GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Pine View (8-2, 5-1) at Juan Diego (11-0, 6-0), U of U’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, today, 11 a.m.
Previous Meeting: Panthers 49, Soaring Eagle 13 (Nov. 4, 2005, 3A quarterfinals)
Broadcast: ESPN Radio 106.1 FM, Andy Griffin and Devin Dixon on play by play
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Ray Hosner (13th year, 109-39 overall)
Last game: Beat Hurricane 63-28
Players to watch: Hurricane made it a point to bracket star WR Jack Bangerter, so the Panthers looked elsewhere, namely Colton Miller and Bladen Hosner, both of whom missed the first meeting with the Tigers with injuries. This time they combined for 11 catches and 266 yards. QB Kody Wilstead showed some running prowess and a couple of wicked stiff-arms. LBs Justice Santiago both scored TDs on interceptions last week. LB Thor Katoa had 14 tackles. Santiago and Gage Afatasi both left the Hurricane game with injuries, but are expected to play today.
Trend: Pine View has now won five straight. After a low-down game by Payson and then 23 days off, Pine View’s offense finally got to flex its muscle against Hurricane. During an eight-minute stretch of that game (late second quarter to early third) PV turned a 21-13 deficit into a 42-21 lead. The Panthers have at least 450 yards of offense in every game this year except two, vs. Cedar (a 21-14 win) and vs. Desert Hills (a 16-10 win). Cedar is the only team to hold PV under 300 yards (barely) with 299. Pine View’s two losses are by a combined seven points.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: John Colosimo (14th year, 130-29 overall)
Offense: Triple option-veer
Last game: Beat Snow Canyon 42-28
Players to watch: QB Cole Nelson has extreme mastery over the veer and always seems to know when to pull the ball and when to leave it in the fullback’s belly. JD has also added an option pass in which the left-handed Nelson throws it on the run. He’s pretty accurate as well. Last week he had a beautiful TD pass to WR Gabe Colosimo, who made a one-handed catch. KR Cameron Hansen showed moves and speed on an 85-yard kickoff return vs. Snow Canyon. Nelson completed 7 of 9 passes for 118 yards. Jessie Springer dived ahead for three scores last week.
Trend: Soaring Eagle fans had to be concerned when their high-powered offense sputtered for just 238 yards vs. Snow Canyon. Short fields and a big kickoff return were partly to blame. JD scored on drives of 74, 11, 7, 49 and 31 yards, plus an 85-yard kickoff return by Hansen. That’s five out of six TDs coming on drives of less than 50 yards. Juan Diego had been averaging nearly 350 rushing yards a game, but managed just 141 vs. SC. JD’s defense allowed 10.5 ppg in the first six games of the year, but is surrendering 20.5 ppg since then.
The last time these two teams met eight years ago, James Lark was the QB at Pine View and the Panthers were the perennial contenders while Juan Diego was just a wannabe. Now the Soaring Eagle are the yearly powerhouse and Pine View is back in the semifinals for the first time in five years. If the Soaring Eagle wants to return to its days as the best in the classification, they’re going to have to do it by defending the pass. But that’s a big question mark as no team this year has really tested the Juan Diego pass defense. The most attempts all year against JD passing was the 26 put up by Uintah. Meanwhile, Pine View averages 38 passes a game and has a receiver in Bangerter who has more receptions than all the other receivers in all the games this year combined against Juan Diego. JD does a lot of things well, obviously, since the Soaring Eagle is 11-0. But the defense has given up a lot more points and yardage than in years past. The run game for JD better be back to clock-chewing form or PV’s offense could have a field day.
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (47-8) — Pine View
Darren Cole (43-12) — Pine View
Parry’s spread: Pine View by 4
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