By Kurt Johnson
Photos by Kevin McInnis & Kurt Johnson
Week 2 of postseason play produced mostly the expected results and now the 1A, 2A and 3A classifications are headed to their state title matchups this week, while the 3AA, 4A and 5A schools look to Rice Eccles Stadium for their state semifinals. There are a few survivors wearing the Cinderella slipper, but the big favorites will be tough to knock out.
Friday night featured a 4A quarterfinal matchup that has often been saved for a bit later in the tournament, as Timpview traveled to East. In the meantime, two big underdogs faced off for the right to reach Rice Eccles to face the Leopards and Maple Mountain, which started the season 0-5, took care of its business against Box Elder.
The list of elite individual performances from all across the state Thursday and Friday is long, so as we do each week, here is our best effort at recognizing the players and the numbers that jump out at us, at least from the stats for which we have access through the multiple sources we check….
At the bottom of each section you will find the list of matchups for next week’s 1A through 3A championship games and 3AA through 5A semifinals.
Class 5A quarterfinals
If you arrived late Friday afternoon, you missed a lot of early fireworks as Jordan (8-3) visited Lone Peak (11-1). On the first play from scrimmage, Beetdigger quarterback Crew Wakley connected with Isiah Jackson for an 80-yard touchdown. Not to be outdone, Lone Peak answered with an 81-yard Kobe Freeman touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, which was followed on the next offensive snap by a second 80-yard hook-up between Wakley and Jackson.
After that early explosion, the Knights seized control, rolling to a 59-37 win behind a huge six-touchdown performance from quarterback Dakota Hansen, who completed 23-of-30 passes for 348 yards and four scores and ran for 108 yards and two TDs on 10 carries. Jackson McChesney ran it 12 times for 95 yards and a touchdown and caught seven passes for 138 yards and a pair of scores, while Tyler MacPherson hauled in seven passes for 97 yards. Seth Corry, who was playing in his first game of the year after rejoining the team after rehabbing his injured knee, led Lone Peak with 12 tackles and two interceptions.
Wakley carried 23 times for 132 yards for Jordan and passed for 293 yards and four TDs. Jackson finished the game with five catches for 194 yards and three scores.
Christian Snowden carried 12 times for 90 yards and two touchdowns, and Chase Roberts turned his three catches into 91 yards and two scores as American Fork (8-5) knocked off Syracuse (7-4) 31-13. Brandon Bowen had 12 tackles for the Cavemen and Jonah Leung-Wai had a pair of sacks.
5A favorite Bingham (12-0) leaned on its outstanding defense to handle Lehi (8-4) 37-14 as Jaylon Vickers had two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Defense was also key for Fremont (10-1) in its 48-21 win over Taylorsville (5-7) as Heston Hobbs recorded 20 tackles and Colter Wilde had three sacks. When the Silver Wolves had the ball, Austin Freeman ran eight times for 135 yards and three touchdowns while Haze Hadley caught six passes for 88 yards and a TD.
5A semifinals (Thursday, Nov. 10 at University of Utah):
American Fork (8-5) vs. Lone Peak (11-1), 11 a.m.
Class 4A quarterfinals
The 4A favorite, East (12-0) had a chance to dispatch its long-time nemesis, Timpview (9-3) early and to do it on its home field. The Leopards took full advantage, and a year after handling the Thunderbirds in the state championship game, overcame six turnovers to knock them off once again, this time by a 47-34 count.
Jaylen Warren went for 249 yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries to take the lead in the all-time single-season rushing record chase, while Charlie Vincent turned his eight runs into 179 yards and three scores. Sati Tu’uhetaufa had 10 tackles for East.
Next up for the Leopards will be upstart Maple Mountain (7-5), which won its seventh straight game after an 0-5 start, a 32-8 winner over Box Elder (6-6). Garred Blanthorn led the way for the Golden Eagles on both sides of the ball, with 26 carries for 163 yards and two TDs alongside nine tackles on defense.
