Both Grantsville and Stansbury play in key region games Thursday for 3A North and 3AA North.
The Cowboys battle the Morgan Trojans, who are tied for first place in 3A North with Judge Memorial at 3-0, defeating Emery, Carbon and Union along the way.
The Trojans have racked up the points in bunches this season, scoring more than 35 points in each of their six wins this year. The only time they didn’t score 35 was in a 13-12 loss to South Summit on Aug. 30. Morgan’s 41.1 points per game goes up against the stout Grantsville defense that’s given up just 9.2 points per game, including four shutouts. Those four shutouts this season are the most the Cowboys have had since 2000 and tied the single-season school record for most shutouts.
The home game is also a chance for Grantsville to move back into second place in the region, which would put it line for a home playoff game in the 3A State Quarterfinals. Following the game against Morgan, the Cowboys’ only remaining region game will be on the road against Union. They also have a non-region game against Delta on Wednesday.
The Stallions play in their biggest game of the season Thursday when the Juan Diego Soaring Eagle comes to town. Juan Diego is 4-0 in 3AA North, easily dispatching those four opponents with an average margin of victory of 41.5 points. Included in that average is Juan Diego’s 43-point win against Tooele, a team the Stallions beat last week by eight points in a rivalry game.
Thursday’s game against Juan Diego marks Clint Christiansen’s 50th game as the head coach for the Stallions.
The Tooele Buffaloes have a bye week this week before playing host to Uintah on Wednesday.
According to UHSAA.org, here are how the playoff brackets line up for the 2013 season.
In 3AA, the top six teams from each region qualify for the playoffs. The top two teams from the two regions clinch first round byes and will receive home games in the quarterfinals. The next four teams from each region then qualify for the playoffs in play-in games.
Stansbury sits tied for first place with Juan Diego, and it plays at Park City on Wednesday. Park City is also undefeated with wins against Tooele, Uintah and Ben Lomond. Tooele is currently tied for fifth place with Uintah and Ben Lomond.
Although the Buffaloes have not yet won a region game, they’re still alive for one of the play-in game spots, and their two remaining games are against the other bottom-dwellers of 3AA North.
The bracket isn’t as complicated in 3A. Only the top four teams from each of the two regions qualify for the playoffs, creating a straight-forward quarterfinals bracket. If the 3A state tournament started today, Grantsville would travel to Nephi to play against Juab in the quarterfinals, a team the Cowboys already beat 14-0.
There are still plenty of region games over the next three weeks, so the playoff positions could change drastically. One thing is certain: All three Tooele County teams are in the hunt.