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HURRICANE — Long suffering Hurricane fans finally experienced what it was like to win a state title. Now they are poised to do it again.
The Tigers are picked to repeat as 3A champions. If they achieve that goal it will make five straight appearances in a state championship game. While they will miss 3A MVP Brian Scott they still have plenty of talent led by Adam Thompson who rushed for 827 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Their strongest challenger may be their old nemesis Juan Diego. After winning three consecutive state championships, all against Hurricane, the Soaring Eagle were upset in the quarterfinals by Spanish Fork. They will play this season with heavy hearts as they mourn the passing of teammate Adam Colosimo.
The Panthers face a huge test right out of the gate. A win over the 4A favorite on the road would make a huge statement.Hurricane at Pine View Fri. Sept. 28
Is Hurricane still the best team in Region 9 or is Pine View ready to take back the top spot in Southern Utah?Desert Hills at Hurricane Thu. Oct. 11
This is a rematch of last year's state championship game. It may also determine the Region 9 championship.Desert Hills at Stansbury Fri. Sept. 28
This is a rematch of last year's quarterfinal playoff game which Desert Hills won with ease. If Stansbury is a contender we will know for sure after this game.Judge Memorial at Juan Diego Fri. Oct 19
It really doesn't matter what the records are when these two catholic schools meet on the field. It's one of the best rivalries in the state. There is a good chance this game will decide the Region 10 championship like it did last year
Dakota Cox, a Cincinnati commit, and Kalei Kauhaahaa will lead a team with a lot to prove this season.
Region 9 placed three teams in the semifinals last season and it could happen again this year. Pine View is loaded with talent and is ranked 3rd in the preseason poll. They have two linemen committed to college programs, Logan Stott to Arizona and Cody Boyer to Utah State. They also have a running back, Prentiss Miller who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
Spanish Fork is ranked 4th after almost knocking off Hurricane in last year's semifinals. They lose a lot of talent including three-year starting quarterback Hayden Nielsen and also have a new coach. That new coach is a familiar name. Former Provo High and NFL lineman Kirk Chambers is back in Utah after a 7-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons.
Stansbury starts the season ranked 5th after a breakout season in 2011. The Stallions won 9 games in just their 3rd season of existence. Quarterback Chase Christiansen returns to lead their option attack. He rushed for 1,149 yards and 19 touchdowns last season and his getting a look from Georgia Tech. The team returns 14 starters and hopes to get past the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history.
5 players to watch in 4A
Adam Thompson RB Hurricane
The speedster is back after rushing for 827 yards and 12 touchdowns in a loaded backfield last season. Expect even bigger production as a senior.
Logan Stott OT Pine View
Stott is one of the top linemen in the state at 6-3 and 300 pounds and has already committed to Arizona.
Dakota Cox LB/TE Juan Diego
Cox was one of the top players in 3A last year on both sides of the ball as a junior. His played earned him a scholarship to Cincinnati.
Prentiss Miller RB Pine View
Miller has amassed 2384 yards and 11 touchdowns in two years for the Panthers. With Stott and Cody Boyer blocking for him at the line of scrimmage expect Miller to have another big year.
Blake Barney QB Dixie
Last year Barney completed 54 percent of his passes for 2567 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.