San Juan (10-0) vs. South Summit (8-2)
2A state tournament semifinal
At Southern Utah University
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Parry’s Power Guide: San Juan by 12
All-time series: San Juan leads 6-0
Coach vs. coach: San Juan’s Monty Lee leads South Summit’s Jerry Parker, 4-0
Last meeting: Nov. 13, 2010 (2A championship) — San Juan 19, South Summit 6
Two seasons ago, San Juan and South Summit met in the 2A championship game.
On Saturday, the two will meet on another neutral field, in a 2A semifinal matchup at Southern Utah University.
“We have played San Juan a few times,” said South Summit coach Jerry Parker, “and they are always good. They have great coaches and great athletes.”
The Broncos ran the table in the 2A South Region and then easily defeated Emery, 56-13, in the first round of the playoffs. Barkley Christensen led San Juan in that game with five touchdowns — three rushing and two passing.
“Barkley is a great leader,” San Juan coach Monty Lee said. “When he got the opportunity to be quarterback, he shouldered that. He will do anything and everything to make us better.”
Christensen is surrounded by a solid cast.
“We have 35 kids that work hard every day with one goal in mind — be better today than yesterday,” Lee continued. “We have a great group of boys that love to play football.”
When it comes to preparing for the Wildcats, San Juan isn’t changing a thing from what it has done all year.
“We are trying to simulate what we think South Summit will throw at us and do the best we can to prepare for that,” Lee said. “We know they are a great team with great athletes and great tradition.”
In Kamas, South Summit — which defeated Richfield, 21-14, in the first round — is also maintaining normal routines in preparing for the semifinal meeting.
“We are just doing what we do,” Parker said. “We are not intimidated by (San Juan); we are excited to get to line up against them.”
The Wildcats are led by the play of running back Hayden Packard, who Parker said, “has been solid all year,” and junior quarterback Caden Christenson, who “has been a pleasant surprise since the start of the season.”
South Summit is looking forward to the return of Porter Santos, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, while Jay Reidhead and Carson Freestone have been solid at fullback.
Ultimately, the Wildcats are focused on this game not just for themselves, but for one of their own who can’t be on the field with them.
Porter Hancock broke his neck during a game last season and will be watching as an honorary team captain from the sidelines in his wheelchair.
“He would have been with the seniors, these would have been his games,” Parker said. “We would like to take this one for him.”
San Juan statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 37.8 ppg
Scoring defense: 4.6 ppg
Passing leader: Barkley Christensen (128-198, 64.6 percent, 1,669 yards, 20 TDs, 4 INTs)