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Last second catch by Nix gives Juan Diego 3A Title over Hurricane 12-10


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:00 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 12, Hurricane 10

In all my time covering sports there is only one play I have ever seen in person that was more dramatic and more improbable than what I just saw in this game. What an unbelievable ending. I was standing on the Hurricane sideline just 15 yards away from the end zone as Bruce Nix somehow went up and grabbed that ball out of the air. An amazing catch and an even better throw. Cody Stevenson deserves a ton of credit for driving his team 80 yards in just :46 seconds with a state championship on the line. His throw couldn't have been better giving Nix a chance to make a play. I said before the game that the loss of Keegan Anderson was big and that another JD receiver would have to step up and make a big play and Nix was that guy. I am also heartbroken for the Hurricane Tigers. For the 2nd straight year they fall short on a last second play. They battled all night long and put themselves in position to win their first state title. The touchdown by Tim Long was a gritty play. It would have been the game winner and we would have remembered that touchdown for a long time. It's just proof that until the clock says zero you still have a chance.

:00 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 12, Hurricane 10

What an unbelievable ending to the 3A State Championship. Juan Diego goes 80 yards in about 45 seconds to score the game winning touchdown with zero time on the clock. Cody Stevensen to Bruce Nix for a 31 yard touchdown pass. Juan Diego wins its second consecutive 3A title and beats Hurricane for the 2nd year in a row. Amazing Game!

:45 Fourth Quarter
Hurricane 10, Juan Diego 6

The Hurricane fans are going nuts after the Tigers take the lead on a 9 yard touchdown run by quarterback Tim Long. he made a fantastic effort after taking a hit to reach over the goal line to get the go-ahead score. The Tigers are :45 seconds away from their first state title.

:54 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

Hurricane just picked up a 1st down on a Robert Reeve run. They have the ball at the 9 yard line as time ticks off the clock.

2:26 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

A big penalty called against Juan Diego for a late hit. Hurricane has the ball 1st and 10 on the 22 yard line.

3:25 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

Hurricane has momentum and they are driving. Robert Reeve runs for 17 yards and the Tigers have the ball at the Soaring Eagle 37 yard line.

3:34 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

Hurricane quarterback Tim Long threw what looked to be an interception on 3rd and 10 but a pass interference call gives the Tigers 15 yards and an automatic first down. They have the ball at their own 47 yard line.

3:54 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

The Tigers defense did exactly what they needed to do. Three-and-out for Juan Diego and the Tigers take over on their own 32 yard line after an ugly but effective punt. Remember, the Tigers have no timeouts left.

4:22 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

Hurricane has no time outs left. A couple Juan Diego 1st downs may clinch the title. The Tigers defense needs stops.

5:22 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 3

Instead of going for it on 4th and 11, the Tigers decide to kick the field goal and Cory Edwards nailed it from 40 yards. The Tigers are on the board and will put the game in the hands of their defense to get the ball back. Juan Diego starts the drive from their own 20 after the touchback.

5:28 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

After a false start penalty the Tigers face a 4th and 11 at their own 24 yard line. This could be the game for the Tigers. They call timeout.

7:55 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Big play for the Tigers offense on 3rd and 14. Tim Long throws a dart to Zach Sorenson for the 21 yard gain. The Tigers have the ball on the 32 yard line.

9:12 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

An illegal substitution penalty has backed up the Tigers to their own 45 yard line. Now facing 3rd and 14.

9:50 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Hurricane decides to go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 47 yard line and they convert. Quarterback Tim Long keeps it for the 1 yard gain. The Tigers are at midfield as time continues to tick off the clock.

10:49 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Juan Diego botches the snap on the punt then Nathan Elorreaga tries to run for the 1st down but he comes up short and fumbles giving the Tigers great field position at their own 38 yard line.

12:00 Fourth Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

12 minutes to the title. Will Juan Diego hold on and go back-to-back or will the Tigers find the end zone and break through for their first state title? Can't wait to find out.

1:17 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Hurricane cannot convert on 3rd down and is forced to punt. Juan Diego takes over on their own 44 yard line.

2:38 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

On 3rd and 3, Juan Diego comes up just inches short of a first down. They decide not to pull a Belicheck and decide to punt at their own 39 yard line. Hurricane takes over on their own 13 after a nice punt.

3:53 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Another Hurricane drive has stalled. Juan Diego now has possession at their own 37 yard line.

6:28 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Juan Diego can't take advantage of the turnover and are forced to punt. Hurricane takes over on their own 45 yard line.

6:44 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Another big play by the Juan Diego defense. With the Tigers driving, Tim Long attempted a deep pass that was picked off by Mark Krueger. Juan Diego takes over on their own 30 yard line.

7:30 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

I give Hurricane fans a lot of credit. There is well over 1,000 Tiger fans that made the long trip to Salt Lake City.

8:46 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

The wind hasn't kept the Tigers from throwing the football. Tim Long has completed two passes on a drive into Soaring Eagle territory.

