High school football: Skyline coach Roger Dupaix hits milestone with win No. 300
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It was a historic moment for Utah high school football.
It was just another day at the office for Roger Dupaix.
Skyline's head football coach did what no other Utah high school football coach has ever done Friday night when he earned his 300th career win with a 24-6 victory over Westlake.
"It means we have a shot at the region championship," said Dupaix when asked what it meant to hit the milestone. "We have Olympus next week, the Battle of the Rock. They've beaten us the last couple of years. They're a great team; it's just going to be an awesome battle."
Dupaix and the Eagles made history the same way they put the program on the map — running the football. In fact, the Eagles attempted just one pass in the entire game — an incomplete pass just before halftime.
The Eagles won Friday's game on the ground. The team accumulated 296 yards rushing and Maurice Mapps earned 143 of those yards and all three of the team's touchdowns.
The last touchdown came just after Dylan Daugherty was hit extremely hard and spent several minutes on the ground with medical personnel. Dupaix said he may have injured his spleen and is hoping he makes it back in time to face Olympus next Friday.
The mood turned somber as trainers examined Daugherty, but it inspired Mapps. On the very first play after Daugherty was helped off the field, he ran 24 yards for the touchdown.
"Every time a teammate goes down, something inside just fires me up," said Mapps. "To see my teammate go down, I was like, 'I gotta do this for him.' The exact same thing happened at Herriman. I just stepped up to the line and the line just blocked them. All I saw was green."
Westlake had a size advantage at most positions, but Skyline managed to win the battle at the line of scrimmage.
Dupaix was especially proud of his team's defense in his 300th win. The Eagles held the Thunder to just six points and 32 yards rushing in the first half.
"The defense did an awesome job tonight," he said. "To hold Westlake to what we did (six points). That really helps the offense when the defense stops them."
Dupaix said he thought very little about the magnitude of the win until Friday.
"It wasn't bad until today," said Dupaix about the pressure associated with hitting a milestone that only 96 other coaches in the country have achieved in 125 years of football. "And then today all the adrenaline just kept going through me, and I didn't know what I was doing or saying in class. I was a mess today."
His players were thrilled that they were able to earn the win for Dupaix.
"Dupaix is kind of a quiet guy, but I could tell it meant a lot to him," said offensive lineman Austin Harrison. "He said he didn't want a big celebration, but I think we're going to give him one anyway."
Dupaix's celebration was about as low-key and down to earth as it gets. A cake in the press box, a football signed by his players, handshakes and hugs from former players and bag of his favorite treat — Peanut M&Ms — and a kiss from his wife, Edie, were Dupaix's reward for 300 career wins.
"He's taught us that life isn't just all about football," said tight end Brandon Shingleton. "There is more than that. If you don't go to the next level, he's taught us there are a lot of things we're learning that we can use for the rest of our lives."
His wife, Edie, has only missed a handful of games in the 41 years he's coached.
"He loves the kids," she said of the reason he's dedicated his life to the game. "He loves them so much. And it's so worthwhile to see the kids succeed."
The win means Dupaix goes down in the history books, but it also means the Eagles face their region rival with a region championship on the line. Both teams are undefeated and capable of competing for a state title this year.
"It's intense," said Mapps of playing in a rivalry game. "It's the biggest game. Our fans, their fans, everybody going at it, yelling. It's smash-mouth football. You're going to do whatever it takes to win. It's time to bring back Skyline tradition. We've got a lot to prove."
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