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Quarterfinal games could be thrillers

In the 2A state tournament, oftentimes the quarterfinal round is largely a tune-up. That is absolutely not the case in 2007.

Even though No. 1 North Summit and No. 2 Millard are both still undefeated and the favorites to advance to the championship, many people believe four of the other six teams are just as capable of going on a three-game winning streak and capturing the title.

"I don't know that I've ever been involved in a bracket where almost any team can get on a roll and win it," said North Summit coach Jerre Holmes.

Interestingly enough, two of the the four quarterfinals are rematches of last year's semifinals as San Juan visits North Summit and Juab travels to Millard.

Last year's winners were San Juan and Millard, with the Broncos eventually hoisting the championship trophy. Holmes doesn't want to make too big a deal of the rematch.

"It's a different season, they're a different team, we're a different team," he said. "It's probably more in our players' minds than it is mine."

North Summit will be without star running back Dallin Donaldson, who underwent an appendectomy on Sunday. If the Braves advance to the semifinals Holmes is hopeful Donaldson can play. Even without Donaldson, the Braves are still considered the favorite this Saturday with standout players such as Chandler Woolstenhulme and Drew Robinson.

"I think field position will be key. They're a big-play team, and we've got to make sure they've got to go 80 yards every time they have the ball," said Holmes.

The other three quarterfinals are all Friday games.

Juab is in a similar position as San Juan, a No. 4 seed traveling to play an undefeated team. It's a game Millard should win, but Juab has a solid defense and an efficient offense.

The other two quarterfinals are Manti at Grand and Richfield at South Summit. With an 8-1 record, South Summit would appear to be the team with the best shot at knocking off one of the big boys.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com