HEBER CITY — All week leading up to Saturday's 1A semifinal, Duchesne coach Billy Hoopes stressed with his players that beating Rich again, let alone blowing the Rebels out by 42 points, wouldn't be easy.
"We knew Rich would have a really good game plan coming out, and we stressed that to the guys all week long. They would be prepared for us and we had to do our best job preparing for them," said Hoopes.
Duchesne certainly didn't take the Rebels lightly.
A day after the defending 5A, 4A and 3A state champs bowed out of the playoffs — and the same day 2A champ San Juan lost — Duchesne dominated rival Rich cruising to the 46-0 semifinal victory at Wasatch High School.
The defending 1A champs will meet Layton Christian next Saturday at Wasatch High at 1 p.m. to try and claim its second straight state title.
"Taking state, which we have an opportunity to do next week, that doesn't come around very often. We've only done it twice that I've been a part of here," said Hoopes.
Duchesne's offense dominated with 362 yards of total offense, while defensively the Eagles racked up three interceptions, five sacks and held Rich to 49 yards of total offense.
"We're an all around pretty balanced team right now, our line is doing a good job blocking for us, we're just making what we can happen running the ball," said Duchesne's Macoy Young.
Duchesne got off to a bit of a slow start fumbling the ball on its first series and then going three and out on its second series. It merely delayed the inevitability.
On the first play of the Eagles' third possession, quarterback Shiaba Allen raced 93 yards up the left sideline to give Duchesne the 7-0 lead.
After Rich punted for the third straight time, Duchesne marched 71 yards in 7 plays, with Kaden Moon capping the drive on a 19-yard TD run extending the lead 14-0.
The underdog Rebels responded with their best drive of the game, but the drive stalled in the end zone as Young intercepted a pass on fourth-and-goal with 4:00 remaining in the first half.
"If Macoy doesn't get an interception there in the end zone and bring it out it's 14-7 probably, that was a huge play," said Hoopes.5 comments on this story
Over the final minutes of the half, Duchesne reminded everyone why it's the overwhelming favorite to claim the 1A title. Young scored on a 39-yard touchdown run, McKade Nielsen scored on a 40-yard interception return and then Young scored again on a 50-yard put return as the Eagles extended their lead to 33-0 at the half.
"Coach (Jerry) Cowan does such a good job getting our kids ready defensively, and preparing the kids. It all starts with Max Lewis in the middle," said Hoopes.