Will Dana connected on 20-of-28 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns to lead Alta (11-1) past Highland (8-3) 58-48. Josh Davis had a TD reception and ran for 151 yards and a score on 25 rushes, while Zach Engstrom caught seven balls for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and Landon Maxfield hauled in six aerials for 105 yards and a TD. MJ Tafisi had 20 tackles, a sack and an interception to pace the Hawk defense.
Springville (11-0) made its way back to Rice Eccles with a resounding 43-7 victory over Woods Cross (6-5) as Payton Kelepolo carried 16 times for 70 yards and two scores and Brennen Rymer scored three TDs on four receptions for 52 yards.
4A semifinals (Friday, Nov. 11 at University of Utah)
East (12-0) vs. Maple Mountain (7-5), 11 a.m.
Alta (11-1) vs. Springville (11-0), 2:30 p.m.
Class 3AA quarterfinals
Hobbs Nyberg did it all for Dixie (7-3), rushing for 128 yards, passing for a pair of scores and returning a punt for a touchdown as the Flyers held off Bear River (8-4) 26-25.
Desert Hills (8-2) ended an impressive inaugural season for Ridgeline (8-4) with a 49-24 win led by 332 yards in the ground game, with Nephi Sewell going for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries.
With its offense clicking both on the ground and through the air, Pine View (9-2) survived to upset Tooele (9-2) 38-36. Ryan Javines connected on 23-of-31 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a TD, while Michael Moten caught 10 passes for 126 yards. Jacob Mpungi was a force as a pass catcher with 6 receptions for 130 yards and a score, and he was, as usual, a force on the ground, with 152 yards and two TDs on 35 carries. Austin Peterson had 12 tackles for the Panthers.
Lincoln Powers had a strong game for Tooele with 154 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
With its running game powered by McCoy Didericksen’s 26 carries for 173 yards and four touchdowns and another 102 yards from Mitchell McIntyre, Stansbury (9-2) became the only team from the northern part of the state to reach the 3AA semifinals with its 54-0 win over Park City (6-6). Calvin Mead picked up a pair of sacks for the Stallion defense.
Stansbury (9-2) vs. Desert Hills (8-2), Thursday Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. (Rice Eccles Stadium)
Dixie (7-3) vs. Pine View (9-2), Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. (Southern Utah University)
Class 3A semifinals
Jake Dutson scored the game-winning touchdown with 24 seconds left as part of a 71-yard rushing night as Delta (9-3) knocked off Morgan (8-4) 21-14.
Led by the rushing attack, with Ryan Baker going for 154 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries, Zach Hoffman carrying 20 times for 156 yards and a score, and Alfonso Preciado picking up 112 yards and two TDs on nine runs, Juan Diego Catholic (7-4) took care of Juab (8-4) 61-36.
3A championship game (Sat. Nov. 12 at SUU)
Riley Bayles ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries and Nick Beasley completed 22-of-39 for 354 yards and a pair of TDs to lead South Summit (10-1) to a 38-21 win over San Juan (9-2). Parker Grajek caught nine passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, and Keagan Stracher caught eight balls for 118 yards and a score. Stracher also had two of South Summit’s five interceptions in the contest, while Jared Dansie also had a pair of picks.
Beaver (10-1) defeated Summit Academy (9-2) 35-14 behind the offense of Jordan Hardy, who picked up 146 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and a huge defensive effort. Walter LeBaron led the way with 12 tackles, while Trey Young and McCoy Bergstrom each picked off a pair of passes.
2A championship game (Sat. Nov. 12 at SUU)
Beaver (10-1) vs. South Summit (10-1), 11 a.m.
Class 1A semifinals
Tavin Ott completed 19-of-25 passes for 241 yards and two TDs, with six of those connections for 105 yards and both scores going to Monte Glover as Kanab (11-1) beat Rich (6-5) 21-0.
Duchesne (10-1) shut out Milford (7-4) 47-0 as Steven Skewes rushed 12 times for 153 yards and a touchdown and Weston Poulson carried 13 times for 104 yards and a pair of scores.
1A championship game (Sat. Nov. 12 at SUU)