by Daniel Olsen | The first two rounds are done, but eight teams aren’t done yet. After the blood, sweat and tears there is more to come for the chance to be crowned champion of Utah at the 5A Division. There is more than bragging rights involved in the state playoffs. These teams are playing for trophies, banners, and a legacy for their alma mater. Let’s look into our crystal ball and see if we can determine which football teams advance to the semifinals next week.
1 Brighton vs 9 Timpview: There is one king of 5A and that team is the Brighton Bengals. Brighton has won all ten of their games this year. Their only single-digit victory was a 21-14 contest back in September over Olympus. Other than that, they have run over every other opponent and Spanish Fork last week was no exception. Our apologies to Tyler Creer but the “featured image curse” did not work on the Bengals. They ran away 49-20.
Timpview is capable of playing spoiler over Brighton. They routed the same Olympus team 35-13. If Olympus could play Brighton close, perhaps Brighton would have a tough time vs Timpview.
Prediction: Lightning isn’t going to strike twice here. Timpview has had a great run but they aren’t the same dominant team they were 15 years ago. They have done well the last part of the season. They are capable of beating any other team in 5A. They’d have to play their best game of the year and bet on Brighton to have an off day. It’s hard to count on both happening. The Bengals should win this by 14 points.
Score: Brighton 31 Timpview 17
4 Salem Hills vs 5 Wasatch: Region 8 brings familiarity to this matchup. Salem Hills played their brand of football and it showed in a 21-0 shutout over Wasatch on October 8th. The Skyhawks haven’t slowed down one bit since then. They beat the Box Elder Bees 44-13 last week in their second round matchup.
Wasatch had a tougher time in their 26-19 win over Lehi. They can’t be overlooked but they also need to greatly increase their level of play to have a chance. The gap between the these teams seem much greater than the seeds might indicate.
Prediction: This game should be closer than the last matchup. If Wasatch has any pride they won’t let a Region rival role over them again. Look for another low scoring battle where Wasatch actually scores this time. However, they won’t score enough points to win. Salem Hills should win by at least one possession.
Score: Salem Hills 17 Wasatch 9
2 Orem vs 7 Skyline: The eye of the tiger will take on the eye of the eagle on Friday. Skyline is looking like every bit the great team they were throughout the regular season. However, even last week’s win shouldn’t warrant any overconfidence. They are still the underdog and have to beat the three-time defending state champions.
Orem is that team and football is their dream. The only teams that they lost to were elite 6A teams. These Orem Tigers aren’t going to go quietly into the night. That became apparent when they beat Provo 65-35.
Prediction: We know Orem can score. The question in this game is how well can they defend? They need to put forth the same amount of effort that led to a shutout over East. They can’t give a good time like Skyline any life. If they execute their game plan at a high level, they will be fine.
Score: Orem 28 Skyline 14
6 Maple Mountain vs 14 Alta: Get ready for an upset alert! Alta did it once over the Bonneville Lakers. They looked more like the Lonzo Ball Lakers than the LeBron James Lakers that we thought they were. Give the Alta Hawks credit for stomping on an opponent that they had low odds to beat. They won with the final score of 29-9x
Maple Mountain is looking solid as well. They edged out Springville for the second time this year as they pulled off the 27-21 victory in the second round. They aren’t planning on giving their opponents an inch to work with. If anyone beats them, they will have to take it away.
Prediction: Get your upset alert sirens ready. These state playoffs need a true Cinderella team. Let that Cinderella Hawks team earn their date to the semifinals. They truly need to be at their best but if they could beat the third-seed team in Bonneville, why can’t they advance? They will put together a complete game and earn their trip to the semifinals.
Score: 6 Maple Mountain 21 Alta 24
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