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2021 Preece High School Football Power Poll: Lone Peak seizes top spot in final rankings

By Brian E. Preece - Herald correspondent | Nov 26, 2021

Lone Peak's Mason Pantane, right, celebrates winning the 6A state championship game with a teammate at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. (Darnell Dickson/Daily Herald)

Former Provo coach Brian Preece released his final power poll, which ranks all the teams in the state of Utah:

Rank/School/Record/Previous Rank (Change)/Note

1. Lone Peak (6A) 10-2 3 (+2) Knights validate by besting Corner Canyon twice

2. Corner Canyon (6A) 12-2 1 (-1) Chargers can’t solve Knight puzzle to repeat

3. Skyridge (6A) 11-2 2 (-1) Only Utah team to beat Lone Peak in 2021

4. Ridgeline (4A) 13-0 6 (+2) Only program to have undefeated season in 2021

5. American Fork (6A) 7-4 5 (NC) Losses are to the top three teams in this poll

6. Lehi (5A) 11-3 13 (+7) Pioneers played their best football in playoffs

7. Timpview (5A) 9-3 4 (-3) T-Birds season undone by Lehi in 5A quarterfinals

8. Springville (5A) 11-2 7 (-1) Red Devils fall short in 5A championship game

9. Riverton (6A) 8-4 8 (-1) RPI seeding kicked Silverwolves in the gut

10. Bingham (6A) 7-5 9 (-1) Miners played Lone Peak tough in 6A quarterfinals

11. Weber (6A) 10-3 10 (-1) Warriors had solid season winning Region 1

12. Orem (5A) 7-6 30 (+18) Tigers make another deep playoff run

13. Bountiful (5A) 8-3 19 (+6) Red Hawk losses were to top teams

14. Farmington (6A) 8-4 15 (+1) Phoenix finished 2021 season strong

15. West (6A) 8-2 14 (-1) Panthers had nice year winning Region 2 title

16. Syracuse (6A) 8-5 26 (+10) Titan season ended by Region 1 rival Weber

17. Wasatch (5A) 7-4 20 (+3) Wasps put biggest scare into Lehi’s playoff run

18. Provo (5A) 7-3 21 (+3) Losses were to Orem, Springville and Wasatch 19, Brighton (5A) 8-3 12 (-7) Bengals defeated too early in tourney by Orem

20. Stansbury (5A) 10-3 32 (+12) Stallions took advantage of seed to make semis

21. Mountain Ridge (6A) 8-3 11 (-10) Sentinels stumble in 6A playoffs

22. East (5A) 5-7 34 (+12) Leopards put it together at end of season

23. Spanish Fork (5A) 7-3 17 (-6) Season highlighted by Region 9 title

24. Dixie (4A) 9-4 29 (+5) Flyers played best football at end of season

25. West Jordan (6A) 8-3 16 (-9) Jaguars dumped by Bingham in 6A playoffs

26. Crimson Cliffs (4A) 8-5 42 (+16) Mustangs actually played Ridgeline the closest

27. Alta (5A) 6-5 23 (-4) Hawk losses to elite competition

28. Layton (6A) 6-5 28 (NC) Lancers get playoff win in 2021

29. Pine View (4A) 7-5 54 (+25) Stunned rival Desert Hills in playoff classic

30. Desert Hills (4A) 9-2 18 (-12) Thunder taken out early in 4A playoffs

31. Olympus (5A) 7-5 35 (+4) Titans defeated by Stansbury in 5A playoffs

32. Kearns (6A) 7-5 40 (+8) Cougars savor chance to compete in 2021 playoffs 33. Sky View (4A) 7-5 24 (-9) Bobcats bounced by Dixie in 4A playoffs

