The hard part is playing a team twice in in just a matter of a few weeks. Trying to go up against a very good Juan Diego team, these guys for the last few years have been a dominant team in the 3A classification. —Summit Academy head coach Les Hamilton
Summit Academy (9-1) vs. Juan Diego (9-2)
3A state tournament semifinals
Saturday, 5 p.m. (At Weber State)
Parry’s Power Guide: Juan Diego by 5
All-time series: Summit Academy leads 1-0
Coach vs. coach: Juan Diego’s John Colosimo leads Grantsville’s Les Hamilton, 2-1 (includes two games in 2003 and 2004 when Hamilton was at Grantsville)
Last meeting: Oct. 13 (Week 9) – Summit Academy 51-49
SALT LAKE CITY — In a rematch of a 51-49 shootout in week nine that Juan Diego lost on a missed 47-yard field goal, the Summit Academy Bears and the Juan Diego Soaring Eagles will play in the 3A semifinals at Weber State’s Stewart Stadium on Saturday. Having played once already this season, the two teams are already familiar with one another.
“The hard part is playing a team twice in in just a matter of a few weeks. Trying to go up against a very good Juan Diego team, these guys for the last few years have been a dominant team in the 3A classification,” said Summit Academy head coach Les Hamilton, who is in his second year at the helm of the Bears. “We’ve been fortunate to be successful this year, and we even got away with a win at their (Juan Diego) place earlier, but I think it’s going to be really hard to carry that momentum against a really good team this week.
Juan Diego head coach John Colosimo, who has coached the Soaring Eagle to seven state championships — including back-to-back titles in the last two years — is starting from scratch when it comes to preparing his team for Summit Academy.
“Any time I play a team again, I start from scratch and just try to get a fresher look. We didn’t defend them very well, so we’ve got to do a much better job this time, and looking for some things to do that we did pretty easily,” Colosimo said. “As coaches, we’ll reevaluate it, take a look at different things, what worked, what didn’t work, what else can we do, and just try and put a fresh face on the whole scouting report.”
Saturday’s contest should be another game with lots of offensive firepower, as Summit Academy and Juan Diego come into the matchup ranked first and second in 3A scoring offense, respectively. Headlining those offenses are Bears quarterback Hayden Reynolds and Soaring Eagle quarterback Zach Hoffman.
Hoffman, who runs Juan Diego’s triple-option offense, enters with four passing touchdowns and 17 rushing scores.
“Hoffman, he is their guy. He’s surrounded by really good players, but, in their offense, he makes everything happen. Whether it is him running the ball, or making a read, or him throwing the ball, they go as he goes. Our main focus has to be to slow him down, he’s a very, very good player,” Hamilton said.
For Summit Academy, Reynolds, who has thrown for 26 touchdowns and 2,575 yards, is the key to the Bears offense.
“I think their quarterback is outstanding. He’s a great passer, good runner, and he’s got some good receivers around him, especially Gavin Davey, who is a really nice receiver, catches everything, and then their running back, Talmage Brown, is just a hard-nosed, hard runner and you have to account for him, and that’s always tough to do when you have a good running game and a good passing game, like Summit Academy does,” Colosimo said.
For Summit Academy and Hamilton, one of the most important keys to win the game is simple — minimize turnovers.
“No. 1, I would say, we have to minimize turnovers. That’s going to be the big one, we can’t turn the ball over. No. 2, defensively, we have to try and prevent them getting big plays. Last time we played them, they got quite a few big runs against us, so we’ve got to make them drive the field. No. 3, we’ve got to get the ball to our playmakers. We’ve got to get it to Gavin Davey, to Parker Clawson, and Talmage Brown. They’ve been our big three playmakers all year, we’ve got to get them the ball so they can have a big game,” Hamilton said.
For Juan Diego, defense is key to a semifinal win.
“We’re going to have to defend them. We’re going to have to keep them out of the end zone, get our defense off the field, and not give the quarterback a whole lot of chances throughout the game," Colosimo said. "We want to try to get off the field and stop them on third downs, force them to punt the football to us, and we’ve got to keep the ball ourselves and go down and score. If we can’t defend them, it could be a long afternoon for us, so we hope that we’re able to do that. We’ll reevaluate from what we did the first time and see what we have to do the second time to do a much better job of shutting down their offense."
Summit Academy statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 37.2 ppg (1st in 3A)
Scoring defense: 19.2 ppg (4th in 3A)
Passing leader: Hayden Reynolds (165-261, 63.2%, 2,575 yards, 26 TDs, 15 INTs)
Sack leaders: Carson Wheaton (6 sacks)
Interception leaders: Aloisio Sili (3 INTs), Brody Perry (2 INTs)
Note: Individual stats don’t include Week 11
Juan Diego statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 36.3 ppg (2nd in 3A)
Scoring defense: 16.2 ppg (2nd in 3A)
Passing leader: Zach Hoffman (4 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Luke Prokopis (2 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Stats not provided
Sack leaders: Stats not provided
Interception leaders: Stats not provided
Felts Facts for Summit Academy High School
Head Coach: 2016-current — Les Hamilton (18-3)
All-time record: 41-24 (6 years)
Region championships: 2 (2016, 2017 co)
Playoff appearances: 6
Current playoff appearance streak: 6 (2012-2017)
All-time playoff record: 5-5
State championships: 0
State championship record: 0-1
Felt’s Facts for Juan Diego High School
Head Coach: 2000-current — John Colosimo (174-42)
All-time record: 174-42 (17 years)
Region championships: 12 (2003, 2004, 2005 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 co)
Playoff appearances: 17
Current playoff appearance streak: 17 (2001-2017)
All-time playoff record: 35-9
State championships: 7 (2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016)
State championship record: 7-1