Juan Diego showed its dominance in the 3AA North Region with a 37-16 win against the Stansbury Stallions on a rainy and muddy Thursday night.
The Soaring Eagle scored on its opening drive, sparked by a long run that set up a touchdown from the goal line with 9:56 left in the first quarter.
Stansbury then started at its own 18-yard line and looked to have a solid drive going after an 18-yard run by Alex Mackay and a 12-yard run by Jesse Horowitz. But then quarterback Gage Manzione was sacked and had an incomplete pass to bring up third-and-22. Horowitz gained at 8 yards on third down, and the Stallions punted away the football.
Juan Diego then drove again to score another touchdown, but this time its drive was set up by a holding penalty and personal foul penalty on the Stallions. So with 4:23 to go in the first quarter, Juan Diego already had a 14-0 lead.
Stansbury got big plays from Mackay and Horowitz to get down into Juan Diego territory, but it faced a fourth down at the 14-yard line, knocking on the door for a score. The Stallions elected to go for it on fourth-and-8, but Mackay came up short.
That’s when the Stallions’ defense took matters into their own hands. Juan Diego’s Cole Nelson dropped back to pass at the start of the second quarter, and Stansbury’s Landon Stice came up with an interception after the throw. He then returned the football to the end zone for the Stallions’ first score. The extra point was missed, and Juan Diego’s lead was cut to 14-6.
Juan Diego got right back to work with a drive that took a little more than two minutes off the clock, and it punched the football into the end zone for a 20-6 lead after a missed extra point.
The Stallions then started their next drive at their own 41-yard line. They eventually faced fourth-and-1 inside Juan Diego territory, and they were able to draw the Soaring Eagle offside to get the first down. Mackay then ripped off a 26-yard touchdown run with 6:23 left until halftime to make the score 20-13 in favor of Juan Diego.
That’s when the Soaring Eagle broke the game open. It pounded on the ground on the ensuing drive to get down inside the 10-yard line. Juan Diego then punched it in on first-and-goal for a 27-13 lead with 1:55 left until halftime. Stansbury then started at its own 33-yard line, but it fumbled away the football to the Soaring Eagle, who then scored two plays later for a 34-13 lead going into halftime.
Nick Mackay scored Stansbury’s only points of the second half with a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter that made the score 34-16. Juan Diego then followed that with its own 38-yard field goal by Andrew Montoya, making the score 37-16. Nobody scored in the fourth quarter.
The Stallions play in their final region game of the season Wednesday on the road against Park City. The Stallions would clinch the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the state tournament with a win against Park City.