Utah high school football: 5 most intriguing results from Week 3

As of Monday, we are about as close to being an exact third of the way through the high school football regular season as we can be. With Week 3 now a wrap, here are some of the most intriguing storylines revisited as we prepare for next week.

1. Getting insane in Duchesne

There is a lot to talk about for small-town football this past weekend. It was drama across the board out east in rural Duchesne County as the three high schools local to the area went a combined 3-0 in no less than the most thrilling fashion possible.

For starters, was anyone missing the thrill of watching the Cougars take on the Utes? The well-known college rivalry is of course on hold, but Union and Uintah had you covered.

In a fascinating 3A/4A rivalry matchup, Union outlasted Uintah, 46-44, on the Cougars’ home turf in Roosevelt in just the second overtime game of the season. Union quarterback Gannon Labrum put on an all-time performance, totaling seven touchdowns. Labrum scored three TDs on the ground and ran in two 2-point conversions between the fourth quarter and the OT period, while Uintah QB J.D. Pickup tossed four TD passes.

The game was pure bonkers over the final minutes. With 28 seconds remaining, Union took its first lead of the game on a 12-yard TD run by Labrum only to have Uintah score on a 10-yard TD pass from Pickup with a second on the clock.

Union went first in the OT period and scored on another Labrum run, and Uintah answered back immediately, scoring a TD pass from the starting point at the 25-yard line, but the Cougars managed to stuff the forced conversion try, giving them the win.

Just under 30 miles away at Duchesne High School, the Eagles pulled off another hometown thriller with a 29-25 victory over previously unbeaten Summit Academy.

The game had six(!) lead changes despite seeing just seven TDs, but the last laugh went to senior QB Parker Crum and the Eagles as Crum bulled through for a 3-yard score with just 12 seconds on the clock for the win. Crum finished with two passing TDs and two rushing TDs.

And just for added measure, 8-player Altamont delivered a beatdown on Monument Valley, 54-8. Not bad, Duchesne County.

2. Utah vs. Everyone has been a success in 2023

As the recruiting profile collectively raises for athletes in the Beehive State, more and more teams from outside have taken up offers to face Utah teams both here and there.

The schedule from Thursday to last Saturday included an astounding 14 games for Utah teams against teams from beyond the state borders, and all things considered, Utah’s football reputation undoubtedly gained some extra cred. Local teams collectively went 10-4 in Week 3 in those games, a vast improvement over Week 2, where Utah teams went 4-5 against national opponents (numbers aren’t counting for 8-player teams, who play a large portion of their schedules out of state).

For the season, Utah teams are 14-9 against out-of-state competition, with another six games of such being played in Week 4. Much of the competition is against teams from Idaho but also features teams from Nevada, Arizona and California. In addition, both of the top 2 teams in the country per current MaxPreps rankings, Mater Dei (CA) and Bishop Gorman (NV), have made trips to compete in front of Utah audiences.

Among the games bearing beehive-shaped stamps of victory on them, Lehi traveled northward to take on its 5A champ contemporary in Rigby, Idaho. The Pioneers throttled the Trojans, 45-13.

3. Big things brewing in Ben Lomond?

In 70 years, the Ben Lomond Scots have only won a region title three times and have no state titles to speak of. They’ve not had a winning season since going 6-5 in 2000, and have just three winning seasons in their history since 1984.

Needless to say, coach Lyndon Johnson had a tough task ahead of him in making the Scots a relevant face in the 3A North — and it’s starting to look like it’s working.

Cue ‘The Office’-themed ‘Oh my gosh, it’s happening’ GIF

Ben Lomond’s extremely high amount of returning production this season is paying off as the Scots just made themselves one of those out-of-state victors with a win over Evanston, Wyoming, 39-21. The win pushed Ben Lomond to 2-1 with over 30 points scored in each of the last two weeks after averaging just 14.6 points per game in 2022.

Despite its short-term and long-term history, this was a team that was praised by multiple opposing coaches in its region for making a lot of progress last offseason. Perhaps they weren’t just being polite.

4. Time to Talk About Alta

Whether Alta found something early this season or way back last year during its inspired underdog run in the playoffs, whatever the Hawks found is clearly working.

Alta, bouncing back from a 6-6 campaign that landed them a No. 19 seed in last year’s playoff bracket, has cruised out of the gate this season, winning three straight games. They haven’t even been close, either.

The Hawks’ most recent outing saw them head out of state and decimate Legacy (NV), 42-6, the third opponent Alta’s beaten by 28 points or more.

Dual-threat junior QB Matt McKea’s progressed greatly since last season, and it’s been highly evident in his numbers, but running back Anthony Cottis was the hero against Legacy, bowling through for three TDs and over 100 yards on just eight carries.

Alta’s run to start the year makes them far more of a factor in a Region 6 race that was projected to be dominated by Brighton and newcomer West. It’ll still be highly competitive (Brighton is 3-0, too) but Alta is definitely in the running.

5. Best Upsets of Week 3

Based on team ratings by Noland Parry, 11 games from last weekend went down as upsets, and some were far more expected than others. Credit to our prep editor, James Edward, who actually went 5-3 on the eight upsets he predicted.

Here are the top 5 upsets from last Friday per Parry’s Power Guide:

Orem over Spanish Fork (28.0) – Spanish Fork won, 44-38Westlake over Cedar Valley (25.8) – Cedar Valley won, 13-7Milford over Millard (11.9) – Millard won, 20-18Grantsville over Manti (6.3) – Manti won, 36-14Cedar City over Canyon View (6.1) – Canyon View won, 20-17

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