There are still several weeks to go in the 2020 high school football season, but it’s hard not to see Week 6 as key to the Region 10 championship battle.
Stansbury plays host to Park City this week in a matchup of the region’s preseason championship favorites. Stansbury has been dominant during its current four-game winning streak and finds itself with a top-5 ranking in the Ratings Percentage Index, but Park City is the defending region champion and isn’t about to concede anything to the Stallions.
Tooele is hoping to emerge from Region 10’s muddled middle with a key game of its own Friday night against Ogden. If the Buffaloes can pick up a win on the road, it can only help their confidence — and their ranking in the RPI.
Meanwhile, Grantsville faces its toughest test of the season: a road game against defending Class 2A champion Beaver, owner of an 18-game winning streak. It’s the perfect final tune-up for the Region 13 season, as the Cowboys will put their own four-game winning streak on the line.
Here’s a look at this week’s games, with RPI rankings.
No. 9 Park City Miners (3-2, 2-0 Region 10) at No. 5 Stansbury Stallions (4-1, 2-0)
Where: Stallion Stadium, Stansbury High School; 5300 N. Stallion Way (Aberdeen Lane), Stansbury Park
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Stansbury beat Tooele, 44-21; Park City beat Ogden, 48-3
All-Time Series: Stansbury leads 8-2
Last Meeting: at Park City 38, Stansbury 14; Sept. 20, 2019
The Scoop: Stansbury and/or Park City has won at least a share of the region title every season since 2016, and that streak appears likely to continue in 2020. Friday’s game will be a major determining factor in whether it’s the Stallions or the Miners who end up celebrating come October.
Stansbury is capable of beating opponents on the ground or through the air. Kru Huxford is completing 60.9% of his passes, throwing for 964 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions, while also leading his team in rushing (64 carries, 542 yards, four touchdowns). Cayden Clark has been his primary target, catching 14 balls for 312 yards and six TDs, with Brandon Funk (five catches, 190 yards, two TDs), Pae Tia (11-149-1) and Koy McGee (6-102-0) part of a dangerous arsenal. Nate Bushnell has rushed for 457 yards and nine scores.
Carson Tabaracci is a dual threat at quarterback for a potent Park City offense, throwing for 417 yards and five TDs to go with 365 rushing yards and one score. Max Alford (384 yards, six TDs), Seth Warner (351 yards, five TDs) and Kirby Baynes (207 yards, three TDs) are all capable of big plays in the run game, while Chase Beyer (437 yards, four TDs) gives the Miners another dimension at quarterback. Max Alford (16 catches, 273 yards, one TD), Trond Grizzell (13-171-3) and Sam Alford (8-220-4) are Park City’s leading receivers.
No. 19 Tooele Buffaloes (1-4, 1-1) at No. 10 Ogden Tigers (3-2, 0-2)
Where: Ogden High School, 2828 Harrison Blvd., Ogden
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Tooele lost to Stansbury, 44-21; Ogden lost to Park City, 48-3
Since 1970: Tooele leads 13-8
Last Meeting: at Tooele 21, Ogden 14; Sept. 20, 2019
The Scoop: Both teams are coming off blowout losses to two of Region 10’s best last week, and they’re each trying to get their seasons back on track.
After finally breaking through for their first win of the season in Week 4 against Ben Lomond, the Buffaloes struggled early against Stansbury. However, they were much improved in the second half, scoring a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns on a touchdown pass to Dylan Makoni and a long run by Mateaki Helu.
Helu has run for 209 yards in Tooele’s past two games to give the Buffs a spark in the backfield, along with Anthony Cole (352 yards, three TDs). Justic Tadifa has thrown for 491 yards and five scores, with Helu and Makoni combining for 17 receptions, 252 yards and three TDs against Ben Lomond and Stansbury.
After routing Union, Providence Hall and Milford in its first three games, Ogden has come back to Earth with a pair of double-digit margins of defeat against Mountain View and Park City. Last week, the Tigers managed just 184 yards of total offense, including a season-low 103 passing yards for quarterback Jaice Holt.
Ogden running back Logan Shobe has rushed for just 158 yards over the past two games after gaining 629 in the Tigers’ first three contests. Still, Holt and Shobe are major threats, as are receivers Ozzy Norton (18 receptions, 249 yards, one TD) and Enrique Gomez (14-263-3).
No. 4 (3A) Grantsville Cowboys (4-1) at No. 2 (2A) Beaver Beavers (5-0, 2-0 2A South)
Where: Beaver High School, 195 E. Beaver Blvd., Beaver
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Grantsville beat San Juan, 39-14; Beaver beat Milford, 48-7
Since 1970: Grantsville leads 7-5
Last Meeting: at Beaver 10, Grantsville 3; Oct. 29, 1999
The Scoop: This will be the Cowboys’ toughest test yet: going on the road against a defending state champion that hasn’t lost a game since November 2018.
Since that loss in the 2018 Class 2A semifinal, the Beavers have won 18 straight. Other than a 14-7 win over Duchesne in last year’s semifinals, none of them have been particularly close. In fact, only one team — Kanab in Week 8 of last year — has scored more than one touchdown against Beaver in the past two seasons, and only Kanab, Delta and South Summit have managed more than one score of any kind.
The Beavers have outscored their opponents 269-26 this season behind a three-headed monster in the rushing game: Turner Williams (62 carries, 574 yards, eight TDs), EJ Allred (56-518-9) and Treyson Hunter (35-357-5). Hunter has also thrown for 490 yards and seven TDs with just two interceptions.
However, Grantsville’s defense is on a roll of its own, allowing just 30 points over the past four games. The Cowboys will look to keep the Beavers’ high-powered offense off the scoreboard with that dominant defense, as well as offensively by controlling the clock with their run game — a strategy that has worked wonders in recent weeks. Blake Thomas (86 carries, 655 yards, 10 TDs) is the Cowboys’ workhorse in the run game, while quarterback Caleb Sullivan has been efficient with 706 passing yards and 208 more on the ground.