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Note: Duchesne finished with a 10-2 record in 2017 and was first in 1A North with a 3-0 record. It lost to Milford 28-14 in the 1A championship.

Duchesne 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

DUCHESNE — Until the 1A championship game last November, the Duchesne Eagles had gone through the 2017 season with their only loss coming against 3A’s Richfield Wildcats.

In that title tilt against the Milford Tigers, a team the Eagles had beaten in the regular season, Duchesne spotted the Tigers 21 points and wound up losing 28-14.

“We just got outworked and outcoached and it showed,” Eagles head coach Jerry Cowan said. “They put a good game plan together. They had those seniors on that team, they had great athletes, but their game plan is what got it done for them.”

Given the disappointing result after his team won the 2016 championship, Cowan wants to emphasize the concept of getting back on top as Duchesne gets set for the 2018 campaign.

“We’ve just got to get our swagger back, man,” he said. “We’ve got to be the bullies. We missed some tackles that we make 95 percent of the time, and they capitalized on a couple of those and put it out of reach for us on a couple of those plays.

I think it’s just a matter of going back to what we’ve done the last 10, 12 years of being the bullies and being the most physical team on the field. We did that most times last year, but in the finals we didn’t, and that’s the result.”

Duchesne Eagles at a glance

Coach: Jerry Cowan is entering his 12th season as Duchesne’s head coach, and has won four state championships with the Eagles. He is a graduate of Grand High School and attended SUU.

Duchesne offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Wyatt Gines

2017 offensive production: 22.7 points per game (3rd in 1A)

  • 4 returning starters
  • Wing-T offense

Key offensive returning starters

  • Skyler Ford (FB): Finished 2017 second on the team with 821 rushing yards, 64 behind the now-graduated Weston Poulson, and added two touchdowns.
  • Jaren Mortensen (RB): Finished third on the team in 2017 with 449 rushing yards and two touchdowns and also led the team with 397 receiving yards with six touchdowns.

Returning offensive starters

Offensive newcomers to watch

Cowan’s comments on Jaren Mortensen’s offensive talent:

“He’s definitely a kid that for us, is as good as anyone we’ve seen come through.”

Cowan’s comments on fullback Skyler Ford:

“He’s going to be our workhorse. He’s a perfect Wing-T fullback. He’s about six feet tall and built like a brick.”

Cowan’s comments on the offensive line:

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us...I believe if your O-line’s average and your skill’s good, you’re going to be better than the other way around, having a good line and average skill, especially at this level.”

Cowan’s comments on the Wing-T offense versus the spread:

“A lot of times offensively you want to grind it, and it’s not pretty sometimes. We had three or four games last year where our opening drive was over 15 plays, and that kills teams. It just mentally and physically beats them up, and you can’t do that in spread.”

Keys for offensive success: Cowan feels as though his skill players can be good enough to compensate for any potential deficiency with the offensive line, but will that prove to be the case? Can Brock Ford be good enough at quarterback in his first season leading the charge? If the Eagles meet a high-powered offense in the playoffs, can they do enough offensively to contend?

Duchesne defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Justin Parker

  • 5 returning starters
  • 4-2-5 defense

Key defensive returning starters

  • Jaren Mortensen (FS): Finished 2017 second on the team with three interceptions and fourth in tackles with 49.
  • Skyler Ford (MLB): Finished fifth on the team in tackles in 2017 with 46 and added a sack and an interception.

Returning defensive starters

  • Jaren Mortensen (FS)
  • Skyler Ford (MLB)
  • Dillon Moon (MLB)
  • Brock Ford (OLB)
  • Gavin Davis (DB)

Defensive newcomers to watch

Cowan’s comments on Jaren Mortensen’s defensive talent:

“He’s our best lineman, best linebacker, best safety and our best corner.”

Cowan’s comments on the defensive line:

“It used to be we put our big guys on the line, and nowadays, especially with teams like Milford and Kanab, you can’t just have big guys that take up space because it doesn’t do you any good. You’ve got to get to the quarterback.”

Cowan’s comments on the defense in general:

“We’re probably going to be a little undersized, but hopefully more athletic.”

Keys for defensive success:

Duchesne is perennially good defensively, so it stands to reason Cowan will once again have a successful group on that side of the ball, although it did lose a ton of production from a year ago. How well can the unit come together, and how quickly can it happen?

Coaches preseason 1A North straw poll: First

Deseret News 1A North prediction: First

Key region game: at Layton Christian, Oct. 17

Bottom line: The Eagles are always good and are hungry after coming up just short of the title in 2017. Additionally, there are some very good players returning on both sides of the ball. There are also some key question marks, however. Can Duchesne produce enough offensively and find enough playmakers defensively to get over the hump in 2018?

