3A high school football preview: Hurricane at Juan Diego
Hurricane (9-1) at Juan Diego (11-0)
3A state tournament quarterfinal
Friday, 5 p.m.
Parry’s Power Guide: Juan Diego by 1
All-time series: Juan Diego leads 3-0 (all three in state championship games)
Last meeting: Nov. 19, 2010 (3A championship) — Juan Diego 10, Hurricane 7
DRAPER — The anticipation for the 3A quarterfinal matchup between Juan Diego and Hurricane (insert screeching brakes sound effect here).
Wait. What? Juan Diego and Hurricane playing in the second round? Get out of here.
In most cases if anyone strung together quarterfinals with the two most dominate programs in the 3A classification during the same sentence they’d quickly be provided a cold rag, a glass of water and a dose of aspirin for the apparent head injury.
That isn’t the case this season because of Hurricane’s triple-overtime loss that paved the path for the Tigers (9-1) as the No. 2 seed from Region 9. Therefore, two programs that have a combined record of 117-9 — discounting games against each other — since 2008 will play for a berth in the semifinals at Juan Diego Friday.
“Second round games are usually pretty competitive, but this (game) does have a history that pretty much everybody is familiar with that’s involved in high school football in Utah,” Hurricane coach Chris Homer said. “We’re trying to downplay; basically it’s just a football game, and we just have to execute and do our thing. It’s two good programs (and) I’m sure it will be a well-played game. There’s a lot of respect both ways. It could be really exciting.”
Juan Diego coach John Colosimo noted that games of this magnitude don’t happen often this early in the playoffs.
“In 2008 we played Logan in the quarterfinals; they were the defending state champs, No. 1 team,” he said. “That was a great game, but I think this has to match it. I think this game is very similar; the No. 1 team gets upset kind of in a freaky manner and falls to us in the quarterfinals. I would rank both those games equal in terms of the matchup.”
The Soaring Eagle (11-0) and Tigers played three consectuive years in the state championship from 2008-10. Juan Diego won all three meetings by a combined eight points, two of which were on the last play and the first with 3.2 seconds left in regulation. But, last year, the Tigers capped an undefeated season with their first state championship in school history after Juan Diego fell, ironically, in the quarterfinals.
“I think both of us will use that to our advantage,” Colosimo said about bulletin board material. “We’ve talked about (having) the opportunity to play the defending 3A state champions on our home field. I think they’ll talk about (losing) three straight in a heart-breaking manner, and it’s time to win one for all those graduates. I think we’ll both use our history a little bit to motivate our kids.”
Through 11 games, Juan Diego’s defense has been stingier than a malfunctioning vending machine, allowing 7.4 points per game — including only 24 points collectively in the past seven games. Those gaudy statistics will be put to the test against Hurricane’s law firm backfield Edwards-Thompson.