COMMENTARY — Week 3 is close and entering the third week of the season, 35 teams remain undefeated. Seven contests pit unbeatens: South Summit at American Leadership, Parowan at Beaver, Taylorsville at Davis, Manti at Grantsville, Timpanogos at Pleasant Grove, Juab at Salem Hills and Cyprus vs. Juan Diego at Rio Tinto.
An equal number of games match 14 of the remaining 32 winless squads: Whitehorse at Diamond Ranch, Cottonwood at Kearns, Hillcrest at Murray, Maple Mountain at North Sanpete, Judge Memorial at Park City, Mountain View at Provo and Canyon View at Tooele.
Two Utah County schools are off to their best-ever starts at 2-0: American Leadership is in its eighth season and Salem Hills is playing its sixth.
A few other teams are off to their best starts in several years. Taylorsville hadn’t won a season-opener since 2007 and hasn’t seen 2-0 since 2002 when the Warriors won their first three.
Union hasn’t won two games to start the season since 2006 and Snow Canyon since 2007…. Parowan began the 2010 season at 2-0, but with a win at Beaver will be 3-0 for the first time since 2001.
Uintah’s QB Braxton Coonis threw for 370 yards and rushed for 166 more in leading the Utes to a 42-7 win over Green River (Wyo.). The 536 yards of total offense is the 11th most for a single game in Utah prep history.
Alta’s Mack Richards’ 256 receiving yards against Lone Peak thrusts him into 12th place in all-time single-game reception yards.
Just two first-year coaches remain undefeated after two weeks: Marcus Matua at Snow Canyon and Chas Ryan at American Leadership. Steve Clements, also 2-0, is new at Westlake, but coached four seasons at Lehi from 1998-2001.
Utah vs. The Nation
So far, Utah teams have compiled a 10-4 record against out-of-state opponents. Utah vs. The Nation continues with six more games this week, highlighted by Northridge at Helix (San Diego area), and in a double-header at Valor Christian in the Denver area on Saturday, Lone Peak plays Mullen (Colo.) and Bingham takes on Valor Christian.
After losing at Bingham last year, VC captured 12 straight and successfully defended its Colorado 5A (largest class) state crown.
MaxPreps ranks Valor Christian #1 in Colorado and 35th in the nation and places Bingham 310th nationally this week.
Duchesne aims for its state-record 37th straight win, at Carbon. In two previous meetings in 2008 and 2009, the Eagles prevailed.
Manti has the next longest current winning streak, 12 games. Four schools tie for third longest with three consecutive victories stretching back to last season: American Leadership, Cyprus, Juab and Roy.
Meanwhile, North Sevier has lost 18 straight, Whitehorse, 13 in a row, and Ben Lomond and Provo have each dropped 12 consecutive contests.
Jordan scored in its 100th straight game, the 16th longest such streak all-time and the third longest current streak. Juan Diego will be seeking to score for the 100th consecutive time when the Soaring Eagle take on Cyprus.
Bear River visits Box Elder in the state’s longest running uninterrupted rivalry, which began in 1923. It’s tied for the third most-played series overall. Going into the 93rd meeting, Box Elder owns a 65-25-2 advantage. Since 1959, the winner has carried home the Golden Spike. More on Utah’s Traveling Trophies later on.
Spanish Fork has a slim 45-43-4 series lead over Payson as these teams also tangle for the 93rd time. It started in 1917, so it’s older than Bear River-Box Elder, but isn’t uninterrupted. The Dons have won six straight over the Lions.
Northeast Utah rivals Union (3A) and Uintah (3AA) clash early this year since they’re now in different classifications. The Cougars won last year to break the Utes’ four-game series winning streak and up its lead to 37-34-1.
Beaver dominates its series with Parowan 59-5-1. Both 2-0, they met once before as undefeated teams, in 1957, when both were 1-0.
Ten games features teams meeting for the first time, including Monument Valley at Kanab, Syracuse at Mountain Crest, Wasatch at Ogden, Dixie at Riverton and Stansbury at Springville. Also Canyon View at Tooele, Corner Canyon at Westlake, Northridge at Helix (La Mesa, Calif.), Sky View at Minico (Rupert, Idaho), and Lone Peak vs. Mullen (Denver, Colo.).
Nine additional contests might as well be first-time meetings since the teams involved haven’t been paired up for at least five seasons.
Taylorsville at Davis (1998) – the Darts are 3-0 vs. the Warriors.
Granger at Brighton (1999) – the Bengals lead the series 10-4.
Manti at Grantsville (2000) – the Cowboys have a 10-3 margin.
