Juan Diego soars into 3A football quarterfinals
Nov 03, 2017 09:52AM
● By Jana Klopsch
Juan Diego football finished the regular season with a 7-2 record. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
The Juan Diego High School football team began its march toward a third consecutive state championship in convincing fashion, crushing Carbon High School 66-6.
The 66 points were a season high, but the Soaring Eagle are no strangers to high-octane offense. The team posted three games of 60 or more points last season en route to a state title win over Delta, 35-21.
Last season, the Soaring Eagle started the season 1-3 after playing some Class 4A and 5A teams. This season Juan Diego opened with a 20-10 loss to Bear River but then reeled off seven straight wins before falling in a shootout in the regular season finale to Summit Academy, 51-49.
During its first-round rout of Carbon on Oct. 18, the Soaring Eagle looked primed for another deep postseason. Playing at home, Juan Diego started slowly, leading 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The team held a modest 14-6 lead in the second quarter after a long Carbon touchdown run. But it was all Soaring Eagle after that.
Juan Diego tacked on 52 straight points, including 24 more — for a total of 31 — in the second quarter alone. Already up 38-6 at halftime, the Soaring Eagle added 14 more points in the third and fourth quarters.
Quarterback Zach Hoffman was all over the place. The senior threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Luke Prokopis in the second quarter to start his team’s 52-0 run. Then, in the third quarter, he had TD runs of 65 and 38 yards. Running back Tristen Tonozzi contributed a pair of TD runs (13 yards and 8 yards) as well, both in the third quarter. Jayden Madry and Colby Smith accounted for Juan Diego’s final two scores, chipping in TD runs of 3 yards and 7 yards, respectively.
Next up for the Soaring Eagle is an Oct. 27 road date with Grantsville, the No. 2 seed in the North Division. The two teams met during the regular season a year ago, with Juan Diego winning 34-21.
Juan Diego tied for first in the 3A South with a 4-1 record. The Soaring Eagle gave up just 96 points in five league games, second best in the 3A South. Meanwhile, the team’s 385 points are best in all of Class 3A. Only four other teams in the entire state have put more points on the board than Juan Diego.
The Soaring Eagle are no stranger to the postseason. The team has reached at least the quarterfinals every year since 2001.