2018 Schedule

  • Aug. 17 — AMERICAN LEADERSHIP, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 24 — NORTH SUMMIT, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 31 — at Carbon, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — RICHFIELD, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 14 — KANAB, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 21 — at Milford, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 5 — at Rich, 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 11 — ALTAMONT, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 — at Layton Christian, 4 p.m.

Felts Facts

All-time record: 257-207-1 (47 years)

Region championships: 14 (1983 co, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Playoff appearances: 38

Current playoff appearance streak: 18 (2000-2017)

All-time playoff record: 35-32

State championships: 6 (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016)

State championship record: 6-4

Most played rivalry: 68 meetings with Altamont dating back to 1973. Duchesne leads 42-27.

Felt’s Factoid(s): The Eagles won a state-record 48 games in a row from 2010-14 and became the only school in state history to celebrate three consecutive undefeated, untied seasons (2011-13). Duchesne also captured four straight state titles (2010-13), missing the state record by one. Eagle Matt Muit set the state record for season punt returns, averaging 41.0 yards-per-return in 2013.

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Last 5

  • 2017 — 10-2 (3-0 in 1A North – 1A Champions)
  • 2016 — 11-1 (4-0 in 1A North – 1A Champions)
  • 2015 — 8-3 (4-0 in 1A North – 1A Semifinals)
  • 2014 — 6-4 (2-1 in 1A North – 1A Quarterfinals)
  • 2013 — 13-0 (3-0 in 1A North – 1A Champions)

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Duchesne coaching history

  • 2012-current — Jerry Cowan (100-27)
  • 2008-2011 — Bill Hoopes (36-12)
  • 2003-2007 — Jerry Cowan (40-17)
  • 2000-2002 — Colby Knight (10-19)
  • 1999 — Brian Berrong (1-8)
  • 1996-1998 — Don Hill (9-21)
  • 1993-1995 — Dave Woolstenhulme (17-13)
  • 1987-1992 — Rick Durban (27-30)
  • 1984-1986 — Stan Young (23-8)
  • 1981-1983 — Rick Durban (14-16)
  • 1979-1980 — Robert Cook (9-9)
  • 1977-1978 — John Dowell (3-14)
  • 1974-1976 — Ed Browning (3-21)
  • 1973 — Russ Shirts (5-5)

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Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years

  • 2016 — Steven Skewes, RB/LB
  • 2013 — Trent Roberts, QB/LB
  • 2012 — Kaden Moon, RB/LB
  • 2011 — Max Lewis, OL/DL
  • 2010 — Grant Marett, OL/DL

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

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  • 2017 — Kade Lamborn, CB/SS
  • 2017 — Jack Roberts, OL/DL
  • 2017 — Jaren Mortensen, RB/FS
  • 2017 — Weston Poulson, RB/LB
  • 2017 — Jarett Spencer, QB/DB
  • 2016 — Weston Poulson, RB/LB
  • 2016 — Chad Lewis, WR/DB
  • 2016 — Jaren Mortensen, TE/DB
  • 2016 — Aaron Verduzco, OL/DL
  • 2016 — Kenyen Kielbasa, OL/LB
  • 2016 — Jack Roberts, OL/DL
  • 2015 — Carsen Reinhardt, QB/DB
  • 2015 — Layne Coil, RB/FS
  • 2015 — Wyatt Remund, TE/FS
  • 2015 — Aaron Verduzco, OL/DL
  • 2014 — Dylan Despain, RB/LB
  • 2014 — Jesse Wickel, OL/DL
  • 2013 — Matt Muir, RB/DB
  • 2013 — Colin Moon, Duchesne, RB/DB
  • 2013 — Dylan Despain, RB/LB
  • 2013 — Matt Dye, FB/DL
  • 2013 — Braxton Spencer, WR/LB
  • 2012 — Trent Roberts, QB/LB
  • 2012 — Josh Hanberg, RB/DB
  • 2012 — McKade Nielsen, TE/FS
  • 2012 — Jesus Pena, OL/DL
  • 2012 — Wade Shepard, OL/DL
  • 2012 — Cassidy Smith, OL/DL
  • 2011 — Shiaba Allen, QB/LB
  • 2011 — Braiden Despain, RB/LB
  • 2011 — Macoy Young, RB/DB
  • 2011 — McKade Nielsen, TE/DB
  • 2011 — Kane Nealley, OL/LB
  • 2010 — Shiaba Allen, QB/LB
  • 2010 — Braiden Despain, RB/LB
  • 2010 — Max Lewis, OL/DL
  • 2010 — Devin Fabrizi, RB/LB
  • 2010 — Kane Nealley, OL/DL
  • 2010 — Austin Poulson, OL/DL
  • 2009 — Travis Potter, RB/LB
  • 2009 — Austin Thompson, OL/DL
  • 2009 — Jacob Verde, RB/LB
  • 2009 — Kyle Wilkerson, OL/DL
  • 2008 — Jacob Evans, OL/DL

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.