12:00 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Hurricane starts the 2nd half with the ball on their own 20 yard line driving into the wind.

12:00 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

The wind is really whippin' now at Rice-Eccles stadium. It is blowing north out of the stadium. We'll see if the wind plays a factor in this game. Since both teams are grinding it out on the ground it shouldn't affect the game offensively but it will definately impact the kicking game for both teams.

12:00 Third Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

If you love low scoring games dominated by defense and 1 yard dives then this is the game for you. Here are a few things that stand out on the stat sheet: Both teams have combined for just 44 yards passing on 11 attempts. The Hurricane defense was led by Alphonso Thompson who had 13 tackles in the first half. JD running back Tana Vea it the total yardage leader. He had 89 yards rushing on 13 carries averaging 6.8 yards a carry. Jacob Pugh is the yardage leader for Hurricane with 57 yards rushing, 54 of those yards came on one play. Both teams weren't very good on 3rd down but Hurricane really struggled converting on just 1 of 5 3rd downs. There hasn't been a single turnover in this game. Just good, clean, hard hitting football.

:00 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

The half ends on a Lars Gunderson 28 yard run. I nice play but not enough to put any points on the board. Defense has been the story in the first half. Both teams coming up with big stops. The leg of last year's hero Jaron Bentrude has been the difference on the scoreboard booting two field goals, one from 46 yards out. Hurricane's inability to capitalize on the 54 yard run by Jacob Pugh may come back to haunt them later in the game. They are probably thinking that they should have a 1 point lead in the locker room right now.

:48 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Hurricane can't capitalize on the Jacob Pugh run. Juan Diego's defense stuffs the Tigers rushing attack in the red zone forcing a 27 yard field goal attempt that was blocked.

1:52 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

Just as I say the Tigers are one play away from taking the lead, Jacob Pugh takes off for a 54 yard run setting up Hurricane on the Juan Diego 18 yard line.

3:01 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 6, Hurricane 0

The Hurricane defense comes through again keeping the Soaring Eagle offense out of the red zone. Jaron Bentrude just kicked a 46 yard field goal to give Juan Diego a 6 point lead. Thanks to the Tiger's defense, they are just one play away from taking the lead in this game.

3:13 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 3, Hurricane 0

With WR/DB Keegan Anderson out with a broken leg, the Soaring Eagle are lacking a big play threat at receiver. They finally broke a play of 20 yards or more. Bruce Nix got open across the middle and took the ball to the Tiger 30.

6:01 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 3, Hurricane 0

Another big hit by a defensive player ends a drive. Juan Diego's Bryson Pitcher stopped Tigers quarterback Tim Long with a crushing blow on 3rd down. The Soaring Eagle take over on their own 36 yard line after a Tiger punt.

8:47 Second Quarter
Juan Diego 3, Hurricane 0

Ian Gates had done it again! With a little help from Micah Anderson he stuffed Tana Vea on 3rd and 2 at the 3 yard line. Juan Diego settles for a Jaron Bentrude 21 yard field goal for the first score of the game.

12:00 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

According to the old cliche, defense wins championships. Well, the defense for both teams won the 1st quarter. Both teams had players come up with big stops on 3rd down to kill drives. Juan Diego is nearing the red zone as the 2nd quarter gets underway. 2nd and 6 for the Soaring Eagle on the Tigers 25 yard line.

1:21 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

Hurricane had momentum offensively until Juan Diego's Junior Latu gets into the Tiger backfield and sacks Tim Long on 3rd down. The punt is a disaster traveling just 7 yards and the Soaring Eagle start on the Tigers 40 yard line.

4:18 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

Gates does it again. This time he tags quarterback Cody Steveson for a loss on 3rd down forcing a punt. Hurricane takes over on their own 24 yard line.

4:54 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

Hurricane's Ian Gates is a beast. He just stonewalled a Soaring Eagle rusher on 2nd and 1 but Juan Diego converted the 3rd down on the next play. They now face a 3rd and 2 at the Tigers 46 yard line.

7:25 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

The Juan Diego defense also gets off to a great start. Like the Tigers they give up a first down but then force Hurricane to punt. They start their 2nd possession on their own 32 yard line.

8:11 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

The Tigers defense came to play tonight. After giving up an 11 yard run by Tana Vea for a first down, they force Juan Diego to punt. The Tiger offense is at their own 42 yard line after quarterback Tim Long connects with Jacob Pugh for a 12 yard gain.

12:00 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

The opening kickoff soared through the end zone. Juan Diego will start at their own 20 yard line.

12:00 First Quarter
Juan Diego 0, Hurricane 0

We are about to get underway with what could be a very tightly contested championship game between the Tigers and the Soaring Eagle. This, of course, a rematch from last year's title game that went down to the very last play. Juan Diego kicker Jaron Bentrude kicked a 23 field goal that gave the Soaring Eagle the win. Hurricane has been waiting for another shot at these guys ever since. This should be an intense battle. Juan Diego will receive the opening kickoff.

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Jeremiah Jensen Sports

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