Felt’s Facts: Plenty on the line in regular season finale

Felt’s Facts – Week 10 2017

Although the champions of 12 of the 18 regions have been decided, the regular season for the 5A, 4A and 1A classifications climaxes with key contests for the remaining region championships and playoff berths.

All Class 6A regions have wrapped up league play. Week 10 sees Classes 3A and 2A kick off their postseason a week earlier than the rest of the state. That’s been a practice in 2A for 13 straight years, since 2005, but the first time for 3A.

Region Championships

Among the 18 region races, 11 teams have captured outright, undefeated league crowns: Weber (Region 1), Kearns (Region 2), East (Region 3), Bingham (Region 4), Viewmont (Region 5), Dixie (Region 9), Stansbury (Region 11), Sky View (Region 12), Morgan (3A North), South Summit (2A North) and Beaver (2A South).

Juab, Juan Diego and Summit Academy share the 3A South championship.

Six teams claim outright, undefeated titles by winning this week: Lehi (Region 6), Corner Canyon (Region 7), Springville (Region 8), the winner of Spanish Fork at Orem (Region 10), the winner of Layton Christian at Duchesne (1A North) and the winner of Parowan at Milford (1A South).

In Region 6, Skyline can force a three-way tie for first with Highland and Lehi by defeating Lehi.

In Region 7, a Jordan victory at Corner Canyon and a Timpview win over visiting Cottonwood creates a co-championship between CC and Timpview.

In Region 8, Provo upsetting Springville causes a shared championship between Springville and the winner of Skyridge at Wasatch.

Tournament Talk

A whopping 73 schools are already guaranteed tournament action, leaving just seven berths up for grabs among 10 eligible schools.

Among the 73 that have secured berths, 57 repeat from last season. Seven of the 16 non-repeaters last made the tourney in 2015: Bountiful, Corner Canyon, Judge Memorial, Mountain Crest, North Sanpete, Spanish Fork and Union.

Skyridge, in its second season, makes its first-ever appearance.

The other eight teams guaranteed playoff spots and the last time each made the tourney: Carbon (2000), Cyprus (2008), Bonneville (2009), Granger (2012), Richfield (2013), and Parowan, Riverton and Weber (all 2014).

Among teams still hoping to qualify for the postseason, Mountain View and Payson have gone the longest without seeing tournament action. Neither has qualified since 2012. Brighton, still fighting for a playoff spot, last made the playoffs in 2015. The other seven teams trying for a berth – Alta, Cedar, Desert Hills, Jordan, Pine View, Salem Hills and Snow Canyon – all appeared last year. Alta hasn’t missed postseason action since 1997, a span of 20 seasons and the longest of those just-mentioned schools. But a loss to rival Brighton would force a possible three-way tie between Alta, Brighton and Jordan for the remaining two spots in Region 7.

Hurricane is out of the playoffs after 12 straight appearances from 2005-2016, Davis stays home for the first time after 11 consecutive postseasons and Box Elder is eliminated for the first time since 2010.

Class 3A First-round Games

  • Carbon at Juan Diego – seventh meeting; JD leads the series 6-0. This game marks their first playoff clash; they last met in 2016.
  • Emery at Richfield – 42nd meeting; Richfield leads 24-17 since 1963. They last battled on Aug. 18 (Week 1) when the Wildcats defeated Emery 21-14 at Richfield.
  • Manti at Judge Memorial – fifth meeting; JM leads 4-0. They last tangled in a 2014 Class 3A semifinal, which Judge won 35-21.
  • North Sanpete at Union – 18th meeting; Union leads 9-8. They faced off on Aug. 25 (Week 2) when the Cougars slipped by NS 27-21 at Union.

Here’s the host teams’ playoff record at home, the last time they hosted and their last home playoff victory:

  • Juan Diego: 18-5; 2016; 2016
  • Judge Memorial: 14-8; 2014; 2014
  • Richfield: 20-5; 2012; 2012
  • Union: 6-5; 2014; 2014

Class 2A First-round Games

  • Enterprise at American Leadership – second meeting; Enterprise defeated the Eagles 37-6 in a 2015 Class 2A first-round game in their only previous encounter.
  • Gunnison at North Sevier – 26th meeting; Gunnison leads the series 16-9. They met on Aug. 25 (Week 2) when the Wolves whipped Gunnison 41-14.
  • North Summit at San Juan – ninth meeting; SJ leads 7-1. Six of their eight previous clashes came in the playoffs; North Summit’s only series victory was in 2007. The last met in a 2011 Class 2A quarterfinal, which San Juan won 38-0.
  • South Sevier at Millard – 38th meeting; Millard leads 28-9. The Eagles defeated SS 40-0 in a 2015 Class 2A first-round game the last time they met.

Here’s the host teams’ playoff record at home, the last time they hosted and their last home playoff victory:

  • American Leadership: first home playoff game
  • Millard: 42-9; 2015; 2015
  • North Sevier: 3-2; 2009; 2008
  • San Juan: 33-2: 2016; 2016 – the Broncos last lost a home playoff game in 1999, to Beaver. Since then SJ has won 15 straight. The other loss came in 1981, to Lehi.

