by Daniel Olsen | The nightmare before Halloween is about to happen for half of the teams still left in the state playoffs at the 6A division. The better half will survive and advance. There weren’t any relatively close games in the first round and you can’t really say there were any huge upsets. Yes, it is true 17 seed Westlake beat 16 seed Hunter. Copper Hills also advanced as a 20 seed but only because Fremont had to forfeit due to COVID. It will only get more wild from here. We will try to make sense of it all.
4 American Fork vs 20 Copper Hills: We don’t need to spend too much time on this one. Copper Hills got here by default. They won three games to start the season and haven’t won since. They lost to an average 3A team in Juan Diego.
Prediction: The American Fork Cavemen have too much talent and pride to lose this game. If they lose, I will eat my hat.
Score: American Fork 49 Copper Hills 7
5 Kearns vs 12 East: This is a sizzling upset pick that only grows in popularity due to the prestige of East in recent years. This hasn’t been their most talented team but the Leopards did finish with a 7-4 record. They easily ran over Clearfield 69-20 in last week’s first round game. Their losses have all been to top teams like Lone Peak, American Fork and Bingham.
Prediction: The reason this upset pick will without a doubt come true is due to another COVID forfeit. Coronavirus results reported a high rate of transmission according to the Granite School District as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune
Score: COVID 1 Kearns 0
1 Corner Canyon vs 17 Westlake: As much fun as a Cinderella pick in the Thunder would be, we’ve already seen this movie before. Corner Canyon hasn’t been beaten in 36 tries, and they actually already beat Westlake earlier in the season. That game wasn’t close either as Corner Canyon won handily, with a final score of 56-17. Before last week’s 12 point victory over Hunter, the Thunder were more bust than boom. They had lost seven consecutive contests prior to that game.
Prediction: It doesn’t even seem like the Westlake Thunder will find their fairy godmother in time for this game. That is no disrespect to the Thunder as they play in the toughest division in 6A. It is more of a credit to the greatness we have witnessed from Corner Canyon in the last couple years.
The Chargers are among one of the longest win streaks in state history. The only team that is atop them in the leaderboard is the 48 straight games won by Duchesne. They are currently tied with the Timpview team of the early 2000s. They would love nothing more to take sole possession of second place in the top win streaks of prep football in Utah. They would love to ride the wave to next season and surpass Duchesne. For now though, it’s one game at a time and it’s highly unlikely that Corner Canyon loses this game to a respectable opponent in Westlake.
Score: Corner Canyon 49 Westlake 24
8 Bingham vs 9 Pleasant Grove: Never count out a Bingham High football squad led by legendary Coach Dave Peck. Just don’t do it. It’s not smart. Even in a down year Bingham is a tough out.
Pleasant Grove has also been a great team this year. They started the year off on a five game winning-streak but have struggled as of late. The Bingham Miners will be a good test for them.
Prediction: As I said before, don’t count out the Miners. At least in this early round they have the resume to advance over the Vikings. It will be a close game though.
Score: Bingham 21 Pleasant Grove 17
2 Lone Peak vs 15 Riverton: The Knights are ready to say good night in this one. They are the second ranked RPI team in 6A for a reason. Their only loss this season was to the top seeded Corner Canyon Chargers by ten points. After that they rattled off wins in their final three regular season games.
Riverton has a couple nice wins but all their losses were ugly. None of their losses were within single digits. Their best wins were close contests over a good 5A team in Olympus and a solid 6A team in Bingham.
Prediction: If Riverton is on their top game then Lone Peak should be a little concerned. I’m guessing the nerves get the best of them and this Jekyll and Hyde football team will be the less impressive version of themselves. Playing a good team like Lone Peak exposes those weaknesses too.
Score: Lone Peak 35 Riverton 14
7 West vs 10 Roy: The Panthers rolled over Jordan High 49-14 but don’t expect anyone to give them pats on the back for that. The Beetdiggers got beat like they have every other game this season. West did what they were supposed to do.
Roy is an intriguing matchup. They are likely wishing they still had Jaxson Dart right about now. They won eight straight games before getting humbled by Weber in their season finale. It was definitely a learning experience that they can be beaten if they’re not playing up to par.
Prediction: I’m going with the slight upset only because I believe Roy to be severely underrated. I don’t know how one loss could dip them so far down the RPI rankings. The Royals have the right to be a little frustrated and they will take it out on West in this one. It will still be a good game but count on Roy to make a statement in this one as they will lead early and often.
Score: Roy 38 West 27
3 Skyridge vs 14 Herriman: Skyridge has been up near the top all season long. They fell off their game a bit near the end but still are a tough out for anyone. After losing by 17 to Lone Peak and nearly upsetting the top team in Corner Canyon, they dropped 71 on Westlake on Senior Night. Think about that for a minute. They did this in 48 minutes. That’s almost a touchdown every five minutes!
Herriman has been amazingly average. At one point in the season they were staring at a 2-4 record before figuring it out like everyone does against the Beetdiggers. They then won two out of their final three games to advance to the playoffs. They beat West Jordan by two touchdowns and have to be feeling themselves for that accomplishment.
Prediction: It won’t be fun and games against Skyridge. Herriman will have their work cut out for them and they don’t seem to be the caliber of team that can challenge a team that doesn’t have many checkmarks on their permanent record in 2020. Skyridge wins a close one. Just kidding, they will win by three touchdowns and a field goal.
Score: Skyridge 31 Herriman 8
6 Weber vs 11 Davis: This is a game that is certainly capable of being an upset. These are two respectable teams. The Warriors only had one hiccup this season which was a 19 point loss to Layton. Other than that, there isn’t much to complain about here.
Davis was starting to look like the Groundhog Day movie against Syracuse as they once again beat them by over 30 points. With that game, they advance to the second round against a hungry Weber team.
Prediction: I’m going chalk in this one. Davis just hasn’t been as consistent as Weber so they really have to hit the right notes and hope that Weber slips up in this second round recital. Unfortunately for the Darts, they are more like John Schmidt and Weber is more like Beethoven. As long as the players on this team can tie their shoes and eat breakfast like normal, winning this football game should be automatic.
Score : Weber 37 Davis 17
Featured Image Courtesy MaxPreps