34. Westlake (6A) 4-8 37 (+3) Thunder again win a game in 6A playoff wars

35. Roy (6A) 7-4 22 (-13) Royals lose close one in first round to Westlake

36. Park City (5A) 5-6 34 (-2) Miners give Skyline first home playoff loss ever

37. Herriman (6A) 4-8 41 (+4) Mustangs were much better than record

38. Davis (6A) 5-6 25 (-13) Darts bounced in 6A playoffs by Herriman

39. Fremont (6A) 4-7 27 (-10) Silverwolves edged by Kearns in 6A playoffs

40. San Juan (2A) 12-1 39 (-1) Broncos win 2A title, only loss to Desert Hills

41. Green Canyon (4A) 7-3 31 (-10) New program making great progress

42. Beaver (2A) 11-2 57 (+15) Only losses were to San Juan, beat Grantsville

43. Grantsville (3A) 10-3 51 (+8) Cowboys win rematch with Morgan to win 3A

44. Bonneville (5A) 6-5 38 (-6) Lakers bounced by Timpview in 5A playoffs

45. Timpanogos (5A) 9-3 43 (-2) Remarkable turnaround for Timberwolf program

46. Snow Canyon (4A) 5-5 45 (-1) Warriors were competitive in rugged Region 10

47. Morgan (3A) 9-4 50 (+3) Trojans make 3A finals for three years in a row

48. Northridge (5A) 7-4 52 (+4) Knights fortunes changed dropping down to 5A

49. Logan (4A) 6-5 47 (-2) Grizzly wins including beating 5A Stansbury

50. Juab (3A) 10-2 48 (-2) Wasps upended by Morgan in 3A semifinals

51. Juan Diego (3A) 8-3 49 (-2) Lost in rematch to Grantsville in 3A semifinals

52. South Summit (2A) 11-1 46 (-6) Undefeated season wrecked by Beaver

53. Skyline (5A) 6-5 37 (-16) Suffered first ever home loss in playoffs

54. Hunter (6A) 3-7 58 (+4) Season not up to Wolverine standards

55. Box Elder (5A) 4-8 65 (+10) Bees a FG away from making 5A quarterfinals

56. Tooele (5A) 7-3 44 (-12) Buffs bounced by Box Elder in 5A first round

57. Cedar Valley (5A) 6-5 53 (-4) No shame being bounced by East in 5A playoffs

58. Pleasant Grove (6A) 1-10 55 (-3) Rough season for Vikings

59. Maple Mountain (5A) 3-8 56 (-3) Golden Eagles hope to rebound in 2022

60. Duchesne (1A) 11-1 72 (+12) Eagles lock down small school state title

61. Granger (6A) 2-9 61 (NC) Lancers beaten by West in back-to-back weeks

62. Summit Academy (2A) 6-5 62 (NC) Charter school made it to 2A semifinals

63. Viewmont (5A) 3-6 66 (+3) Didn’t make playoffs but ended season with a win

64. Clearfield (6A) 1-10 68 (+4) Falcons played better than record shows

65. Cyprus (6A) 1-10 69 (+4) Pirates suffered some very close defeats in 2021

66. Highland (5A) 1-8 70 (+4) Season not anything close to Ram standards

67. Uintah (5A) 5-6 63 (-4) Despite playoff blowout, huge improvements seen

68. Payson (5A) 5-6 64 (-4) Lions made great progress in 2021 season

69. Ogden (3A) 4-8 91 (+23) Tigers made huge strides at end of season

70. Mountain Crest (4A) 2-9 59 (-11) Mustang program has struggled in recent years

71. Salem Hills (5A) 1-8 67 (-4) Injuries decimated Skyhawk hopes this season

72. Cedar City (4A) 2-8 60 (-12) Reds had rough season

73. Murray (5A) 3-7 74 (+1) Spartans didn’t make 24-team 5A field for playoffs

74. Union (3A) 5-7 73 (-1) Cougars bounced early in playoffs by Grantsville

75. Delta (2A) 5-7 81 (+6) Rabbits bounced by Beaver in 2A quarterfinals

76. Hurricane (4A) 2-9 75 (-1) Tiger season ended by Sky View

77. Canyon View (3A) 5-6 76 (-1) Falcons beat Richfield in back-to-back weeks 78. Layton Christian (1A) 9-4 97 (+19) Eagles made playoff run all the way to 1A finals

