The postseason is underway across most of the country, including Utah, where a matchup between two of the top teams in the state – although each nearly missed the playoffs – leads off this edition of the MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week.
After being considered the top two teams in Class 4A throughout the course of the regular season, East (Salt Lake City) and Timpview (Provo) were sanctioned by Utah's state association for using ineligible players. East forfeited six wins and Timpview four as a punishment. Both teams still barely qualified for the postseason and won a series of road playoff games for the right to meet Friday in the state semifinals.
Elsewhere, the Ohio playoffs are entering their second weekend. Fourth-ranked St. Edward (Lakewood) has a tough draw in the Region 1 semifinals against a one-loss Mentor squad that averages 45 points per game.
In South Dakota, Washington (Sioux Falls) is looking to add to its national-record total of state championships when it takes on Brandon Valley (Brandon) in the 11A final. A win Saturday night at the Dakotadome would give Washington its 39th crown since 1905.
After correctly forecasting the winner in eight of last week's 10 games, Mitch Stephens made a move toward the top of our season-long predictions contest. Mitch now has 77 correct picks out of 110 games (70 percent) this season, leaving him only one game behind current leader Jamie DeMoney. Leland Gordon currently resides in third place but is only two games behind DeMoney.
Here's a look at this week's Top 10 games of the week along with predictions by MaxPreps staff writers and contributors Mitch Stephens, Steve Montoya, Stephen Spiewak, Kevin Askeland, Leland Gordon and Jamie DeMoney. MaxPreps Top 10 Football Games of the Week
Timpview (Provo, Utah) vs. East (Salt Lake City)
The official won-loss records show Timpview (Provo) at 7-5 playing an East (Salt Lake City) squad with a 5-7 record, but this still looks and feels like the matchup folks were expecting to see late in the playoffs.
Timpview (11-1 on the field) had little trouble winning on the road the first two weeks of the postseason. First, the Thunderbirds crushed top-seeded Logan, 49-14, and then ran past Woods Cross last weekend, 35-14. Now only two wins separate them from what would be a fourth state title in nine seasons. In the Woods Cross game, quarterback Jake Lloyd
led the way with four touchdown passes. The senior now has 46 touchdowns for the season with only six interceptions, according to the Deseret News. View the MaxPreps Utah football playoff brackets
Meanwhile, East (11-1 on the field) had to win three consecutive road games to reach this week's semifinals. The Leopards had to win a play-in game to even get in to the playoffs. Last week's 21-7 win over Box Elder marked the sixth time East has held an opponent to seven or fewer points this season. Mitch Stephens:
Timpview 28, East 24Steve Montoya:
East 22, Timpview 17Stephen Spiewak:
Timpview 35, East 28Kevin Askeland:
East 42, Timpview 17Leland Gordon:
Timpview 24, East 21Jamie DeMoney:
Timpview 27, East 21Freeman Computer prediction:
East 31, Timpview 28