Utah 1A, 2A, 3A High School State Semifinal Matchups
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The semifinals for the three lower classifications in Utah high school football begin Saturday with 3A playing at Provo High School, 2A at Timpview High School, and 1A at Payson High School.
Saturday’s winners will advance to the Championship games which are scheduled for November 10th at Weber State University.
Here is a look at the semifinal games in each classification
3A North No. 1-seed Morgan Trojans (8-2, 5-0) vs 3A South No. 2-seed North Sanpete (6-4, 3-2)
Morgan enters Saturday’s game with a six-game winning streak. The Trojans have dominated with strong offense, averaging 32.5 points per game, and big defensive play which averaged just 10.3 points per game while pitching two shutouts on the season. They are led by quarterback Carter Thackeray who has completed 179/272 for 2506 yards and 26 touchdowns. Thackeray’s top target is Tyson Hurd who has 54 receptions for 792 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Trying to play upset is North Sanpete which won its playoff opener against Union, 21-7. The Hawks have won three of their last four and are a team that isn’t afraid to grind it out for a win. With a run heavy offense, the Hawks are led by Chance Clawson who has eight rushing touchdowns and Brock Justesen who has another five on the ground. North Sanpete won the last matchup between the two teams, 34-18, in 2016.
3A South No. 1-seed Summit Academy Bears (8-2, 5-0) vs 3A South No. 3-seed Juan Diego Soaring Eagles (7-4, 3-2)
After dropping two of its first four games, Summit Academy won the next six with wins over two of the three other teams remaining in the 3A playoffs. Summit Academy has a balanced offensive attack. Quarterback Kasey Briggs has thrown for 25,20 yards and 24 touchdowns while Talmage Brown rushed for 822 yards and 14 touchdowns. Juan Diego and Summit Academy met two weeks ago with Summit Academy winning 28-19. Briggs threw three touchdowns to Colin Dodge in the game while Brown added a score with his legs.
Normally a powerhouse in 3A, Juan Diego struggled in 2018 with losses against North Sanpete and Summit Academy in region play. But, the Soaring Eagles are playing their best football of the year in the playoffs outscoring opponents 96-14 through their first two games. Running a triple-option offense, the Soaring Eagles are led by Hunter Easterly and Tristan Tonozzi who have combined for 25 touchdowns and 2,240 yards on the ground.
2A North No. 1-seed South Summit Wildcats (9-1, 5-0) vs 2A North No. 3-seed Millard Eagles (9-2, 3-2)
South Summit is a powerhouse in 2A football making the last five state championship games while winning three of those championships. The Wildcats average 41.9 points per game on offense while allowing just 14.1 points per game. Quarterback Kael Atkinson is one of the most prolific players in the state throwing for 3,147 yards and 34 touchdowns while scoring another six with his legs. Jared Dansie is his favorite target. Dansie had 74 receptions for 1,112 yards and 12 touchdowns. South Summit beat Millard in the previous matchup between the two teams in week eight 47-6. Atkinson threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Millard won its next three games after the loss against South Summit. The Eagles have a balanced offense with quarterback Brooks Myers throwing for 2,009 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 341 yards and 10 touchdowns. Austin Burraston led the team in rushing with 825 yards and 11 touchdowns. With a handful of defensive playmakers on the backend, Millard held opponents to 16.5 points per game led by Jed Degraffenried who has nine interceptions and Jadden Cranney who has six interceptions.
2A South No. 1-seed Grand Red Devils (7-3, 4-1) vs 2A South No. 3-seed Beaver Beavers (8-3, 3-2)
Grand makes its second consecutive trip to the 2A semifinals. The Red Devils averaged 27.5 points per game in 2018 while allowing just 15.7 points per game. They are led by a two-headed running attack in Bryant Troutt and Corbin Arbon who combines for 1,577 yards and 22 touchdowns. Grand and Beaver played in week eight with the Red Devils coming out on top, 21-0.
Beaver has a run heavy offense with three players rushing for more than 500 yards in 2018. Ryker Albrecht led the Beavers with 757 yards and 11 touchdowns, EJ Allred added 658 yards and eight touchdowns, and Kaleb Barney rushed for 554 yards and four touchdowns. Albrecht also threw for 1,244 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
1A North No. 1-seed Duchesne Eagles (7-4, 3-0) vs 1A South No. 2-seed Parowan Rams (8-2, 2-1)
Duchesne enters Saturday’s game with a four-game winning streak. Their last loss – Parowan. Duchesne held strong in its first round win against Kanab. After leading 21-0 at halftime, Kanab found a momentum shift with a fumble returned 74-yards for a touchdown. The Eagles used a three-headed rushing attack with Gavin Davis, Skyler Ford, and Brock Adam all finding the end zone.
Parowan has won six of its last seven games with the loss coming against 1A favorite Milford. During the winning streak, the Rams averaged 44.6 points per game and shut out two opponents – Rich and Altamont. Another rush heavy team, three players rushed for 700 or more yards in Codey Hanson, Hutch Miller, and Porter Wood. Wood led the Rams with 15 touchdowns on the season.
1A South No. 1-seed Milford Tigers (10-0, 3-0) vs 1A South No. 3-seed Monticello Buckaroos (5-5, 1-2)
Milford carries the state’s longest winning streak, 17 games which dates back to last year. The Tigers have rolled on their search for a second-straight title averaging 40.9 points per game. Bryson Barnes led the Tigers offensively throwing for 36 touchdowns while rushing for another 10. Paxton Henrie hauled in 20 touchdown catches on 48 receptions for 912 yards. Milford’s closest game of the season came in week eight against Monticello, the Tigers won 32-26.
The Buckaroos started the 2018 campaign strong but hit a rough patch, losing four straight games in the middle of the season. They recovered in the final week and found an opening round win against Rich, 41-0. Against Rich, the Buckaroos were led by Weston Nebeker who rushed for four touchdowns and 204 yards on 20 carries. Nebeker rushed for 1,302 yards on the season and had 15 touchdowns in his senior campaign.