Felt’s Facts: Undefeated ranks dwindle as we head to Week 4

Felt’s Facts – Week 4

Defending Region Champs

This week, all the Class 5A regions, along with Regions 5, 7 and 8 in 4A and 3AA North, begin league competition. In short, all the regions with seven or eight teams start region play. All regions see league action next week. However, Duchesne and Rich in Class 1A North, and Diamond Ranch and Kanab in 1A South, don’t have region games until Week 7 on Sept. 30.

This season, several teams try to extend their string of consecutive region championships, either outright or shared. Bingham and Diamond Ranch have captured four straight. South Summit and Timpview have claimed three in a row. Desert Hills and Juab defend back-to-back region titles.

In Utah prep football history, Millard has won the most consecutive region championships, 12 from 1949-60, while Dixie (1966-76) and Juan Diego (2003-13) snared 11 straight.

Strong Starts

A look at the 18 teams with 3-0 records reveals six schools that are off to their best starts in several years – or in Ben Lomond’s case, a generation or two.

Ben Lomond last started 3-0 in 1967. That year and in 1965, the Scots won their first six, their best-ever starts…. Layton Christian hasn’t opened 3-0 since 2006 when the Eagles won their first four, their best-ever start…. Fremont enjoys 3-0 for the first time since 2007. The Silver Wolves have opened faster only once, going 6-0 in 2004.

West Jordan is off to its best start since 2009 when the Jags won their first four contests…. Alta hasn’t seen 3-0 since 2012 when the Hawks swept their first four opponents…. Enterprise has matched its best-ever start of 2012; a victory over winless and visiting Millard puts the Wolves at 4-0 for the first time in their 20 seasons of football. Enterprise is 0-9 all-time against Millard, but lost just 13-12 last year.

In addition, Layton and Beaver have matched their 3-0 starts of the past season or two, but hope to improve to 4-0 for the first time in several seasons.

Layton, hosting Hunter, seeks four wins to open the season for the first time since 1987 when the Lancers claimed their first seven…. A Beaver victory over winless and visiting North Summit gives the Beaver a 4-0 record for the first time since 2010.

The 10 other undefeated teams (Bingham, Davis, Duchesne, East, Pine View, South Summit, Springville, Summit Academy, Timpview and Tooele) have all started 4-0 or better at least once since 2013.

Undefeated/Winless Matchups

Two games, region openers, pair unbeaten teams: Timpview at Alta in Region 7 and West Jordan at Bingham in Region 3. Four contests pit winless teams: Brighton at Cottonwood in Region 3, Logan at Judge in 3AA North and in non-region battles, Dixie at Canyon View and Richfield at Union.

First-time Pairings

This week sees four first-time meetings. East hosts Pulaski Academy (Ark.), a team that eschews punts and punt returns, embraces on-side kicks and two-point conversion attempts, and relishes trick plays. Other first-time meetings include Bear River traveling to Ridgeline, Desert Hills visiting Grantsville and Skyridge invading Timpanogos.

Most-Played Rivalries (min. 40 games)

Felt’s Facts typically has a 50-game minimum for highlighting long-running series, but no games meet that criteria this week, a rare event, and only two series contested this week have been played more than 40 times.

Davis and Viewmont renew their feud for the 49th time since their series began in 1964. The series was interrupted in the ’70s, but they have clashed every year since 1979. The Darts have claimed six straight over Viewmont to increase their series lead to 35-12-1.

Highland has a 28-17 series lead going into the 46th battle with Bountiful; they’ve split their last six meetings with two decided in overtime.

Other Game Notes

Cyprus and Pine View have tangled just once, in 2007. The result: a 37-16 Pine View win in Class 4A first-round game…. Whitehorse and Tohatchi (N.M.) meet for the second time; Whitehorse claimed a 47-8 victory in 2001…. Hurricane and Carbon face off for the third time; Hurricane captured contests in 2005 and 2006.

