OGDEN — It took Juan Diego’s offense a quarter to get going in Friday’s 3A semifinal against Juab, but once it did — wow.
After falling behind early by two touchdowns, Juan Diego flipped the script and dominated, scoring 38 straight points during one stretch to race past Juab 61-36 and book its spot in next Saturday’s 3A championship.
As a team, Juan Diego rushed for 555 yards, with three players going over 100 yards. It finished with 665 yards of total offense.
And all of that came after Juab jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
“I think our intensity was there, they just hit some big plays and did some nice things. We just took a few minutes to get on track,” said Juan Diego coach John Colosimo.
Ryan Baker led the charge for Juan Diego finishing with 154 yards and four touchdowns. His first two touchdowns helped the Soaring Eagle tie the game at 14-14 with 8:56 remaining in the second quarter. He scored again midway through the second quarter on a 16-yard run that tied the game again at 21-21.
After that, it was all Juan Diego, which will face Delta in the 3A title game at Southern Utah next Saturday at 4 p.m.
Alfonso Preciado and Zach Hoffman both scored on short runs to stretch the lead to 35-21 by halftime. Hoffman’s touchdown with 27 seconds left in the half came two plays after a trick play that resulted in a 68-yard reception from Hoffman to Lucas Pino.
Despite the lead, Baker said the message from the coaching staff was clear at halftime.
“They said we weren’t done, and said we’ve got a lot of work to do and this game is far from over. We know from the past that teams can come back,” said Baker.
Juan Diego officially broke the spirits of Juab as Preciado scored on a 53-yard run and then Baker added 52-yard run less than three minutes apart midway through the third quarter to increase the lead to 49-21.
“We thought if we could weather that (early) storm that we would be OK, and I think we ended out OK,” said Baker.
Hoffman added 156 yards rushing for Juan Diego, while Preciado finished with 112 yards. Juab’s Ryker Osborne finished with 202 passing yards and three touchdowns, two of which came early in the game to give the Wasps the early momentum.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: email@example.com