PLEASANT GROVE — Ever since the fifth week of the regular season — when the South Summit Wildcats lost their only game — they have been sure to not look past the next opponent.
Now the Wildcats can focus all their attention on another shot at San Juan, this time in the 2A state championship at Southern Utah University next Saturday.
That's because South Summit (10-1) dominated from beginning to end in a 38-7 win over Millard (8-3) in a semifinal contest.
"After getting beat [26-6 by San Juan Sept. 17] I'm so proud of how they have played and now put themselves in a position to play them again," South Summit head coach Jerry Parker said.
The Wildcats were certainly focused on taking care of business against the Eagles, coming out firing on all cylinders. Three scores on its first three possessions — a three-yard run by quarterback Parker Anderson, a 34-yard reception by Jeff McCormick and an 89-yard run from Hayden Packard — put the game out of reach in the first quarter.
After the first-quarter outburst, Parker admitted it was tough for his players to keep their intensity level high.
"After we got geared up so much after that first quarter, it was tough to keep that up," he said.
Trevor Rydalch added a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter, but Millard cut into the Wildcats' lead when Francisco Alcala ran into the end zone from two yards out.
And the Eagles never threw in the towel, something that wasn't lost on Parker.
"Man, they (Millard) never gave up," he said. "They kept playing hard until the very end."
Three more times, the Eagles fashioned extended drives in which they had good chances to score, only to come up short due to crucial mistakes or good defensive plays by South Summit.
Levi Thompson busted loose for a 73-yard score and Anderson added a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to provide for the final score.10 comments on this story
Perhaps the two best plays of the game came from the losing side, and by the same player. Millard's Taylor Komarek grabbed a one-handed catch across the middle for 36 yards in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter, Komarek snagged another ball one-handed for 39 yards, this time adding to the level of difficulty by diving and safely tucking the ball to shield it from the ground.
After the game, Parker acknowledged that beating undefeated San Juan will be a challenge.
"We've got to try to figure out how to manufacture some points. I'm thinking of sending our waterboy out there to try and score some points," he joked.