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1A football semifinal preview: Close matchup expected in semifinal rematch between Parowan and Duchesne

Parowan (8-2) vs. Duchesne (7-4)

1A state tournament semifinal

Saturday, 11 a.m. (at Payson High School)

  • Parry’s Power Guide: Duchesne by 1
  • All-time series: Duchesne leads 9-4
  • Coach vs. coach: Parowan’s Carter Miller and Duchesne’s Jerry Cowan tied 1-1
  • Last meeting: Sept. 28, 2018 – Parowan 14, Duchesne 7

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Last season as the Duchesne Eagles and Parowan Rams were preparing to meet in the 1A semifinals, the Eagles held the title of defending state champions while the Rams entered the game having surprised many by going 8-2 under first-year head coach Carter Miller after having won just eight games combined over the previous three years.

The Eagles quieted Parowan’s excitement by scoring the first 21 points of the game and ultimately winning 27-14 before losing to Milford in the championship game.

Exactly a year to the day of that contest, the two sides will square off again in the semifinals on Saturday at Payson High School, but all indications this time around are that it will be a close matchup.

Most notably, the Eagles and Rams played to a 14-7 score in favor of Parowan on Sept. 28, a slugfest which wound up being the fewest both have scored in a game this season.

On that night, Duchesne struck first in the opening quarter of play before the Rams scored twice in the second, and then both teams pitched a shutout in the second half.

“At that time, we were just hoping we’d get another chance to play these guys, and hopefully the outcome will be different,” Eagles head coach Jerry Cowan said. “We’re excited for the opportunity.”

While Cowan and his players are looking forward to the chance to flip the script on this year’s loss, he and Parowan head coach Carter Miller view last year’s playoff matchup differently.

On one side, Cowan is taking the approach that this is a different year with a different team.

“We’re a lot different team and they’re different,” he said. “I’m sure especially on their end, it probably gives them a little more motivation knowing that we knocked them out last year, but it is a different year. It’s another game we’ve got to try to win, and it happens to be Parowan.”

Indeed Miller and his group are focused on getting the win on the big stage this time around after posting a consecutive winning season for the first time since the late 1980s and just the third time in school history.

“We didn’t show up until halftime last year. Give them credit because they won the game and they beat us, but we feel like this is our way of becoming the program that they are,” Miller said. “Absolutely that’s on our mind.”

Miller predicted that a win for either side will come in a similar manner to the way his team claimed victory in September.

“They’re a physical team and they have a great defense like we do,” he said. “I expect a fun game. Both teams run the ball and play great defense. I think it’s a matter of making the play when it’s presented to us and winning the turnover battle. That’s kind of how I feel like it’s going to go.”

……

Parowan statistical breakdown

  • Scoring offense: 36.2 ppg (2nd in 1A)
  • Scoring defense: 14.0 ppg (1st in 1A)
  • Passing leader: Porter Wood (25-56, 44.6%, 500 yards, 6 TDs, 7 INTs)
  • Rushing leaders: Codey Hanson (130 carries, 974 yards, 8 TDs), Porter Wood (126 carries, 889 yards, 15 TDs)
  • Receiving leaders: Tanner Johnson (6 rec., 118 yards, 1 TD)
  • Tackles leaders: Porter Wood (67 tackles), Codey Hanson (62 tackles)
  • Sack leaders: Grayson Robb (9 sacks)
  • Interception leaders: Hutch Miller (4 INTs)

…….

Duchesne statistical breakdown

  • Scoring offense: 19.3 ppg (5th in 1A)
  • Scoring defense: 14.6 ppg (2nd in 1A)
  • Passing leader: Kason Grant (59-153, 38.6%, 947 yards, 4 TDs, 16 INTs)
  • Rushing leaders: Skyler Ford (144 carries, 794 yards, 5 TDs), Jaren Mortensen (71 carries, 387 yards, 8 TDs)
  • Receiving leaders: Gavin Davis (29 rec., 530 yards, 3 TDs)
  • Tackles leaders: Dillon Moon (79 tackles), Skyler Ford (56 tackles)
  • Sack leaders: Ryker Blackburn (8 sacks)
  • Interception leaders: Jaren Mortensen (3 INTs), Gavin Davis (3 INTs)

……

Felt’s Facts for Parowan High School

  • Head Coach: 2017-current — Carter Miller (16-5)
  • All-time record: 172-430-7 (70 years)
  • Region championships: 1 (1989)
  • Playoff appearances: 21
  • Current playoff appearance streak: 2 (2017-2018)
  • All-time playoff record: 9-20
  • State championships: 0
  • State championship record: 0-1

…….

Felt’s Facts for Duchesne High School

  • Head Coach: 2012-current — Jerry Cowan (107-31)
  • All-time record: 264-211-1 (48 years)
  • Region championships: 15 (1983 co, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Playoff appearances: 39
  • Current playoff appearance streak: 19 (2000-2018)
  • All-time playoff record: 36-32
  • State championships: 6 (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016)
  • State championship record: 6-4