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Duchesne D stops North Sevier

DUCHESNE — Of the big three in 1A football this year, Duchesne was definitely presented with the toughest state tournament draw.

Tyler Reinhardt and a strong defense insured that the Eagles cleared their first hurdle.

The senior dual-threat running back/quarterback racked up 199 rushing yards and four total TDs — plus in a second half interception — as Duchesne rolled to the 26-13 win over North Sevier Friday afternoon.

"We knew if we didn't play well we'd be done," Duchesne coach Jerry Cowan said. "The gap in 1A is closing."

Reinhardt's pick was one of three turnovers for Duchesne in the second half in what was a dominant defensive performance, especially after North Sevier's first score just three plays into the game.

On a third and six, North Sevier quarterback Tanner Larsen overthrew intended receiver Riley Tidlund, but Tidlund managed to get his finger tips on the ball and deflect it to teammate Cody Weber who raced 66 yards for the opening touchdown.

It was exactly the start Cowan didn't want to see the underdog Wolves get off to, and he demonstrated that frustration by flinging his clipboard high into the air as Weber darted into the end zone.

Reinhardt wasn't sweating it, even though he took the blame for the touchdown.

"I knew I wasn't going to make any more mistakes, and I told everyone that it was my fault," he said. "They didn't panic and we stepped it up and played well after that."

Over the next 46 minutes Reinhardt more than atoned for the mistake, as he accounted for all four touchdowns and secured Duchesne's showdown with No. 1 Kanab in next week's semifinals at Woods Cross High School.

Duchesne beat Kanab in last year's 1A championship game, but the Cowboys returned the favor in the preseason this year.

After falling behind early, it didn't take Duchesne long to regain the lead for good. Reinhardt scored on a one-yard plunge midway through the first quarter, putting Duchesne ahead 8-7 after the successful two-point conversion.

Early in the second quarter Reinhardt scored from 64 yards out, and he added a receiving touchdown just before the half extending the Eagles' lead to 20-7.

Poor clock management by North Sevier contributed to Duchesne's late touchdown, but the Wolves made up for it quickly in the third quarter. Hayden Prisbrey interception a pass in the opening minute of the second half and eight plays later North Sevier star running back Tyler McEown scored on a two-yard run to make it 20-13.

North Sevier, however, failed to capitalize when Duchesne fumbled the ensuing kickoff. From that point on, Duchesne's defense dominated. "I don't think we've ever been this prepared for an opponent, and our line stepped up big time this week," Reinhardt said.