SALT LAKE CITY — Almost perfect.
That was the vibe Juan Diego was riding Friday night after exiting the 3A state football semifinals with a 14-13 loss to Dixie.
"It's always hard to lose the last one," said Juan Diego coach John Colosimo. "We had a great year and did some nice things."
Friday's defeat was the first loss for the Soaring Eagle at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
To say that Juan Diego was its own worst enemy Friday night would be an understatement. Penalties plagued the Soaring Eagle all night, as it finished the game with 10 penalties for 107 total yards — several of them personal fouls.
"Just too many mistakes tonight," said Colosimo. "We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. Too many penalties, too many turnovers, and it was not a good Juan Diego effort."
The loss cut deeper for the previously undefeated squad, as it was honoring Adam Colosimo, the former teammate and victim of a tragic accident over the summer.
A large blue flag with the No. 2 was on display throughout the game, a symbol for the player whose life was lost but most certainly not forgotten.
"We tried to get one for Adam — my teammate and my cousin," said Juan Diego quarterback Nick Markosian. "It means a lot, getting back up here, but it's a bit of disappointment when it doesn’t go your way. That's life sometimes. But he is with us tonight, and he will be with us always."
Markosian finished the game completing 4-of-8 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed nine times for 39 yards.
For a team that won three consecutive state titles, starting in 2008, the difference in Friday's game was merely a missed PAT off the upright. Granted, a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown cost Juan Diego 15 yards, but it was anyone's ball game from start to finish.
"It's unfortunate. You hate to lose a game in that manner, but hats off to Dixie for a great job and even better game plan," said Colosimo.
Soaring Eagle junior Chase Williams silently dominated the ground game with his fifth 100-yard game of the season. Unfortunately, it was finding the end zone that Williams had trouble with. Fellow running back Jessie Springer finished with 15 carries for 71 yards and the opening score.
"A lot of emotions right now, and we kind of let that one slip away from us. Wrong time to let it slip I guess," said Markosian. "Really great season — wish it would have ended differently, but we weren't ourselves tonight. Dixie brought it, and I hope they go on to win state."