Prep football preview: 2nd-round playoff game previews and predictions for Northern Utah
The second week of high school football playoffs for Northern Utah teams is upon us with four area teams at home.
Here’s a look at this Friday’s matchups along with kickoff times.
Last week’s prediction record: 8-4. Season prediction record: 110-34.
LAYTON at WEBER, 6 p.m.
For the third straight postseason, here’s Weber with a second-round 6A home playoff game against a Region 1 team it beat in the regular season.
No one has to remind the Warriors how the last two turned out, but in case there’s need for a memory refresh, Weber lost 28-27 to Layton in 2019, and 21-20 to Davis last year.
It’s an understatement to say the Warriors badly want to get out of the second round this year, but in their way is a Layton team on pretty much level footing.
This is a different game than when the teams met in September. Weber has a different quarterback, Aidan Carter, and mixes in a few more things on offense, including running Cannon DeVries out of the wildcat formation.
The Lancers have the advantage up front on both sides of the ball and Weber has the advantage in the skill positions. This should again be a close game like Weber’s 24-20 win earlier this season.
But the Warriors have been here before and it’s hard to imagine them losing a second-round home playoff game for a third year in a row.
OGDEN at JUAB, 5 p.m.
Ogden High football made history last week and, for a program that’s been around since the late 1800s, making history is hard to do anymore.
According to prep football historian George Felt, the Tigers won playoff games in consecutive seasons for the first time ever when they beat Manti on the road a week ago, adding to a first-round playoff win in 2020 against Ben Lomond.
The Tigers, according to Felt, played in the 1953 and 1954 state championship games and lost both, but back in those days, the title game was the only postseason game.
And just like last week, Ogden faces a team for the first time ever, despite this week’s opponent, Juab, starting football in 1955, according to Felt.
Right now, No. 9 Ogden is also in the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1997. This year the Tigers play the 3A No. 1 seed.
Despite the disparity in seeding, there’s a slim chance Ogden can win this one. Juab does one thing very well, though, and that’s get the ball to five different receivers. The Wasps are more sound defensively and bigger, as well.
BONNEVILLE at TIMPVIEW, 6 p.m.
No matter the result Friday, Bonneville has already clinched its fourth consecutive .500 or better season. That hasn’t been done since the Lakers had winning records for seven years in a row from 1994-2000.
Bonneville (6-4) takes its current four-game winning streak into Provo to face No. 2 Timpview (8-2), which is playing at the level of the dominant Timpview teams of the prior decade.
Making the No. 15 Lakers’ task tougher — it’s already tough facing a team with a dozen Division I prospects and a college sized offensive line — was the injury to quarterback Koy Dixon last week against Northridge.
WEST at FARMINGTON, 6 p.m.
Running back Kenyon Brown has been on a tear in October, rushing for 452 yards in three games on 7.53 yards per carry with seven touchdowns. Brown’s also a good kick returner and defensive back, and has helped key Farmington’s recent success.
It’s two solid offenses and two solid defenses going against each other in the second round of the 6A playoffs, as one would expect at this time of year.
West’s (8-1) size advantage up front on both sides is the difference-maker here unless Farmington (7-3) can get some turnovers, which the Phoenix is more than capable of.
SYRACUSE at MOUNTAIN RIDGE, 6 p.m.
Both teams have good defenses and both teams are OK on offense in this 6A second-round game. Mountain Ridge (8-2) has 28 sacks in 10 games, nearly twice that of No. 12 Syracuse (7-4), which has 17 in 11 games.
The Titans are better at forcing turnovers, with 21 interceptions and five fumble recoveries compared to the Sentinels’ 10 fumbles recovered and nine interceptions, or a 26-19 advantage.
It’s going to be a low-scoring game, which favors the team (Mountain Ridge) with the better kicker and the team that has more size across the board (Mountain Ridge).
Prediction: Mountain Ridge
BOX ELDER at TIMPANOGOS, 4 p.m.
Box Elder (4-7) is fresh off an upset of No. 9 Tooele, which gives the Bees playoff wins in consecutive years (ironically, they’ve scored 22 points in both those playoff wins).
The Bees get to face a team from Region 7 again in Friday’s 5A second round. Timpanogos did beat Tooele by 14 in the regular season and generally scores a ton of points.
In general, Box Elder has struggled against teams that pass the ball well, which is what the Timberwolves do, and the Bees might not have the added benefit of their opponent missing their best player this week.
Either way, it’s going to be a close game.
PARK CITY at BOUNTIFUL, 6 p.m.
As far as No. 4 vs. No. 20 matchups go, this is about the most neck-and-neck one you could find in this 5A second-round game.
Bountiful (7-2) and Park City (5-5) have a common opponent in Skyline, to whom the Redhawks lost 38-36 and to whom PC lost to 10-6 before getting the Eagles back 27-10 in the playoffs.
All Bountiful has to do really is get Corbin Cottle the ball. The junior has 1,196 rushing yards with 17 touchdowns and averages 10.1 yards per carry behind an offensive line that’s moving literal earth.
NORTH SANPETE at MORGAN, 5 p.m.
Morgan (7-3) quarterback Nick Despain should be back from injury this week, but even if he’s not, Tate Nelson has shown himself plenty dangerous for opposing defenses.
That, plus a good defense of its own, is why No. 4 Morgan looks good for this 3A quarterfinal matchup against No. 5 North Sanpete.
Fun fact: the last time the Trojans took the field, they held Union to minus-7 total yards of offense (16 passing, minus-23 rushing, according to Union’s MaxPreps page).
LAYTON CHRISTIAN at ENTERPRISE, 6 p.m.
Last year, Layton Christian was about to get on the bus for a first-round playoff game at Enterprise with interim head coach Ray Stowers at the helm, but instead went straight home once the Eagles found out they had too many positive COVID-19 cases on the team.
A year later, LCA’s in a much better spot heading into the 1A quarterfinals. Stowers was named permanent head coach a couple weeks after last season ended, the Eagles are 7-4, finished second in the 1A North region and have one of the best running games in the state.
Is it enough to beat No. 3 Enterprise (6-3) on the road? Yes.