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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Former high school coach Tony McGeary and his wife Brenda watch the pregame with his former players Utah's Chase Hansen and Washington's Ty Jones in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — As most football fans made their way into Rice-Eccles Stadium Saturday night, either participating in Utah’s blackout or sporting Washington purple and gold, Tony McGeary had a rooting interest on both sides of the ball.

That’s because the Provo High football coach attended the Pac-12 opener between No. 10 Washington and Utah to see two of his former prep standouts compete on a collegiate stage. They just don’t play on the same team.

“I’m very excited to see these guys play,” McGeary said of Utah’s Chase Hansen and Washington’s Ty Jones. “I’ve gone to many Utah games, BYU games, Utah State — we just love to go see the boys wherever they’re playing. I’ve just never had the opportunity of this magnitude.”

" This is as good as it gets. "
Tony McGeary

McGeary enjoyed a unique experience on the hill Saturday night as Hansen, who played for McGeary at Lone Peak, and Jones, who played for the coach at Provo, squared off in one of the weekend’s most anticipated matchups.

“Two (prep) All-Americans,” McGeary said. “They’re both impact players. It’s going to be exciting. This is as good as it gets.”

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Jones, a sophomore, caught a diving 6-yard touchdown pass from Jake Browning midway through the third quarter to give the Huskies a 21-7 lead. Hansen, a senior linebacker and the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, finished with 11 tackles.

“Washington has done a great job of utilizing (Jones),” McGeary said, who had two touchdown catches in the Huskies’ win over North Dakota last week. “He made a lot of circus catches in high school. I’m glad to see him make a few on the next level.

“Chase has battled some injuries, but he’s overcome them, and I’m really looking forward to him having a good year this year.”