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

By games played:

  • Dixie at Cedar (88th meeting) – Dixie leads the uninterrupted series 54-33 since 1949. It’s the second most-played uninterrupted active rivalry and 10th most-played overall. The Flyers have won seven straight over Cedar and 10 of the last 11.
  • Parowan at Milford (85th meeting) – Milford owns a 44-37-4 series lead since 1942 and has taken two straight over the Rams.
  • Provo at Springville (75th meeting) – Provo controls the series 42-28-4 since 1908; they last battled in 2014. Springville enjoys a six-game winning streak over the Bulldogs.
  • Ogden at Bear River (65th meeting) – Ogden has a 36-27-1 series lead since 1922; they last met in 2012. The Tigers have won three of their last four games with BR.

First-Time Pairings (8)

  • Green Canyon at Ben Lomond
  • IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) at East
  • Jordan at Corner Canyon
  • Kanab JV at Wayne
  • Northridge at Woods Cross
  • Skyline at Lehi
  • Skyridge at Wasatch
  • Taylorsville at Westlake

Been a While…

Nine contests pair teams that haven’t met for at least five seasons.

  • Payson at Logan (last met in 1982) – Payson claimed a Class A quarterfinal victory in 1967, but Logan took a pair of regular season encounters in 1981 and ’82.
  • Mountain View at West (1998) – West grabbed a 1980 playoff victory over MV, but the Bruins took two regular season games in 1997 and ’98.
  • Mountain Crest at Tooele (2004) – MC is 3-1 against the Buffaloes all in regular season games.
  • Cottonwood at Timpview (2008) – Timpview dominates the series 5-0 including a 34-28 victory in the 2008 Class 4A finals.
  • Roy at Layton (2010) – Layton has a narrow 12-10 series lead.
  • Canyon View at Pine View (2012) – Pine View holds a 14-2 series lead as they battled annually from 1997-2012.
  • Kearns at Riverton (2012) – Kearns defeated the Silverwolves in their first season, 1999, but Riverton has won nine over the Cougars since.
  • Maple Mountain at Timpanogos (2012) – The series is knotted at 1-1; the Timberwolves prevailed 21-16 in 2011, but MM avenged the loss 14-13 in 2012.
  • Ogden at Bear River (2012) – see Most-played Rivalries, above.
  • Pleasant Grove at West Jordan (2012) – PG has a 4-2 series lead.

Perfect Regular Seasons

Three teams, Bingham, Sky View and South Summit – all 9-0 and with byes this week – wrapped up their 2017 regular seasons with unblemished records. Corner Canyon becomes the fourth if the Chargers beat Jordan.

It’s Bingham’s fifth undefeated regular season and first since 2013 (also 2005, 2006 and 2010). Sky View celebrates its fourth and first since 2014 (also 1969 and 2006). South Summit enjoys its second and first since 2015.

In its previous four campaigns, Corner Canyon secured an unbeaten regular season once, in 2014.

Winning Streaks

Bingham, Sky View and South Summit have all won nine straight, the longest active streaks followed by Corner Canyon and Weber, which have gone home happy eight times in a row.

East enjoys a seven-game winning streak. Six teams – Beaver, Layton Christian, Lehi, Morgan, Orem and Stansbury – have won five straight.

2017’s Most-Improved Teams

Millard continues to lead the state as this year’s most-improved squad, going from 0-10 in 2016 to 6-3 so far, an improvement of 6.5 games. (The NCAA calculates this by taking the difference in victories and the difference in losses, adding the two numbers and dividing by 2.) Weber (3-7 to 8-1) is 5.5 games better and Mountain Crest (3-6 to 8-1) has improved by 5.0 games.

Winless Teams

With all the teams in Classes 3A, 2A and 1A qualifying for the postseason, a record three winless squads enter the tournament: Carbon, Gunnison and North Sanpete.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, 10 teams remain winless. That’s an unusually high number for this late in the season. If none of them pick up a victory this week, the 2017 season goes down as the worst year for winless teams in Utah prep history. The previous high was eight squads last season.

Milestones

Jordan aims for its 550th win, Murray goes for its 350th while Roy tries for its 250th. Jordan also plays its 1,000th contest. Only West (1,033 games) and Ogden (1,011) have played more games. Richfield takes the field for the 750th time.

Among coaches, Brandon Matich directs his 100th game at East.

Region Champs Part II

By winning this week, the following schools capture an outright region champion. Those with an asterisk have already captured at least a share of their league crown. Here are their number of region titles, including this season, and the last year each won.

  • Corner Canyon * – third, 2014
  • Duchesne – 14th and third straight, 2016
  • Layton Christian – first
  • Lehi * – 13th, 2004
  • Milford – fourth, 1999
  • Orem – 27th, 2013
  • Parowan – second, 1989
  • Spanish Fork – ninth, 2012
  • Springville * – 25th and third straight, 2016

Under the right circumstances, these teams could get at least a portion of a region championship, and here are their number of region titles, including this season, and the last year each won.

  • Highland (if Skyline beats Lehi) – 16th, 2009
  • Skyline (if the Eagles defeat Lehi) – 22nd, 2012
  • Skyridge (if the Falcons win and Provo defeats Springville) – first
  • Timpview (if the T-birds win and Brighton defeats Alta) – 21st, 2015
  • Wasatch (if the Wasps win and Provo defeats Springville) – 21st, 2007

Juab also claimed a share of the 3A South region crown; the Wasps were omitted from last week’s region champs list in Felt’s Facts. The championship marks Juab’s 10th and fourth consecutive.

See you on the sidelines!

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