San Juan (9-1) vs. South Sevier (9-1)
2A state tournament semifinal
Saturday, 2 p.m. (at Southern Utah University)
Parry's Power Guide: San Juan by 17
All-time series: San Juan leads 18-3
Coach vs. Coach: San Juan's Monty Lee leads South Sevier's Travis McAllister, 6-0
Last meeting: Oct. 15, 2008 — San Juan 39, South Sevier 7
The South Sevier Rams have faced some decent teams en route to a 9-1 record this year, but they haven't faced a team quite like what they'll see at the 2A semifinals this weekend.
Their opponent this weekend, San Juan, features the second best scoring offense and defense in 2A and also owns an impressive 9-1 record.
"They're really good defensively, we're going to face probably the best defense we've faced all year," said South Sevier coach Travis McAllister.
Kickoff between the two nine-win teams is set for 2 p.m. at Southern Utah University this Saturday, and history definitely favors San Juan. The Broncos own an 18-3 record all-time against South Sevier, including a 39-7 win in the most recent meeting last October.
A repeat blowout is very, very unlikely with as well as South Sevier is playing this year. The Rams' only loss this year was a last-second loss at Enterprise and they're coming off a 33-10 quarterfinal win over Parowan.
"They're got probably the most returning varsity experience as anyone that's left, so they've got seasoned varsity players," said San Juan coach Monty Lee. "That's always advantage, you get that feel, that rhythm, that continuity."
No. 1 San Juan should be a slight favorite heading into the game, but its defense will get a big test. The Rams pride themselves on being a multi-dimensional offensive team and have proven it all year. Quarterback Orion Wilson has passed for over 1,300 yards this year and 11 touchdowns, with a good chunk of those completions going to standout receiver Dillon Bishoff who has 755 yards and six touchdowns.
Many teams have resorted to double-teaming Bishoff this year, but South Sevier can take advantage of that defensive game plan as well with a balanced rushing attack led by Austin Manwill and Landon Leavitt.
Regardless of what San Juan's defense focuses on, McAllister said his team needs to execute.
"You gotta execute, you can't have mistakes and penalties. You hope you can move the chains a little bit and keep the ball out of their hands," said McAllister.
South Sevier needs to match San Juan's physical toughness as well.
While the Rams are coming off a fairly easy victory, nothing came easy for San Juan in last weekend's quarterfinals as it narrowly beat rival Kanab 13-7.
Running back Jace Holliday scored the game-winning touchdown and finished with 108 yards on 21 carries.
"He's a kid that you just have to ride, and I think he's earned the right, he's paid a price for several years and he's every bit a go-to guy as you want," said Lee.
On the season Holliday has rushed for 1,183 yards and nine touchdowns.
The winner advances to the 2A state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Alta High School at 11 a.m.
San Juan statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 32.2 ppg
Scoring defense: 11.0 ppg
Passing leader: Cameron Shumway (74-14, 50.0%, 1,390 yards, 16 TDs)
Rushing leader: Jace Holliday (121 carries, 1,183 yards, 9 TDs)
Receiving leader: Benny Royer (20 catches, 421 yards, 7 TDs)
Sacks leader: Stetler Shumway (6.5 sacks)
Interceptions leader: Benny Royer (3 interceptions)
South Sevier statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 28.9 ppg
Scoring defense: 12.5 ppg
Passing leader: Orion Wilson (87-158, 55.1%, 1,310 yards, 11 TDs)
Rushing leader: Austin Manwill (111 carries, 595 yards, 8 TDs)
Receiving leader: Dillon Bishoff (55 catches, 755 yards, 6 TDs)