79. Richfield (3A) 5-7 77 (-2) Wildcats did put scare in 3A power Juab

80. North Sanpete (3A) 5-7 78 (-2) Hawks provided tough game for opponents

81. Emery (3A) 6-6 83 (+2) Spartans put together some wins in 2021

82. Providence Hall (2A) 5-7 92 (+10) Being in a classification helps program grow

83. Kanab (1A) 9-3 71 (-12) Cowboys victim of Layton Christian’s playoff run

84. Enterprise (1A) 6-4 79 (-5) Wolves bounced by Layton Christian in 1A playoffs

85. Millard (2A) 4-8 94 (+9) Eagles played better in second half of season

86. Manti (3A) 3-7 84 (-2) Templars couldn’t get traction in 2021

87. Mountain View (5A) 1-9 85 (-2) Bruins hope to rebuild in 2022

88. Milford (1A) 7-5 80 (-8) Tigers lose to Duchesne in 1A semifinals

89. Parowan (1A) 6-6 82 (-7) Rams bounced by Duchesne in 1A quarterfinals

90. Cottonwood (Ind.) 3-6 86 (-4) Colts winning some games as independent

91. Jordan (5A) 2-8 87 (-4) Proud program suffering through tough times

92. Woods Cross (5A) 0-10 88 (-4) Woeful season for Wildcat program

93. North Sevier (1A) 6-5 89 (-4) Solid season for Wolf program

94. Bear River (4A) 0-9 90 (-4) Bears suffer through awful season

95. Copper Hills (6A) 0-9 93 (-2) Grizzly program has never really got going

96. Hillcrest (5A) 1-9 95 (-1) Huskies did manage to win one game

97. Taylorsville (6A) 0-9 97 (-1) Warriors didn’t make 6A playoff field

98. North Summit (1A) 5-6 98 (NC) Braves lost in 1A playoffs to Kanab

99. South Sevier (2A) 2-8 99 (NC) Ram season never got traction

100. Carbon (3A) 2-8 100 (NC) Lost to Union in 3A first round

101. Ben Lomond (3A) 1-10 101 (NC) Lone win against Judge Memorial

102. Judge Memorial (2A) 1-9 102 (NC) Moving down to 2A didn’t end Bulldog woes

103. ALA (2A) 1-10 103 (NC) Season ended by Delta in 3A first round

104. Gunnison (1A) 3-7 104 (NC) Bulldogs put down by Parowan in 1A first round

105. Rich (1A) 1-8 105 (NC) Rebels didn’t have much fight in 2021

106. Monticello (1A) 2-8 106 (NC) Season ended with 84-0 loss to Layton Christian

107. Grand County (2A) 0-10 107 (NC) Forfeited out of the 2A playoffs

108. Monument Valley (Ind.) 0-2 108 (NC) Contest with rival Whitehorse didn’t happen

109. Whitehorse (Ind.) 0-4 109 (NC) Four games better than none in 2021

Teams from Juab, Utah and Wasatch counties in bold print.

Utah County Rankings: 1. Lone Peak (#1) 2. Skyridge (#3) 3. American Fork (#5) 4. Lehi #6) 5. Timpview (#7) 6. Springville (#8) 7. Orem (#12) 8. Provo (#19) 9. Spanish Fork (#23) 10. Westlake (#34) 11. Timpanogos (#45) 12. Cedar Valley (#57) 13. Pleasant Grove (#58) 14. Maple Mountain (#59) 15. Payson (#68) 16. Salem Hills (#71) #17 Mountain View (#87) 18. ALA (#103).

Biggest Climbers since last poll: 1. Pine View (+24) 2. Ogden (+23) 3. Layton Christian (+19) 4. Orem (+18) 5. Beave (+15).

Biggest Decliners since last poll: 1. Skyline (-16) 2 (T). Davis (-13), Roy (-13) 4 (T). Desert Hills (-12) Kanab (-12), Tooele (-12).

Notes: Lone Peak proved it is the best team in the state by taking down the 3-time defending large-school champs Corner Canyon twice this season including a 49-42 thriller in the state 6A championship game. The Knights lost twice this season but only once to a Utah team (Skyridge), a loss they avenged by shutting out the Falcons 20-0 in the semifinals.

