I think this year we’re more hungry and we want it a little bit more. That’s kind of what we’re going off of — fixing those mistakes and stepping up. —Robbie Dias, Diamond Ranch head football coach
HURRICANE — Diamond Ranch coach Robbie Dias referred to Saturday’s 11 a.m. 1A quarterfinal matchup against Altamont as “déjà vu.”
After all, the Diamondbacks were upset last year by the Longhorns in the same round.
“Same time; same place,” Dias said. “It gives us another day to prepare, and day games (are) something a little bit different. It’s funny, you get almost a little superstitious to your normal routine. It shakes things up.”
However, he pointed out that the circumstances leading up to the game are different and potentially beneficial.
“Last year we were doing really well and climbing; we’d beat everybody but Duchesne,” Dias said of the 2012 team that won five straight games before falling to Altamont. “In this case, we’d been humbled the last two games. I think this year we’re more hungry and we want it a little bit more. That’s kind of what we’re going off of — fixing those mistakes and stepping up.”
Despite consecutive double-digit losses to Kanab and Rich, Dias believes the team is positioned to win the first playoff game in school history.
“It’s been good for us to go back to the film and realize what we’re doing wrong and gut-check and ask ourselves, ‘How bad do we want it?’ Is it worth the hard work?” Dias said. “Is it worth taking on those blocks? We’re definitely not in a situation where we can coast through, and Altamont can definitely beat us. We’ve got to step it up.”
The Diamondbacks are looking to duplicate the same effort that produced a 21-0 win over Altamont four weeks ago.
“We did a good job as far as stopping them from passing the ball, and we were able to open it up a little bit as far as our passing game on offense,” Dias said. “I think they were ready for us to run on them and we were able to spread out the field and throw the ball a little bit, which helped us open up our running game.”
The Longhorns duo of Dylan Lindsay and Rylee Foy accounted for 1,263 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground through seven weeks this season. To break its five-game losing streak, Altamont needs to establish the line of scrimmage. In the four of the Diamondbacks’ five losses, they’ve coughed up more than 200 yards on the ground. In those games, opposing teams have averaged 274 yards and 4.5 touchdowns on the ground alone.
“I’m not sure, obviously as a coach you try and figure it out,” Dias said. “What I’ve come to realize is there’s so much that I’m throwing at them and I think we’re forgetting to play hard-nosed football. You know, not worry so much about what you’re doing — I think we just need to play like we know how to play. We’ve got really good athletes and they’re tough. We’ve just got to stop stressing.”
Altamont statistical breakdown
(Note: Individual stats don’t include Weeks 8-10)
Scoring offense: 19.0 ppg (8th in 1A)
Scoring defense: 33.6 ppg (8th in 1A)
Passing leader: Dylan Lindsay (33-93, 35.5%, 578 yards, 5 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Randy Sorensen (11 catches, 251 yards, 1 TD)
Diamond Ranch statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 26.4 ppg (6th in 1A)
Scoring defense: 21.0 ppg (4th in 1A)
Individual stats not provided
Felt’s Facts for Altamont High School
All-time record: 146-253 (42 years)
Region championships: 1 (1978)
Playoff appearances: 26
All-time playoff record: 9-26
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
Felt’s Factoid(s): Altamont has played 42 seasons, but has clashed with top rival Duchesne 65 times. The rivalry is the third-longest uninterrupted active series in the state. Longhorn Kyle Foy set the single-game rushing record of 451 yards last season against Milford.
Felt’s Facts for Diamond Ranch High School
All-time record: 17-14 (3 years)
Region championships: 1 (2013 co)
Playoff appearances: 3
All-time playoff record: 0-2
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-0