DRAPER — Juan Diego and Springville were both missing their leading rusher heading into Wednesday’s intriguing matchup between upper-echelon teams in 4A and 3A.
Juan Diego coach John Colosimo said he was genuinely concerned about how his 3A team would respond against a very athletic Springville defense, arguably the best it has faced all year. As it turned out, Chase Williams’ absence wasn’t a problem at all.
Juan Diego’s offensive line opened up gaping holes all game, something 4A's Springville never seemed to figure out, as the Soaring Eagle easily took care of business on their way to the 51-33 nonregion victory.
“Our offensive line has been playing really, really well,” said Colosimo, whose team rushed for 430 yards on Wednesday.
Cole Nelson, Wyatt Parkin and Jessie Springer did most of the damage. Nelson finished with 153 yards and three touchdowns, with Parkin adding 147 yards and two scores and Springer accounting for 116 yards and one TD.
As well as Juan Diego played offensively, Springville countered with some big plays of its own and was very much in the game until the late in the fourth quarter.
In the end, Juan Diego held on to improve to 9-0 on a night that featured two power outages. It was exactly the type of test Colosimo was hoping for.
“Hopefully we can learn from this and try and clean some things up, 'cause I told them at halftime, 'If you play Pine View, you play Dixie, that’s what they do,'” said Colosimo.
With the score tied at 14-14 midway through the second quarter, Nelson and Parkin scored on back-to-back Juan Diego possessions to increase the lead to 27-14.
Just when it looked like the Soaring Eagle might run away with it, Springville quarterback Dylan Slavens led his team on a quick scoring drive just before the half that Zach Hansen capped with a 3-yard TD run.
After Juan Diego fumbled just two plays into the second half, Springville quickly capitalized as Slavens connected with Max Schreiner on a 17-yard pass to tie the game at 27-27.
“Good teams will make you pay for the mistakes you make, and Springville certainly did,” said Colosimo.
Slavens finished the game completing 14 of 29 for 198 yards, but he was often running for his life against Juan Diego’s fierce pass rush.
After seeing its lead evaporate rather quickly, Juan Diego got back down to the business of playing power football, scoring on four consecutive possessions.
Parkin and Nelson scored on rushing touchdowns to build the lead back to 41-27, but Springville capitalized on a roughing the kicker penalty to trim the lead to 41-33 as Hansen rumbled 49 yards on the last play of the third quarter.
The momentum was short-lived as Juan Diego marched quickly back into the red zone on a Parkin 40-yard run, and Andrew Montoya booted a 27-yard field goal to make it a two-possession game.
Juan Diego will try and cap a perfect regular season when it hosts Park City next Friday.
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