Corner Canyon moves down to No. 2 with its head-to-head win over No. 3 Skyridge. Ridgeline, the 4A state champion, was the only undefeated team in the state and checks in at No. 4. The Riverhawks get the nod over American Fork (No.5), whose only losses were to the top three teams in the Power Poll, and Lehi (No.6), the 5A state champion, who lost three times on the season. Ridgeline and Lehi did have one common opponent in Stansbury. Ridgeline beat the Stallions 42-14 while Lehi downed Stansbury 28-14 in the 5A semifinals.

Choosing Timpview (No. 7) over Springville (No. 8) might be controversial for some. The Red Devils were given the No. 1 seed and did have a 11-2 overall record making the 5A championship game, while Timpview finished 9-3 and lost in the quarterfinals. But Timpview’s losses were to Lone Peak, Lehi and Skyridge and they also beat Lehi in the regular season while the Pioneers dominated the Red Devils in the 5A state championship game. Bad seeding coming from the RPI system had Timpview and Lehi meeting in the quarterfinals, and the Pioneers stunned the Thunderbirds on its way to a remarkable run in the 5A tournament.

Though Orem lost six games on the season, the Tigers made a great playoff run and were one play away from meeting Lehi again in the title game. Orem saved its best play of the latter stretches of the season and made one of the biggest jumps since the last Preece Power Poll checking in at No. 12.

As one can see, it was a great year for Utah County (again) as six teams made the top ten and Orem was a couple of places away.

It was hard to know where to rank Provo, Spanish Fork and Wasatch that all beat each other. And Spanish Fork also was the Region 9 champion. But in the end Wasatch (No. 17) gets the nod of the trio as it gave Lehi all it could handle just losing by a blocked extra point in overtime, while Provo (No.18) and Spanish Fork (No. 23) both bowed out in the second round in less competitive contests. Provo beat the Dons head-to-head and were a bit more competitive in their playoff loss to Orem than Spanish Fork, who was upset by East, 38-20.

Yes, Westlake (No. 34) lost eight games on its season but was stuck in rugged Region 4. For the third straight year, the Thunder won its opening playoff game, this year taking down a good Roy team, 30-28.

Timpanogos (No. 45) had a great season going 9-3 on the year. With a last-second field goal, the Timberwolves beat Box Elder 31-29 to win just for the second time ever in the playoffs. Incidentally, Box Elder was the No. 24 seed in the 5A playoffs, or the last team in, and nearly made the quarterfinals defeating Tooele in the first round and then falling to the Timberwolves on the final play of the game. If the Bees would have won, that would have been three teams seeded 20th or lower that made the 5A quarterfinals showing that the seeding of the 5A tournament was a bit suspect.

Juab (No. 50) finished 10-2 on the year losing to Morgan in the 3A finals. Utah County teams ranked nearby are Cedar Valley (No. 57), Pleasant Grove (No. 58) and Maple Mountain (No. 59).

The Aviators finished 6-5 and had a big come-from-behind win over Timpanogos. It was a rough year for the Vikings, who did beat Maple Mountain for its lone victory, and the Golden Eagles had a big win over Mountain Crest in its regular-season finale before falling to Wasatch in the first round of the 5A tourney.

Payson (No. 68) put together one of its better seasons in many years by going 5-6. The Lions were victimized by the Olympus Titans in the first round of the 5A playoffs.

It was a rough year for Salem Hills (No. 71), Mountain View (No. 87) and ALA (No. 103), as all three could only manage one win each on their 2021 campaigns.

San Juan (No. 40) went 12-1 to win the 2A title. Grantsville, who had an early-season 7-2 loss to Provo, won the 3A crown and finished the season ranked No. 43. And Duchesne (11-1 and No. 60) won the 1A title.

Lastly, it was nice to see Kearns get a playoff win. Last year, the Cougars were the No. 5 seed in the 6A tournament but had to forfeit to Fremont because of COVID-19 concerns. And though they didn’t play that many games in 2021 Navajo nation schools Monument Valley and Whitehorse did get on the gridiron a combined six teams this season. And history was made as Park City gave Skyline its first ever home loss in the playoffs. The Eagles have a rich history in Utah prep football and were 38-0 at home in the playoffs before Park City earned the 27-10 victory at the newly rebuilt Eagles’ Nest.

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