Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that as many as 100,000 people die from blood clots every year

Jamesen Burraston, the starting defensive tackle for Morgan High, was diagnosed with blood clots just before the playoffs started. 

Doctors told him he was done with football for the season, probably for the rest of his life and Burraston was grateful to be alive at all knowing what could have happened.

Last week, he had a doctor's appointment where he learned he was recovering very well, well enough to play.

The doctor, somewhat reluctantly, cleared him to play sparingly in last week's state championship game.

So Burraston made a tackle-for-loss on the first play of Juab's second series, ending the game with four tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack and a forced fumble.

When Burraston told his teammates last week that he would be able to play in the state title game, it sent a surge of energy through the team.

FALLING BEHIND?

The last time a Weber or Davis County prep football team won a state championship was Davis High in 2004.

Davis (2009), Fremont (2010, 2011), Layton Christian (2011), Syracuse (2012) and Roy (2014) have all come up short in the championship game ever since.

Perhaps just as difficult is getting to a state semifinal, which no one from Region 1 or Region 5 did this year after Roy's semifinal appearance last year.

Might Weber and Davis County be falling behind?

All four 5A semifinalists this year are from Utah County. Two of the 6A semifinalists were from Utah County after it had three last year.

6A and 5A football is owned first by Corner Canyon and then Utah County.

Farmington High, operating this year with basically 22 returning starters, unparalleled depth and 6A enrollment, plowed through its season, was the best team in Weber or Davis County this year and lost in the quarterfinals to a Lehi team that was tied for second in its region.

Then, Lehi got blasted 35-7 in the semis by Timpview.

Syracuse was the only Region 1 team to get into the quarterfinals and lost 56-0 by Corner Canyon.

The other Region 1 teams who made it out of the first round lost by 21, 22 and 40. So how is a Weber/Davis County school going to win a state football championship?

Probably a combination of a few things:

1. A really big and physical team that’s balanced on offense and has a solid defense. 

2. A down year from each classifications’ respective powerhouses, which if we’re being honest is really unlikely. American Fork, Orem and for that matter, Sky View in 4A were all supposed to have “down years” this year and they’re playing for the crown this Friday.

3. A second-year school playing one classification lower than it should and having the entirety of its team returning. This situation won’t present itself for at least several more years.

4. A fluke? 

Skyline ran the show in the 1990s, then Northridge came along for a few years, then Bingham and Timpview took over.

Success breeds success and the more a team wins, the more likely it is that more kids try out, creating more depth, etc. Even that isn't enough.

High school football just goes in phases.

ONE LAST THING ABOUT THE RPI

This Friday's football state championship games feature the No. 1 vs. the No. 7 seed in 6A, then the No. 1 and the No. 2 in 4A.

But let’s look at 5A for a minute because it features traditional power Timpview against back-to-back 4A champ Orem.

Or, as the seeds on the official bracket say, the No. 10 and the No. 12.

Wait, what?

For starters, the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) formula used to seed the state tournament is based on wins, losses and the wins and losses of a team's opponents.

The "underseeding" of Orem and Timpview comes from each team’s ambition.

THS had five non-region games: three against 6 schools (2-1 record), one against an out-of-state team (0-1) and another against a 5A school (1-0).

OHS had four: two losses against 6A schools, a win against an out-of-state school and a loss against Bishop Gorman from Las Vegas.

THS entered the playoffs with a 7-3 record and Orem was 5-4, both against brutal schedules.

They were "underseeded" because several other schools had better regular-season records, there’s no benefit in the RPI to losing to an upper-classification school and good out-of-state opponents aren't given the same weight as a good in-state team.

Otherwise, both THS and OHS are in the top eight, at least.

If the seeding in 5A is so skewed that No. 12 Orem beat top-seeded Salem Hills by 37 in the semifinals and if No. 10 Timpview beat second-seeded Provo by 19 in the quarterfinals, then something needs to change.

Regardless if anything changes or not, this is a perfect example that seeding is indeed just a number. 

You can reach prep sports reporter Patrick Carr via email at pcarr@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @patrickcarr_ and on Facebook at facebook.com/patrickcarr17/.

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