North Summit (6-4) at San Juan (9-0)
2A state tournament quarterfinal
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry's Power Guide: San Juan by 21
All-time series: San Juan leads 6-1
Coach vs. coach: This is the first meeting between San Juan's Monty Lee and North Summit's Devin Smith
Last meeting: Oct. 1, 2010, San Juan 35, North Summit 0 (At San Juan)
The task in front of North Summit on Friday is daunting to say the least.
First the Braves must to take a six-hour bus ride to Blanding prior to their 5 p.m. quarterfinal kickoff at No. 1 San Juan.
Then, when the game finally starts, North Summit must try and do something that 29 straight San Juan opponents have failed at — win.
"We're excited. The kids are excited. We know the challenge ahead of us. They've got that long winning streak going, and they're the two-time defending state champs. We definitely have a lot of respect for them," said North Summit coach Devin Smith.
San Juan's last loss was a 21-20 setback to Durango, Colo., on Sept. 11, 2009.
Some wondered if San Juan might experience a drop-off after graduating so many starters last year, but that hasn't been the case at all. The Broncos are averaging 35.6 ppg to lead 2A, while they've been dominant defensively as well, surrendering only 6.3 ppg.
San Juan coach Monty Lee didn't really expect a drop off this year.
"Talent wise, they're just as talented, they're good athletes, and they have a nose for the ball. We have an extremely good defensive coordinator who has his kids prepared. We really haven't hit our peak yet in all seriousness. I think we can be better than what we've shown," said Lee.
San Juan is unlike most 2A teams in that it's successful both running and passing the ball. Quarterback Barkley Christensen has thrown for 1,614 yards and 18 TDs this year, while six running backs have rushed for at least two touchdowns, led by Logan Meyer's eight.
"Obviously, going to Blanding we need to play well, and we need to take care of the football," said Smith. "They have really good skill guys. They throw it well, they run that fly sweep pretty well."
North Summit has won three straight since a 35-0 loss to South Summit, and he said it's important that his players believe they can win regardless of the opponent.
"Our kids are confident right now. They believe in what we're doing and they believe in each other. We just have to take the mindset that it's a game we have to play, and win in order to advance, rather than making a big issue of their winning streak," said Smith.
Even though San Juan is a big favorite to advance to the semifinals, Lee is impressed with what he's seen from North Summit.
"They are so disciplined, they're very methodical and very precise in what they do. They have a game plan, they have strengths and they stay with those strengths. They're a seasoned bunch of kids," said Lee.
The winner advances to face the Millard/Richfield winner on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. at Pleasant Grove High School.
North Summit statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 22.1 ppg
Scoring defense: 20.3 ppg
Passing leader: Keegan McQueen (45-85, 52.9%, 562 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT)
Rushing leaders: Nathan Rees (134 carries, 703 yards, 7 TDs), Keegan McQueen (101 carries, 588 yards, 11 TDs)
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