville’s Dane Leituala has jumped into the top-10 in total offense – he ranks ninth with 8,978 yards.

Jordan’s Crew Wakley has entered the top-20 in total offense; he places 19th with 7,291 yards.

Among receivers, Dixie’s Hobbs Nyberg ranks 11th in receiving yards (2,527) and Lehi’s Kade Moore ranks 14th (2,397). Nyberg is also tied for 13th in TD catches (30), while Moore is seventh in receptions (171).

See you on the sidelines!

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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