3AA high school football: Juan Diego advances to the semifinals for 5th time in 6 years with win over Snow Canyon
DRAPER — Juan Diego hasn’t received a true scare since the second week of the season and hasn’t been challenged remotely for the last several weeks. In Friday’s 3AA quarterfinal game against Snow Canyon, the Soaring Eagle only led 14-13 in the second quarter.
“Coming off the bye week and the competition we played before — a lot of the starters weren’t even playing a full game,” Juan Diego quarterback Cole Nelson said. “We haven’t had a three-and-out in a few weeks — we haven’t punted.”
The Warriors had just closed the gap with Warner Rigby’s second touchdown pass to Zach Kennedy from 35 yards out when Juan Diego’s Cameron Hansen caught the kickoff at the 22-yard line and the game changed.
Hansen took the kick to the house and provided much-needed points on a night where the offense struggled and Juan Diego remained perfect with a 42-28 win to earn a spot in the semifinals.
“I’ve had faith in him on returning, and once I saw him get past that kicker I was so stoked,” Nelson said. “With me playing defense also, it kind of gave me a break and I could relax mentally. At quarterback it’s a lot of thinking — it was nice to know that we were up a score, especially how our offense was playing tonight.”
“It wasn’t the worst night, but Snow Canyon is good,” Nelson said. “We haven’t faced competition like that in a few weeks. Our line wasn’t used to getting pushed around as much. They played really well, but it was a tough night for our offense.”
Juan Diego returns to the semifinals for the fifth time in six years after Dixie ruined its 12-0 season with a 14-13 win on its way to the state championship last season. The Soaring Eagle will play Pine View at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Thursday at 11 a.m.
“I get sick to my stomach thinking about it,” Nelson said of last year’s abrupt ending. “Personally, I think we could have beat Dixie last year but we overlooked them. We know this year not only to take it one game at a time but to take it one play at a time.”
- Jimmer Fredette on defense: 'You have to have...
- Dick Harmon: Even more urgency needed as...
- Already impressing: Utah Jazz rookie Dante...
- Travis Wilson back in the saddle as Utes'...
- Utah Jazz point guard Trey Burke getting an...
- Reeling Cougars 'starving for some redemption'
- Midseason recap and awards for BYU and Utah
- Report: Former BYU receiver Cody Hoffman to...
- Utes top Oregon State in double overtime 114
- Nevada rallies to beat BYU, 42-35 68
- Dick Harmon: BYU amasses yards but... 49
- Mired in 3-game losing streak, BYU... 49
- Dick Harmon: Even more urgency needed... 42
- FBS football coaches vote BYU most... 37
- Brad Rock: Utes have their star in... 28
- College football: Utah rises to No. 19... 26