American Fork at Orem (2001) – they’ve met 55 times, but not for 12 seasons; the Tigers lead the series 32-21-2.
Richfield at Monticello (2003) – the Bucks defeated the Wildcats from 2001-03.
Cottonwood at Kearns (2004) – the Colts’ first-ever game was against the Cougars in 1970. Kearns won 50-0, but Cottonwood now has a 7-5-1 series edge.
Pine View at Lehi (2007) – the Panthers have won all four previous meetings.
Copper Hills at Hunter (2008) – the Wolverines lead the series 9-1; CH’s sole win came in 2007.
West Jordan at Olympus (2008) – The Jags are 3-0 against the Titans.
Other Historical Game Notes
East and Jordan squared off 31 times in 51 seasons from 1914-64, but then not until ’93 and ’94. Last year, they started a game at East, but an electrical fire interrupted the contest and it wasn’t completed. So the Leopards still lead the series 21-12.
Alta encountered Timpview during the regular season from 1992-94 and again since 2009. The Hawks have won two straight to cut the T-birds lead to 4-3…. Morgan has claimed 18 straight from Ben Lomond since 1983 – in fact, the Scots have defeated the Trojans just once in 20 meetings, and that came in 1980.
Clearfield and Layton have split their 44 battles right down the middle since their first joust in 1968…. Bountiful and Logan started their series in 1958 and they’ve skirmished annually since 2009. The Grizzlies have captured the last three to close the Braves’ series lead to 8-5…. Park City and Judge renew their rivalry for the 48th time with the Miners ahead in the series 25-19-3.
With Box Elder and Bear River battling for the Golden Spike, here’s a look at rivalries that include a trophy awarded to the winner, listed by total regular season games (series leader listed first):
Rivalry Games Trophy Record Since
Box Elder-Bear River Golden Spike 63 25-2 1923 uninterrupted
Morgan-North Summit Spear 41 27 7 1928 last met in 1999
Ogden-Weber Little Brown Jug 40 23 2 1926 last met in 2004
Ogden-Ben Lomond Iron Horse 43-17 1953 uninterrupted
Roy-Weber Shield 26-22 1965 uninterrupted
Skyline-Olympus Rock 25-20-1 1962
Provo-Carbon Steam Train Bell 23 19 1913 last met in 1988
Carbon-Grand Cty. Silver Cup 18-9 1923 met in 2012, no game in 2013
Emery-Carbon Coal Bucket 20-2 1989 last met in 2010
Northridge-Layton Sword 16-5 1992 uninterrupted
Cedar-Canyon View Pick 14-2 1997 uninterrupted
Tooele-Stansbury Boot 2- 1 2009 uninterrupted
* – region and state playoff games not included
* – Logan, Mountain Crest and Sky View vie for the Long Rifle, a three-way trophy awarded to the school with the best record against the other two in football, basketball and track.
The Warriors celebrated a 33-0 win over Murray – Taylorsville’s first shutout since October 23, 2003. No school had gone longer without blanking an opponent. Now at the top of that list: Roy (August 27, 2004) and Lehi (October 21, 2004).
Last week’s edition noted that the Buckaroos only have three home games. However, there is a late addition: a non-region home contest against Kanab on Sept. 13. Still, Monticello will rack up around 2,700 miles and spend over 45 hours – plus pit stops – on the road. Just to play six varsity football games taking about 15 total hours.
Kanab, with the additional away game, now has two contests in the four-corners area and two more in northeast Utah. So the Cowboys will also travel about the same 2,700 miles and 45 hours on the bus, but for just five away games.
Then there are state playoff games, which could involve trips to Southern Utah University and Weber State, should those teams advance that far.
Wasatch plays its 800th game, becoming the 20th school to reach that mark. Rich takes the field for the 300th time. Among coaches, Corey Morrison directs his 100th game at Richfield and Kory Bosgieter coaches his 150th in stints at Weber and Fremont.
Officials stopped the Week One contest between the Titans and Colts with 2:51 remaining in the second quarter because of power problems. There was initial confusion about whether to count the game, and its stats, but since less than half the game was played and it wasn’t finished later, it won’t be counted.
This Week’s Top-10 List: Most Wins Per Seasons of Football (through 2012)
(Juan Diego has won 129 games in 13 years, or 9.92 games per season)
1) Juan Diego – 9.92
2) Lone Peak – 8.38
3) Skyline – 8.27
4) Timpview – 7.78
5) Syracuse – 7.50
6) Hunter – 7.00
7) Fremont – 6.95
8) Alta – 6.94
9) Brighton – 6.91
10) Mountain Crest – 6.87
See you on the sidelines!
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