1st-round prep football matchups unveiled; 4 Northern Utah teams get 1st-round byes
Four Northern Utah prep football teams earned first-round byes in the upcoming state playoffs, the brackets for which were revealed Saturday morning.
Region 1 champion Weber is the No. 4 seed in 6A and Farmington is No. 6, meaning both won’t play until hosting second-round games on Oct. 29.
Region 5 champ Bountiful is No. 4 in 5A, and 3A North co-champ Morgan is No. 4 in 3A.
In 6A specifically, the cards and numbers fell in such a way that the Weber (8-2) quarter of the draw is wide open, meaning someone new will play in a state semifinal this year.
Weber last made a semifinal in 1999, the year it won the state title; No. 5 Mountain Ridge opened in 2019 and hasn’t even won a playoff game yet; No. 12 Syracuse went to the semis in 2012; No. 13 Layton went to the semis in 2007; No. 20 Hunter was last in the semis in 2009.
No. 21 Pleasant Grove has the most recent semifinal experience of the bunch, going in 2018 from the vaunted Region 4. The same powerhouse Region 4 that got the top three seeds in 6A with Corner Canyon, Lone Peak and Skyridge.
American Fork, the consensus No. 4 team in the state in many power rankings, is the No. 8 seed with Bingham dropping to the No. 7 seed after losing to Riverton on Thursday.
Both teams beat Weber by 20-plus points in non-region play, but neither will come through the Weber quarter of the draw, which is set up about as good as possible for the Warriors — or someone else — to potentially make the semifinals.
In the rest of 6A, Farmington will host the West/Granger winner in two weeks. The Phoenix have won seven straight games.
Syracuse (6-4) will host Pleasant Grove (1-9) in the first round with the winner traveling to Mountain Ridge (Herriman).
Layton (5-4) will host Hunter, a former region foe that the Lancers are 3-7 against all-time, in the first round. The winner goes to Weber in the second round.
Should Layton win, it would be the third consecutive year that Weber would have a home playoff game against a Region 1 team that it beat in the regular season; the Warriors lost the previous two games by one point each time.
Roy (7-3) is the No. 14 seed and hosts No. 19 Westlake, the first meeting between the two schools in football (Westlake opened in 2009). The winner faces No. 3 Skyridge in the next round.
Davis (5-5) is the No. 15 seed and the Darts host Herriman in the first round. The winner faces No. 2 Lone Peak.
Fremont (4-6) has the No. 17 seed and visits No. 16 Kearns in the first round. The winner gets an unenviable second-round game at No. 1 Corner Canyon.
Clearfield (1-9) is No. 23, two spots above the cutoff for playoff qualification, and goes to No. 10 West Jordan. The winner faces No. 7 Bingham in the second round
In 3A, Ogden (3-7) grabbed the No. 9 seed and will face No. 8 Manti (3-6) on the road, while No. 12 Ben Lomond (1-9) heads to No. 5 North Sanpete (4-6).
Ogden and Manti (3-6) played some common opponents (Union, Grantsville, Morgan and Canyon View), but with differing results. The Tigers went 0-4 against that group while Manti beat Union and CV by double digits.
The fun fact about this matchup is that Ogden and Manti will meet for the first time ever, despite OHS starting football in 1898 and Manti in 1920, according to prep football historian George Felt.
The Ben Lomond-North Sanpete winner will face No. 4 Morgan in the second round. The Trojans, co-champions of the 3A North region with Grantsville and Juan Diego, finished the regular season 7-3.
In 5A, the mild surprise is Box Elder getting into the playoffs as the No. 24 seed. The Bees were on the cusp last week even before losing to Ridgeline last Wednesday, but enough movement above and below them got BEHS into the bracket.
They’ll travel to No. 9 Tooele for a first-round matchup, meeting the Buffaloes for the first time since the 1992 playoffs (this is also a “rematch” of the 1957 state championship game that Box Elder won 13-12).
Northridge, the No. 18 seed, visits No. 15 Bonneville in the first round. The teams played each other in a region game a couple weeks ago that Bonneville won 49-42. The winner moves on to face the overwhelming favorite in 5A, No. 2 Timpview.
Region 5 champion Bountiful (7-2) is the No. 4 seed and gets a first-round bye after ending the regular season on a dominant six-game winning streak.
BRIAN WOLFER, Special to the Standard-Examiner Syracuse ball-carrier Tyson Stapley, left, tries to fight off the tackle of Weber’s Teegan Humphreys (16) during a prep football game Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, in Syracuse.
In the second round, the Redhawks will host the Skyline-Park City winner. BHS blew a 30-10 fourth-quarter lead to Skyline back in September, losing 38-36, and also lost to the Eagles 38-28 in last year’s playoffs.
In 4A, No. 13 Bear River (0-9) travels to No. 4 Dixie (6-3) for a first-round playoff game, a rematch of a controversial 26-25 Flyers win in the 2016 playoffs that had a hotly disputed game-winning TD catch in the fourth quarter. DHS is currently coached by Blaine Monkres, the longtime former Morgan and Fremont head coach, and former Roy assistant coach.
Northern Utah teams. Game times to be determined.
6A: No. 19 Westlake at No. 14 Roy, No. 21 Pleasant Grove at No. 12 Syracuse, No. 20 Hunter at No. 13 Layton, No. 18 Herriman at No. 15 Davis, No. 17 Fremont at No. 16 Kearns, No. 23 Clearfield at No. 10 West Jordan. (No. 4 Weber and No. 6 Farmington have a first-round bye.)
5A: No. 18 Northridge at No. 15 Bonneville, No. 24 Box Elder at No. 9 Tooele. (No. 4 Bountiful has a first-round bye.)
4A: No. 13 Bear River at No. 4 Dixie
3A: No. 9 Ogden at No. 8 Manti, No. 12 Ben Lomond at No. 5 North Sanpete. (No. 4 Morgan has a first-round bye.)
1A: No. 11 Monticello at No. 6 Layton Christian