MORGAN — Beating undefeated Springville last week was nice, but Friday's region opener at Morgan was the game Juan Diego had been targeting all season. If the Soaring Eagle could get a win at Morgan, the rest of the region slate looked quite favorable.
Juan Diego got exactly what it wanted Friday night.
Led by a dominant defense that frustrated Morgan's double wing-T offense all night, Juan Diego seized control of the Region 11 race with a 24-17 victory.
"We were pointing to this one all year long," said Juan Diego coach John Colosimo. "We didn't care about Springville so we didn't have an emotional letdown at all."
Juan Diego held Morgan to 198 yards of total offense, 117 of which came against Juan Diego's prevent defense in a pair of drives at the end of each half. The Trojans' offense was virtually non-existent the rest of the game.
Juan Diego led comfortably most of the second half before Morgan cut the deficit to 24-17 on a Lawson Toomer 2-yard plunge with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Juan Diego easily recovered the onside kick, however, to ice the game.
Prior to the late 51-yard scoring drive, Juan Diego had held Morgan to just five yards of offense in the second half, and recorded four sacks.
"They've been a very good offensive team, and our defense played outstanding tonight," said Colosimo.
The dominant defense made up for a lot of Juan Diego's offense shortcomings.
Leading 17-10 at the half, Juan Diego only mustered 120 yards of second-half offense, most coming on an 80-yard touchdown strike from Nathan Elorreaga to Oliver Weight with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. The one-handed catch over the middle on third-and-five turned out to be the play of the game.
"We knew that was open, we probably should've come back to it a couple more times," said Colosimo.
With the two-touchdown lead Juan Diego's offense stalled the rest of the game, turning it over twice and routinely giving Morgan great field position.
The Trojans couldn't capitalize as they suffered their first loss of the season.