The Class 2A playoffs start a little bit closer to that ultimate goal of a championship, but that means the competition is a little bit tougher. With defending champ Manti in the mix, and San Juan streaking once again, we could be two weeks out from a classic finish.
As always, we have to thank football fanatic George Felt, whose depth of high school football knowledge in this state makes everyone a little bit more informed. Some nuggets from his weekly release, Felt's Facts, are included in this guide.
Best match-up: Beaver at Manti
It's almost unfair that the Beavers, who outscored their region opponents 230-80, would have to draw such a tough contest to start. Beaver does have a shot here to pull off an upset: 1,000-yard rusher Jesse McMullin has pounded down opponents for 14 scores on the ground this year. But that will be a tough formula against Manti, which has an elite defense of its own. Koleton Moon and Austin Jackson make it tough for opposing backfields to get the ball out. Meanwhile, the multi-faceted running offense of the Templars make it hard to target one individual who will get the ball.
The best of the rest
Richfield at South Summit • A Wildcat-on-Wildcat match-up may be less appealing than it sounds, thanks to the way South Summit has piled on the points this year. South Summit has eclipsed 50 points four times this season, with five runners who have four or more rushing touchdowns. Josh Henry hopes to help push Richfield to an upset with his legs.
Emery at San Juan • The Broncos are about as solid as you could hope to be, particularly on defense where they've only allowed 33 points on their undefeated run. Barkley Christiansen has been unusually skilled at quarterback for the 2A level, throwing for 18 scores against only four interceptions. The Spartans have proven capable at beating up on other teams they scores 61 on Kanab last week but they haven't beaten a team at San Juan's level.
Millard at Grand • Remember the name: Jesse Rhodes. The running back will be etched in state record books after running for more than 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns this season to cap a great career. The Eagles only have lost to South Summit and Manti, and they put up a pretty good fight against the defending champs. Grand has a good running attack led by Koi Cook and Jacob Francis, but it likely will find it tough to stop the run.
Class 2A football schedule
Richfield at South Summit, 2 p.m.
Beaver at Manti, 5 p.m.
Emery at San Juan, 5 p.m.
Millard at Grand, 5:30 p.m.