3A high school football previews: Grantsville at Juan Diego
Grantsville (6-4) at Juan Diego (10-0)
3A state tournament first round
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry’s Power Guide: Juan Diego by 33
All-time series: Juan Diego leads 10-0
Coach vs. coach: Juan Diego’s John Colosimo leads Grantsville’s Tony Cloward, 7-0
Last meeting: Oct. 1, 2010 — Juan Diego 28, Grantsville 0
If you’re planning on attending this Friday’s 3A playoff game between Grantsville and No. 1 Juan Diego, don’t be late. Few teams eat up yardage and time on the clock quite like these two.
“This game might be over in an hour and a half,” joked Grantsville coach Tony Cloward.
Both teams run the veer offense, and both do it very well. Grantsville has a run-pass ratio of about 4 to 1 this season while Juan Diego’s ratio is about 3.5 to 1.
Establishing the line of scrimmage will be the key for both teams.
“We can’t let them control the ball game as they pretty much did against Stansbury and Ogden, the two games we’ve seen,” said Juan Diego coach John Colosimo.
Juan Diego is one of two remaining undefeated teams in 3A, and it’s easy to see why. It averages five touchdowns per game on offense, while only allowing 8.1 ppg game on defense.
Led by Chase Williams (793 yards) and Jessie Springer (690 yards), Juan Diego has rushed for more than 2,800 yards this season. The Soaring Eagle are anything but one dimensional, though. Their quarterbacks have combined to pass for more than 1,100 yards, led by Nick Markosian’s 703 yards.
“We just try and take what the defense gives us and do that more by play calling and decisions by the quarterback,” said Colosimo.
Defense is ultimately what separates Juan Diego from just about every other team in 3A. In the past six games, which includes its preseason-finale against Granger, Juan Diego surrendered a combined 24 points and no more than seven in any one game.
Linebackers Dakota Cox, a University of Cincinnati commit, and Walter Kauhaahaa, a Utah State commit, have been the catalysts to that outstanding defense.
Coming off a region campaign in which Juan Diego absolutely dominated with a 41.9 average margin of victory, the players are anxious to compete in meaningful playoff games.
Grantsville is anxious to see how it stacks up against the No. 1 team in 3A.
“We have a saying around here, to be considered one of the better teams you have to beat one of the better teams, and it just so happens we get to play the best,” said Cloward.
The Cowboys never expected to be in such a tough first-round situation. They’ve faced injury adversity throughout the year though, particularly losing starting quarterback Max Cook to a season-ending injury a week before the season began.
After experimenting with sophomore Nephi Meono at quarterback early in the year, Grantsville switched to senior Kelby Landon in Week 5 and his leadership led the Cowboys to a 4-2 record the latter portion of the season.
One of those games was a narrow 14-13 defeat to undefeated Stansbury back on Oct. 11. That game gives Grantsville hope it can compete with Juan Diego.
“We’re using the Stansbury game as a leveling stick that we can play with these top teams in the state,” said Cloward.
If Grantsville expects to compete, it can’t afford to fall behind early.
“If we get behind, that could be the end of it. We’re just not a great catch up team, but we’re a great leading team,” said Cloward.
Grantsville hopes that with a senior-laden offensive line and strong games from running backs Ky Fisher, Jared Lambert and Kaleb Ware, it can keep the game close.
Juan Diego and Grantsville have three common opponents this year — Wasatch, Judge and Uintah. Juan Diego won those three games by an average margin of 38.6, while Grantsville won by a 12.6 average.
It’s a clear indicator that No. 1 Juan Diego is the favorite in this first round game.
Grantsville statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 21.5 ppg
Scoring defense: 16.9 ppg
Passing leader: Kelby Landon (30-82, 36.6 percent, 409 yards, 1 TD, 5 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Ky Fisher (141 carries, 716 yards, 16 TDs), Jared Lambert (121 carries, 502 yards, 2 TDs), Kaleb Ware (120 carries, 492 yards, 4 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Ky Fisher (17 rec., 230 yards, 0 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Ky Fisher (69), Skyler Cloward (65)
Sack leaders: Jacob Riding (8), Skyler Cloward (5.5)
Interception leaders: Kelby Landon (3)
Juan Diego statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 36.9 ppg
Scoring defense: 8.1 ppg
Passing leader: Nick Markosian (34-70, 48.6 percent, 703 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Chase Williams (117 carries, 793 yards, 14 TDs), Jessie Springer (101 carries, 690 yards, 6 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Dakota Cox (13 rec., 307 yards, 6 TDs), Jessie Springer (14 rec., 239 yards, 2 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Dakota Cox (106), Walter Kauhaahaa (70)
Sack leaders: Dakota Cox (4)
Interception leaders: Cole Nelson, Justin Caywood (4 each)
Felts Facts for Grantsville High School
All-time record: 366-422-21 (96 years)
Region championships: 9 (1960, 1967 co, 1973, 1978, 1984 co, 1985, 1986, 1991 co, 1998)
Playoff appearances: 36 (including 2012)
All-time playoff record: 39-32
State championships: 3 (1992, 1996, 1997)
State championship record: 3-5
Felt’s Factoid(s): Grantsville holds the state record (tied with Clearfield) for season interceptions with 33 set in 1997. ... Cowboy Alan Mouritsen holds the season all-purpose yardage record, 3,287, set in 1997 and the career rushing TD record, 70, set from 1996-98. He also holds the record for career TDs, 77, and season TDs, 42 (1997).
Felts Facts for Juan Diego High School
All-time record: 127-28 (13 years)
Region championships: 10 (2003, 2004, 2005 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Playoff appearances: 12 (including 2012)
All-time playoff record: 24-6
State championships: 5 (2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010)
State championship record: 5-1
Felt’s Factoid(s): JD has the best all-time winning percentage in the state at .819. It’s also one of five teams in state history to have a 14-0 record (2008).