High school football: 5 notable games worth watching in Week 4

Three weeks of the high school football season have already come and gone, with contenders starting to separate themselves from the pack. Here’s a look at five games in Week 4 that will help further solidify who some of those top teams are.

Mountain Ridge at Lone Peak

Lone Peak’s preseason schedule has been as tough as anyone’s, and results haven’t come easy for the Knights, who sit at 1-2. Mountain Ridge, meanwhile, owns a 3-0 record in the preseason, but the competition hasn’t been nearly as difficult.

Week 4 represents an interesting opportunity for both teams.

For Mountain Ridge, it’s an opportunity to make a statement against an upper-echelon team in 6A as it hopes to continue its perfect start to the season heading into region play.

For Lone Peak, it needs a win to start building positive momentum with the Region 4 gauntlet just around the corner.

Defense will be key for Lone Peak, which has looked pretty porous at times this season. It lost 31-28 to Lone Peak in Week 2 and 51-36 to Corner Canyon last Friday.

Mountain Ridge throttled West Jordan 62-14 last weekend as the offense enjoyed its biggest offensive output in school history.

Hunter at Copper Hills

For Copper Hills, its 3-0 start this season raises an interesting question. Is it all a product of inferior competition, or has the program taken a positive step forward in competitiveness?

There’s no doubt the competition has been subpar, with an average margin of victory of 30 points in wins over Clearfield, Murray and Cyprus the first three weeks.

A perfect start to the season isn’t entirely uncommon for the program, as it started 3-0 in 2020 and then 4-0 in 2019. All of those wins came against very subpar programs.

In Week 4, Copper Hills faces an interesting test in its bid for a 4-0 start. Hunter is 2-1 this season, losing to Green Canyon in Week 1 but regrouping with wins over Clearfield and Murray in recent weeks.

Hunter hasn’t had a winning season since 2019, but the program appears to be on an upward trend, and a win over Copper Hills would be a great step in that direction.

For Copper Hills, a win over Hunter would be its best win in recent years as coach Corey Dodds slowly continues to build tradition within the program.

Ogden at Richfield

There are 22 undefeated teams remaining in Utah heading into Week 4, which features two undefeated clashes. The most interesting of those matchups is Ogden at Richfield, two programs that don’t typically rip off win after win.

Ogden has just one 3-0 start (2020) in the past 13 seasons, and it hasn’t started 4-0 since 2009.

Richfield has four 3-0 starts over the past decade, with its last 4-0 start coming in 2018.

Richfield has played a much more difficult schedule this season than Ogden, with wins over Cedar City, Snake River, Idaho and Payson. It has only given up 28 total points in those three wins.

Conversely, Ogden has played a much softer schedule this preseason, but it is dominant regardless, with shutout wins over Cottonwood, Judge Memorial and Carbon. The Tigers are averaging 44.6 ppg, but they face a much stiffer test when they travel to Richfield.

East at Alta

Alta’s 30-point margin of victory three weeks into the season is one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 season.

The program’s reputation over the past six years has been that of an underachiever. The talent has seemingly been there each year, but consistent results have not, with records hovering around .500.

It has looked anything but averaging this season with a 42-14 win over Layton, 34-6 win over Westlake and a 41-6 win vs. Legacy, Nevada.

East is a program that has hovered around .500 as well the past couple years, a trend that could be repeating itself with a 1-2 record three weeks into the season.

East could be trending in the right direction. After back-to-back losses to Orem and Skyridge to start the season, East trounced visiting Coronado, Nevada, in Week 3 for its first win of the season.

Both will be looking to kick off Region 6 play with a victory this Friday, to build momentum in a region that should be much stronger than a year ago.

Millard at Kanab

Millard is a proud program with decades of tradition and excellence, but the past three years have been largely disappointing as the record has dipped from 6-6 to 4-8 and then to 2-9 a year ago.

The tide may be turning, however, thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks.

In Week 2, the Eagles scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally past Delta 27-20, and then last week they scored 14 straight in the fourth quarter again to beat Milford 20-18.

Beating Delta was particularly satisfying after they lost twice to the Rabbits a year ago.

The next three weeks may ultimately define the season for Millard, with undefeated Kanab, Beaver and Enterprise all stacked in a row.

The gauntlet begins this week against Kanab, the 1A runner-up from a year ago. Millard only lost to Kanab 18-15 a year ago, and a win this Friday could be momentum it needs against 1A No. 1 Beaver next week

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