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A look at the state football playoffs for 1A, 2A and 3A

Juab's Dawson Olsen avoids the tackle from Morganâ??s Isaac Rees in the 3A football championship game at Dixie State University in St. George on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

Juab's Dawson Olsen avoids the tackle from Morganâ??s Isaac Rees in the 3A football championship game at Dixie State University in St. George on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — With the high school football regular season coming to a close and regional trophies awarded, the playoff tournament is set to kickoff this week with a long list of endeavors from all classifications.

While the top seeds will receive a first-round bye due to their regular season performances, there are still plenty of notable matchups to watch out for, which could include a few spoilers before facing the top dogs. Here's a look at the three lower classifications in the state.

3A Playoffs

2020 Champion: Juab

Top four seeds with a bye: No. 1 Juab (9-1), No. 2 Juan Diego (7-2), No. 3 Grantsville (7-3), No. 4 Morgan (7-3)

Team to beat this year: Juab

With their only loss coming against 5A's Salem Hills, Juab will be the team to beat this postseason after an impressive 9-1 overall record. During their latest regular season campaign, the Wasps outscored their opponents 338-172 in their nine victories for an average of 37.5 points per game.

Led by quarterback Alex Jackson, who threw for 2,234 yards and a whopping 30 touchdowns, any team they face will have their work cut out for them as they try to slow down the junior gunslinger and his arsenal of receivers.

Team most likely to upset: Grantsville

Also emerging from the 3A North division, Grantsville could play spoiler this year with the most formidable defense in the entire classification. In addition to a respectable 7-3 record, the Cowboys only allowed 78 points all season for an average of 7.8 points allowed per game. This also included three shutouts against North Sanpete, Ogden and Union.

With linebacker Gabe Mouritsen, who led the team with an impressive 66 tackles, as the anchor of the defense, teams will struggle to put points on the board against the Cowboys.

Weekend's schedule: All games played on Oct. 22

  • No. 8 Manti v. No. 9 Ogden, 4 p.m.
  • No. 5 North Sanpete v. No. 12 Ben Lomond, 4 p.m.
  • No. 7 Canyon View v. No. 10 Richfield, 6 p.m.
  • No. 6 Union v. No. 11 Carbon, 6 p.m.

2A Playoffs

2020 Champion: Beaver

Top four seeds with a bye: No. 1 San Juan (9-1), No. 2 South Summit (10-0), No. 3 Beaver (9-1), No. 4 Summit Academy (6-4)

Team to beat this year: San Juan

Despite conceding a 45-20 loss in their season opener to 4A's Desert Hills, San Juan went undefeated the rest of the season, winning nine straight games — most of which were blowouts. Scoring an average of 42.1 points per game while only allowing 14.1, beating this well-balanced team will be no easy task.

With weapons like running back Jensen Grover, who ran for 990 yards and 13 touchdowns, and quarterback Jace Palmer, who threw for 2,129 yards and 29 touchdowns, the Broncos should cruise right to the state championship game.

Team most likely to upset: Beaver

Outside of their unique name, the Beaver Beavers are the reigning 2020 champs and picked up right where they left off with a dominant 9-1 record this season. While their offense was just slightly above average, their defense was the best in the league. The Beavers only allowed an average of 10.5 points per game.

Beaver's only loss came against San Juan and was a closely contested matchup, with a final score of 8-0, which is the Broncos' narrowest margin of victory.

Weekend's schedule: All games played on Oct. 22

  • No. 8 Millard v. No. 9 south Sevier, 5 p.m.
  • No. 5 Emery v. No. 12 Grand County, 6 p.m.
  • No. 7 Providence Hall v. No. 10 Judge Memorial, 6 p.m.
  • No. 6 Delta v. No. 11 American Leadership Academy, 6 p.m.

1A Playoffs

2020 Champion: N/A

Top five seeds with a bye: No. 1 Duchesne (8-1), No. 2 Kanab (8-2), No. 3 Enterprise (6-3), No. 4 Milford (6-4), No. 5 North Sevier (6-4)

Team to beat this year: Duchesne

In addition to only one loss on the season, Duchesne earned that No. 1 seed thanks to having both the best offense and defense in the league. With an average of 37.3 points scored per game and only 12.1 points allowed, the Eagles were a well balanced team who cruised past opponents.

Led by defensive weapons like cornerback Garrett Fabrizio and defensive end Dusty Clayburn, who both have more than 50 tackles on the year, opposing offenses will have a tough time running or passing against Duchesne.

Team most likely to upset: Layton Christian

Despite a 6-4 overall record, Layton Christian had the second-best defense in the league and an above average offense. WIth their only losses coming against multiple 2A schools and several of the top-five seeds, Layton Christian could play spoiler in the tournament.

Weekend's schedule: All games played on Oct. 22

  • No. 8 Parowan v. No. 9 Gunnison Valley, 6 p.m.
  • No. 7 North Summit v. No. 10 Rich, 5 p.m.
  • No. 6 Layton Christian Academy v. No. 11 Monticello, 3 p.m.

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