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High school football: Defensive stand lifts Juan Diego over Skyline

By Bruce Smith

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Sept. 7 2012 11:42 p.m. MDT

Juan Diego's Jessie Springer (27) gets tackled by Skyline's Andre Salehi (25) during the first half on Friday.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

DRAPER — The final score may have revealed a 27-19 victory by Juan Diego over Skyline Friday night. But to the people involved, the outcome basically was determined by a couple of key plays.

With about 10 minutes remaining and Juan Diego ahead 14-12, Skyline quarterback Tyler Snyder had the Eagles rolling until he was tackled near the Juan Diego 9-yard line on a third-down play.

The officials marked the ball and, with their own eyes, couldn't determine if Snyder had made the first down. They called in the nearby chain gang and measured.

It was close. Really close.

"About as close as you can get," said Skyline coach Steve Marlowe.

People on the sidelines nearby said you could put a credit card in-between, but little else. Juan Diego coach John Colosimo was across the field, but compared it to an eyelash.

With the fans on their feet, and everyone on the sideline watching intently, the officials measured it twice to be sure. In the end, they determined it was fourth down. On the next play, the Soaring Eagle roared through Skyline's offensive line and changed the outcome of the contest.

Three plays later, Nick Markosian broke loose on an amazing 82-yard run that made the difference in the game, which kept the Soaring Eagle undefeated and might be one of the key moments of the season.

"That was certainly the big play," said Colosimo, whose team lost 27-7 at Skyline last year. "It was a great game between two hard-hitting teams. We got some penetration on them on that play and you could say we made the most of it."

Juan Diego improved to 4-0 and faces a battle with another undefeated team — Granger — next week. Skyline, which may have one of the most talented players in the state in Garrett England, dropped to 1-3.

England scored two of Skyline's touchdowns. He got the Eagles rolling early, taking the opening kickoff over his shoulder and somehow avoiding going into the end zone. He turned around on the goal line and ran 99 yards for a touchdown that was the only score in the first half. The second half, however, was filled with offense.

Juan Diego got back into the game by accepting the kickoff and Markosian led the Soaring Eagle on a 14-play drive that culminated with a 5-yard run by Jessie Springer. The game went back-and-forth after that.

Snyder, who had 110 yards rushing and was easily Skyline's top runner, sprinted 83 yards to give the Eagles the lead again, but Juan Diego came back with another long drive to regain the lead on a short run by Chase Williams.

In this matchup between two evenly matched teams, it seemed to be Skyline's turn until Juan Diego's defense stepped up. The Soaring Eagle also got interceptions from Ricardo Espinoza and Cole Nelson that stopped Skyline drives. A 16-yard pass from Markosian to all-everything Dakota Cox put the game away.

"It was a great game and they made the biggest play,"? said Marlowe. "Don't know how to say it, hindsight is always 20-20. We got to get ready for region play next week."?

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