Despite Grantsville’s loss to Juan Diego in the first round, Region 11 still sports as many remaining teams in the first round as the perennial powerhouse Region 9.
In fact, Region 11 will get to measure itself against Region 9 on Friday during the quarterfinals of the 3A state playoffs. Tooele County’s Stansbury Stallions host the Dixie Flyers at 5 p.m. on Friday, and Region 11 cohort Bear River heads south to take on the Desert Hills Thunder, a team that Stansbury beat on Sept. 28. If there ever was a time for the region to prove its return to glory from the early 2000s, a time when either Tooele or Bear River won four out of five state championships between 2002-2006, now is that time.
Desert Hills won the Region 9 championship this year, but it hosts Bear River on Friday with three losses on its record. Desert Hills won Region 9 by defeating Hurricane in a three-overtime game on Oct. 11. Bear River comes in at 7-4 after upsetting Wasatch in the first round on Friday 36-6. This game starts at 5 p.m. on Friday in St. George.
The Morgan Trojans, Region 11’s No. 2 seed, goes on the road to Region 12’s top-seeded Spanish Fork Dons. Morgan comes into the game at 7-4, dismantling the Judge Memorial Bulldogs 30-0 in the first round last week.
Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen said the two games his team played against Bear River and Morgan were tough. He told Transcript-Bulletin sports editor Mark Watson after the Morgan game that the St. George schools and Juan Diego were viewed as the cream of the crop, but do not overlook Morgan.
Spanish Fork received a scare from the Region 9 No. 4 seed Pine View, edging out a 26-21 win. Pine View scored on Spanish Fork with 5:30 remaining the game to force the score to 26-21. Spanish Fork was able to run out the clock and win the game. The Morgan vs. Spanish Fork game takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday.
The other 3A game taking place on Friday is a rematch of three different state championship games. Hurricane visits Juan Diego on Friday, and this matchup took place in three consecutive title games between 2008-2010. Juan Diego won all three games. Finally in 2011, the two teams did not meet, and Hurricane defeated Desert Hills in that state championship game. Juan Diego comes in ranked No. 1 in 3A and having disposed of Grantsville 34-0. Hurricane comes in as the No. 2 seed from Region 9 and only losing the overtime game to Desert Hills. Hurricane blanked Delta 38-0 in the first round. Hurricane and Juan Diego face off in Draper at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The 5A state playoffs continue with three games starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and another at 5 p.m.
Davis (7-4) visits Lone Peak (9-2) in one of the 4 p.m. games. Davis shut out Kearns 38-0 on the road last week. Lone Peak played a 24-17 game against 8-5 Brighton last week.
Fremont (4-6) visits Bingham (9-2) in a surprise matchup. Fremont upset 7-3 Hunter, Region 2’s top seed, 14-6. Bingham destroyed Cottonwood 52-13 in its first game.
Region 3’s No. 1 seed Jordan (9-1) hosts Region 1’s No. 2 seed Northridge (9-2) in a battle of top 10 teams. Jordan is ranked No. 1 and Northridge is ranked No. 7 in the statewide rankings. Jordan’s only loss was a one-point loss to California’s St. John Bosco High School 34-33.
Alta (9-2) heads on the road to face Syracuse (10-0) in the 5 p.m. game. Syracuse defeated Viewmont 54-0 in the first round. Alta got by Riverton (6-5) 27-14.
Timpview (6-5) and Woods Cross (9-2) get all football action started on Friday with a 3 p.m. start time. Timpview upset Logan (8-3) in the first round 49-14. No. 1-seed Woods Cross shut out Westlake 35-0.
Bountiful (9-2) goes on the road to take on Region 5’s No. 1 seed Mountain Crest (9-2) at 4 p.m. Neither team was challenged in the first round as Mountain Crest defeated Timpanogos 36-6, and Bountiful defeated Skyline 35-6.
East (4-7), the controversial No. 4 seed from Region 6 that earned a playoff spot even after forfeiting several wins this season because of using ineligible players, will take on Box Elder (7-4) at 4 p.m. Box Elder shut out Maple Mountain 20-0 last week, and East beat Herriman (8-3), Region 7’s No. 1 seed, 27-16.
Highland (7-4) takes on Orem (8-3) to round out the 4A quarterfinals. Highland defeated Olympus 20-14 in its first round matchup, and Orem won a shootout against Sky View 41-31.
Southern Utah University welcomes in the best of 2A football on Saturday.
Manti (9-1) battles Grand (7-3) in the first game at 11 a.m. Manti beat down Beaver 38-7 in the 2A quarterfinals, and Grand out-gunned Millard 48-33.
Then at 2 p.m. San Juan (10-0) takes on South Summit (8-2). San Juan dismantled Emery 56-13 in the quarterfinals, and South Summit squeaked by Richfield 21-14.
The 1A playoffs head to Hillcrest High School in Midvale.
Duchesne (10-0) faces Monticello (7-4) at 11 a.m. Duchesne opened the playoffs with a 55-22 drubbing of Milford. Monticello beat down Summit Academy 41-6.
Rich (7-3) and Altamont (5-6) face each other in the following game at 2 p.m. Rich beat Monument Valley 48-20 in the quarterfinals, and Altamont upset Diamond Ranch 35-20.