Utah 4A High School State Tournament Matchups
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The first round of the UHSAA football state tournament begins this weekend. Sixteen teams are competing in each classification with hopes of raising the state championship trophy in mid-November.
Each week, KSL will take a look at the match-ups in each classification before the weekend’s action.
Here are the matchups for 4A
Region 11 No. 2-seed Park City Miners (7-3, 4-1) vs Region 10 No. 3-seed Salem Hills Skyhawks (5-4, 3-2)
Park City earned the No. 2 seed out of region 11 and home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Miners will look to wide receiver Mark McCurdy, who hauled in 15 touchdown receptions during the regular season. They host Salem Hills, who lost two region games against two favorites in the 4A classification, Orem and Spanish Fork. The Skyhawks will look to rely on the ground game behind running back Jorgen Olsen who ran for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
Region 12 No. 1-seed Sky View Bobcats (9-0, 5-0) vs Region 9 No. 4 Snow Canyon Warriors (4-5, 3-3)
After a heartbreaking loss to Orem in the semifinals last year, Sky View has a great chance to return to Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2018. Rolling to a 9-0 record, the Bobcats are spearheaded by quarterback Mason Falslev – one of the best athletes in the state – who ran for 639 yards and nine touchdowns. His backfield mate, running back Tanner Stokes added another 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. Making the long trip from St. George to Logan, Snow Canyon hopes to make noise in the first round of the tournament after closing out the season with three-straight wins resulting in a playoff berth.
Region 9 No. 1-seed Dixie Flyers (8-1, 6-0) vs Region 12 No. 4-seed Green Canyon Wolves (4-6, 2-3)
With its lone loss coming in week one against Springville, Dixie is on an eight-game winning streak behind a potent offense and a stout defense. The Flyers allowed just 9.7 points per game in region play while scoring 31.6 points per game on offense. Green Canyon finished 2-3 in region 12 play – though two of those losses were close contests against the eventual No. 1 and No. 2 seeds Logan and Sky View.
Region 10 No. 2-seed Spanish Fork Dons (6-3, 4-1) vs Region 11 No. 3-seed Ogden Tigers (6-4, 3-2)
Led by one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state, Parker Swenson, Spanish Fork averaged 43.4 points per game in region play earning home field advantage against Ogden. The Dons get a big boost from home field advantage as the entire Spanish Fork community comes out to support the football team on Friday nights.
Ogden makes its first playoff appearance since 2008 after finishing with six wins, doubling last year’s total of three and one more than the 2013-2017 season combined. A balanced offensive attack is led by quarterback Bo Devries who threw for 2,334 yards and 21 touchdowns while running back Rhyle Hanson added 1,202 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground as well as another 602 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Region 9 No. 2-seed Desert Hills Thunder (6-3, 5-1) vs Region 12 No. 3-seed Mountain Crest Mustangs (6-4, 2-3)
Desert Hills rolled through its first five region 9 games before facing eventual champion, Dixie, in the final game of the season. Defensively, Desert Hills brings the ‘Thunder’ with Kage Baird and Bronson Andrus who totaled 10 and 6.5 sacks, respectively. On the backside of the defense, Dawson Mayfield had five takeaways creating problems for opposing offenses. With a strong defense of its own, Mountain Crest has three players with five or more sacks – Hunter Schroder, Edgardo Huerta, and Elijah Jackson.
Region 10 No. 1-seed Orem Tigers (8-2, 5-0) vs Region 11 No. 4-seed Tooele Buffalo (3-7, 2-3)
The overwhelming favorite in the 4A classification, Orem is headlined by one of the best talents in the state – USC commit Puka Nacua – who hauled in 80 receptions for 1,779 yards and 20 touchdowns. Quarterback Cooper Legas threw for 3,179 yards and 33 touchdowns while rushing for another 817 yards and 11 touchdowns. The high octane Orem offense averaged 61.8 points per game in region play while allowing just 8 points per game. Tasked with facing the Tigers, Tooele is the four seed out of region 11 after finishing with two region wins over Ben Lomond and Tooele. They have a heavy run attack, led by running back Nukuluve Helu who rushed for 769 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 8.01 yards per carry.
Region 11 No. 1-seed Stansbury Stallions (6-3, 4-1) vs Region 10 No. 4-seed Mountain View Bruins (5-5, 2-3)
Stansbury dominated opponents in region 11 until the final week of the season but Bonneville pulled off a surprising 17-7 upset. Running an option (RPO) offense, the Mustangs have four players with 50 or more rushing attempts headlined by running back Silas Young, who totaled 1,084 yards on 15 touchdowns. They face Mountain View who returns to the state tournament for the second straight year after missing the playoffs from 2010-2016. The key number for the Bruins is 30 points on offense – they are 5-0 when scoring 30 or more points and 0-5 when scoring 30 points or less.
Region 12 No. 2-seed Logan Grizzlies (9-1, 4-1) vs Region 9 No. 3-seed Pine View Panthers (6-3, 4-2)
Another favorite in the 4A classification, Logan has a pass heavy attack led by quarterback Jonny Parkinson who threw for 2,476 yards and 22 touchdowns. His favorite target is Tim Van Leeuwen who hauled in 10 touchdowns. Defensively, the Grizzlies have two standouts in Isaac Larsen and Kevin Nye who combined for nine interceptions this season.
The Grizzlies host Pine View who was one triple overtime game away from having home field advantage in the first round. The Panthers have a high octane offense which scored less than 30 points in just one game in 2018. Their offense is centered around Dallin Brown and Tosh Wright, who both carried the ball 100+ times with Brown scoring 16 rushing touchdowns and Wright adding 12. Brown also saw time at quarterback throwing 11 touchdowns, and hauled in 3 touchdown receptions on the season.