Dixie has captured 15 in a row over Canyon View; the Flyers are 18-1 against the Falcons, whose only series win came in 2000…. Bingham has taken 14 straight over West Jordan, who last beat the Miners in 2001. Bingham leads the series 28-7…. Kearns is on a seven-game winning streak against Copper Hills going back to 2007 and leads the series 10-5.

Alta has played Timpview 10 times, including every year since 2009. Their game opens action in Region 7 with the T-birds holding a 7-3 series edge over Alta. However, since 2009, Timpview has won just four of seven against the Hawks.

Stansbury and Tooele meet in the Battle of the Boot; Stansbury leads the series 4-3.

Milestone Games

Judge still seeks its first win of the season and 450th school victory. Bonneville, also winless in 2016, tries for its 350th victory.

Among coaches, Fremont’s Kory Bosgeiter aims for his 50th win with the Silver Wolves. Matt Labrum directs his 100th game in stints at Parowan and Union.

First-year Coaches

Five of the 28 head coaches who roam the sidelines with new schools remain undefeated after three weeks: Beaver’s Randy Hunter (first season there, but ninth overall), Enterprise’s Andy Messersmith (first-ever year), Layton Christian’s Andru Jones (first-ever year), South Summit’s Mike Grajek (first there, but fifth overall) and Summit Academy’s Les Hamilton (first there, but 14th overall).

Game Notes from Week 3

Beaver blasted Millard 63-0, the most points Beaver’s scored against the Eagles in their 39-game series history. It topped the previous high of 45 tallied just last year. (Millard’s most-points-allowed is 64 by Sky View in 1973.)

Beaver has now won a current state-high 14 consecutive games. With a victory over North Summit, the Beavers match their school-record 15-game winning streak set in 1973-74. The Beavers and East are the only defending champions that remain undefeated. (The other four, Diamond Ranch, Herriman, Juan Diego and Logan, have all lost at least once.)

Ridgeline handed Spanish Fork its first shutout since Aug. 26, 2005, a span of 127 games. It was the fifth longest current scoring streak and still is the eighth longest all-time. Bingham holds the longest current streak, 148 games, followed by Jordan, 137, Juan Diego, 134 and Timpview, 131. But Jordan has gone the most weeks without being shut out, since Oct. 15, 2004. Bingham’s streak began Aug. 19, 2005.

To match Skyline’s all-time record of 262 games, Bingham needs to score in every game and reach the state finals for the next eight years – plus two games.

Woods Cross suffered just its second shutout since 2008…. Uintah blanked Union, the first shutout by either team in the series since 2006.

Maple Mountain lost in overtime for the first time in school history; the Golden Eagles are now 3-1 all-time in OT contests…. Since opening in 1985, Rich has made every state playoff and is among the top-20 in all-time winning percentage (.615). But after dropping a 14-12 overtime heartbreaker to West Side (Idaho), the Rebels fell to 0-7 in all-time overtime games.

Career Updates

Three receivers continue to make their marks among the Top-20 in various career categories.

Jordan’s Spencer Curtis ranks fourth in all-time reception yards (3,311). To reach third, he needs just 16 more to overtake another Beetdigger, Cody Raymond (3,326 yards from 2005-07). Curtis has 192 catches, fifth-most all-time, but only six away from third place. He’s snared 30 career touchdown passes, which puts him 10th all-time and 11 off the state record.

Fremont’s Haze Hadley has 173 career receptions, which places him sixth, just behind Curtis. Hadley has 1,989 receiving yards; 11 more make him only the 24th Utah gridder to accumulate at least 2,000 career reception yards.

Provo’s Ty Jones caught two TD passes last week, bringing his career total to 25. That vaulted him into 20th place in TD receptions (tied with two others).

A Defender to Avoid

San Juan’s Jordan Blake has picked off a pass in each of the Broncos’ first three contests.

See you on the sidelines!

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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