Thanks to the Utah High School Activities Association’s new Ratings Percentage Index, every game counts for something when it comes to postseason seeding.
However, some games still count for more than others when it comes to bragging rights. For the Tooele and Stansbury football teams, the pursuit of a Region 10 championship begins Friday night, with the Buffaloes traveling to Ben Lomond and the Stallions playing host to Cedar Valley in the first week of region play.
Meanwhile, Grantsville will look to get back to .500 this week when it plays host to Delta in its final preseason game. The Region 13 schedule kicks off next week, and the Cowboys would like to build some momentum after three one-possession games to start their season.
Here’s a closer look at Friday’s games.
Cedar Valley Aviators (0-3)
at Stansbury Stallions (1-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Stallion Stadium, Stansbury High School, 5300 Stallion Way, Stansbury Park
Last week: Cedar Valley lost to Murray 49-24; Stansbury lost to Green Canyon 39-16
All-time series: First meeting
The scoop: Stansbury hasn’t been home since Week 1, and after back-to-back trips to Cache Valley to face Logan and Green Canyon, the Stallions are eager to play in front of their own fans.
Stansbury’s spread offense is starting to take shape, led by junior quarterback Kru Huxford. After struggling in the Stallions’ first game against Sky View, Huxford has gone 31-for-47 for 419 yards through the air over the past two games, and the rushing attack has accounted for 699 yards through the first three games of the season. Tommy Christopherson has 373 yards on 53 rushing with five touchdowns this season.
Gabe Harris has been a force on both sides of the ball, catching 18 passes for 368 yards and two scores on offense with four interceptions and two pick-sixes on defense.
The Aviators are going through the typical struggles of a first-year program, giving up at least 42 points in each of their first three games. The Cedar Valley offense has shown some explosiveness, particularly through the air, where sophomore quarterback Payton Weber has thrown for 422 yards and five touchdowns, though the rushing attack has managed just 108 yards in three games.
Tooele Buffaloes (1-2)
at Ben Lomond Scots (0-3)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Spence Eccles Ogden Community Sports Complex, 1950 Monroe Blvd., Ogden
Last week: Tooele defeated Minico (Idaho) 30-23; Ben Lomond lost to Morgan 49-0
Last meeting: At Tooele 63, Ben Lomond 21, Sept. 21, 2018
Since 1970: Tooele leads 17-9
The scoop: Tooele broke through for its first victory under coach Andru Jones last week, holding on for a victory over one of Idaho’s better Class 4A programs at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena. On Friday, they’ll face a Ben Lomond squad that has lost its past 26 games, a skid that dates back to an Oct. 7, 2016, game against Judge Memorial.
The Buffaloes enjoyed their strongest offensive game of the season against Minico, as quarterback Kulani Iongi threw three touchdown passes and running back Nukuluve Helu had 167 of Tooele’s season-high 218 rushing yards.
On the other side, it has been another frustrating start for Ben Lomond. The Scots have been shut out by Payson and Morgan, and they lost by just four points to American Leadership Academy in their only game on their temporary home field this season despite allowing more than 400 yards of total offense.
Ben Lomond has not defeated Tooele since 2011, a season in which the Scots won just two games and the Buffaloes went winless.
Delta Rabbits (1-2)
at Grantsville Cowboys (1-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Cowboy Stadium, Grantsville High School, 155 E. Cherry St., Grantsville
Last week: Delta lost to Millard 24-12; Grantsville lost to Manti 12-7
Last meeting: At Delta 19, Grantsville 18, Oct. 28, 2016 (Class 3A Quarterfinals)
Since 1970: Delta leads 9-2
The scoop: Both teams are looking to get some traction going into next week’s region openers, as Delta has been outscored 60-12 in back-to-back losses to Beaver and Millard and Grantsville has managed just 13 points in its two losses to North Sanpete and Manti.
The Cowboys were held to just 60 yards on the ground in last week’s loss, and completed a season-low 44.8% of their pass attempts. That canceled out a stellar defensive effort from Grantsville that included a pair of interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Delta scored 34 points in an impressive season-opening win over San Juan, but the Rabbits have been in a tailspin since. They went 10-for-12 for 112 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos, but are just 11-for-32 for 167 yards and five interceptions in the past two games. Delta’s rushing attack rebounded with 194 yards and two scores against Millard after managing just 55 yards against Beaver, but they’ll have their hands full against a Grantsville defense that has been dominant at times in allowing just 13 points per game.
Grantsville’s most recent win in the head-to-head series against the Rabbits was Oct. 17, 2014, when the Cowboys beat Delta 15-12. The two schools haven’t played each other that often over the past 50 seasons, with Grantsville’s only other win against the Rabbits in that stretch coming in a 24-12 triumph in the Class 2A quarterfinals on Nov. 2, 1973. Grantsville went on to lose to Dixie in the state championship game that year.