EPHRAIM — Duchesne dominated Altamont on Saturday, 42-12, in the Utah 1A high school football state semifinals and will play Rich in the championship.
On the opening drive, Duchesne (9-1) drove 77 yards in 4:25. Junior Braiden Despain and senior Jerry Ginn shared the load on the drive, with Ginn scoring on a 7-yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed and Duchesne settled for a 6-0 lead.
Altamont recovered an onside kick from Duchesne and on their first offensive play, Kyle Foy ran the ball 46 yards to Duchesne's 3-yard line before being forced out of bounds. After a false start and a couple short runs Altamont was stuffed on fourth-and-3.
Duchesne kept feeding the ball to Despain and on their second drive, he totaled 80 yards rushing. Altamont made a red zone stand and kept Duchesne from scoring.
On the first play of the third drive for Duchesne, Ginn ran 32 yards for a touchdown. Despain punched in the two-point conversion and Duchesne was on top 14-0 with 11:52 in the second quarter.
Altamont was held scoreless in the first half and headed into the break behind 20-0.
Duchesne hasn't lost at the 1A level this year but despite its success the team was focused on Saturday's opponent. The coaching staff and players did their best to refrain from looking toward the championship until after the game.
"We tried to take Altamont 'one game at a time,' " said Duchesne head coach Billy Hoopes.
Altamont found a few bright spots in the second half and even scored first.
The score came when Jordan Benson connected with Dathan Panas for a 70-yard touchdown completion.
Altamont kept Duchesne in striking distance when they had a 30-yard kickoff return with 1:48 left in the third quarter. Foy punched in the second and final touchdown for Altamont from 2-yards out with 8:59 on the clock in the fourth.
Duchesne always had an answer, though, and kept the offense rolling all game long. They had five different players score.
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"I'll be honest, this year we have some sophomores that don't get to play," said Hoopes. "Other years they would have started but this year we're deep."
Looking ahead to the championship game, Hoopes pointed out they had already played Rich this season and won a nailbiter 14-13 in overtime.
"None of us have any secrets about what we run," Hoopes said. "We just have to get the kids as prepared as we can."
The championship will be played Saturday at 11 a.m. at Southern Utah University.
See story at deseretnews.com/sports/high-school