SALT LAKE CITY — When analyzing the astonishing career of Mountain Crest senior quarterback Alex Kuresa, who has eclipsed almost every state record for his highly respected position, the one thing remaining left to be accomplished is, of course, a state championship.
Hence, the Dan Marino effect.
That single "glare" in the young man's résumé is one step closer to being erased from memory after Mountain Crest defeated Bountiful 42-35 in a back-and-forth affair Friday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium to set up the rematch of the 2005 state championship against Highland.
Kuresa has accumulated more than 12,000 yards total offense, including 10,000 yards passing, in his illustrious prep career, both of which are easily state records, and he has amassed a stellar 30-6 record as the Mustangs' starting quarterback. He, however, would trade every record in the books and all those other victories for one more win.
"Definitely," Kuresa said. "It (would) mean a lot more. I've been playing with (my teammates) since third grade and to have accomplishments that I can share with my friends like that is amazing."
In his fourth semifinal appearance, Kuresa decided to break even more records, and it seemed almost expected for him to do so. The Mustangs' field general dazzled fans with a performance for the ages, as he accounted for more than 539 yards total offense — the second most in state semifinal history.
He completed 34 of 55 passes for 444 yards and four touchdowns — all semifinal state records.
"His will to win is pretty much unmatched. He doesn't want it to end yet and his goal has always been to be a state champion," said Mustangs coach Mark Wootton, "We've been beat his first three years in the semis, and we finally got (to the championship). Hopefully, he can have a great game next week and we'll see what happens."
Despite having one of the best games of his career, Kuresa is still focused on the task at hand.
"It's amazing. I can only imagine what the next game is going to feel like. Right now, it feels good," Kuresa said about advancing to the state championship game. "We're gonna celebrate a win tonight and then we're gonna get back to business and we're gonna come ready to play next week."
The Mustangs will face Highland in the 4A state championship, a team Mountain Crest beat 28-14 in the two teams' season-opener.
"We're looking forward to the rematch," said Kuresa, "We've played them twice every year just about. It's gonna be a battle — neither team likes each other. It's definitely a rivalry."