It’s incredible. These guys were fantastic today, and now we have a share of the region title which is awesome. —Summit head coach Les Hamilton
Friday night between Juan Diego Catholic and Summit Academy had a region title on the line to begin with, and then the game started and an offensive shootout turned out to be one of this state’s most entertaining games with everything at stake.
Juan Diego came roaring back from a 23-point deficit early in the third and with the clock running down at the end of the game they had rushed back with a chance to win.
The Juan Diego Soaring Eagle special teams group rushed onto the field with time winding down on a fourth down to attempt a 48-yard field goal for the potential game-winner and region clincher.
Kicker Alex Saunders came up just short of the posts though, as Summit players rushed the field in complete joy as they held on for the road victory 51-49 clinching a three-way region title share with Juan Diego and Juab with region records of 4-1.
“It’s incredible. These guys were fantastic today, and now we have a share of the region title which is awesome,” said Summit head coach Les Hamilton.
The Soaring Eagle made it close late in the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown with fewer than two minutes left after they had intercepted the Summit Bears quarterback, Hayden Reynolds near midfield. Juan Diego attempted a two-point conversation in an attempt to tie the game at 51 but was denied by the Bears defense short of the goal line on an option pitch play by Soaring Eagle quarterback Zach Hoffman.
One fatal mistake that may haunt Juan Diego came midway through the third quarter as Saunders missed a 31-yard field goal, and with that, potentially could have given the Soaring Eagles the win if all things went similarly.
Reynolds passed for five touchdowns on the night, including running one in him.
All seven of Juan Diego’s touchdowns came on the ground led by Hoffman’s three scores.
Soaring Eagle running back Tristen Tonozzi scored three on the ground as well.
The Bears’ led at halftime 45-28 after they exploded with five of their total seven touchdowns during the second quarter barrage totaling the 35 point outburst.
The second quarter scoring started on a 7-yard scamper by Reynolds.
The ensuing two possessions were incredible as almost any defense at all was only optional.
Hunter Easterly for Juan Diego got the ball at the 28 and rushed for the next 72 yards and a score.
Summit’s ensuing possession topped Easterly’s run, as Talmage Brown ran 75 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears up 24-21 early in the second quarter.
After Soaring Eagle running back Tonozzi scored to put Juan Diego up 28-24 midway in the second quarter, the Bears went on continuing the rampage.
Mitchell Hansen rushed for 21-yards to the 33. Reynolds then found Gavin Davey for a 14-yard completion, and a 19-yard touchdown reception to put the Bears back up 31-28 with four minutes left in the half.
After a fake punt by Juan Diego gave the ball back to Summit at the 32, Reynolds would find Brown later in the possession for a 35-yard touchdown pass with a minute to go until halftime.
Seconds later Juan Diego fumbled, and Summit took advantage again of the Soaring Eagles miscues. Reynolds found another receiver, Colin Dodge, over the top of the defense for the score and a 17-point halftime lead.
Early in the second half, Reynolds connected with receiver Parker Clawson for 48-yards. Then on a mind-boggling play, Brown set up on the left side as a wide-out, except there was no Soaring Eagle defender in front of him. Brown scored, of course, on a 25-yard pass giving Summit its’ largest lead of the night 51-28.
Juan Diego would not give up so easily as its quarterback led a comeback. Hoffman rushed for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to bring the Soaring Eagles back within eight, 51-43, at the start of the fourth quarter.