Hurricane football coach Chris Homer finally got a chance to meet Juan Diego coach John Colosimo outside the walls of Rice-Eccles Stadium.
It was during the summer, when Homer was coaching the 3A All-Star team and used Juan Diego’s field as a practice space for his squad. He found it was easy to get along with Colosimo when the two weren’t coaching on opposite ends of the field, without a state championship at stake.
The two will meet again on that field this Friday, but they will have their teams at their backs. The winner won’t necessarily win a title, but the loser certainly won’t.
The rivalry is back on.
“I think personally and as a community, we would like to beat them,” said Homer, whose team never has beaten the Soaring Eagle. “It’s not for a state championship, but it takes something off the table. What they did in the past, beating us like they did, it’s never going to go away. But we’re going to continue meeting as long as we both have competitive programs.”
Aside from the venue, it’s not much different than past years. Both Juan Diego and Hurricane have been ranked in the top two all year, but a triple-overtime loss to Desert Hills sunk the Tigers to a No. 2 seed.
It’s been difficult for both teams to overlook the brewing matchup considering the history. Juan Diego won the championship game in the final minute against Hurricane in three straight title games between 2008 and 2010.
History has its place on the field, but Colosimo has let his team know it will have no bearing on the result.
“I think we’ve tried to give them some pride in our tradition, and encouraged them to defend it,” Colosimo said. “But we know we can’t take it for granted. It’s going to be a battle. Our kids know that.”
The matchup to watch is the battle between Hurricane’s offense and Juan Diego’s defense.
Fullback Jared Edwards leads 3A with 22 rushing touchdowns, while Adam Thompson provides a burst of speed and athleticism from the wing back position. But the Hurricane line will have to execute against a bevy of Division I talent on the Soaring Eagle defense, including Cincinnati-committed linebacker Dakota Cox.
“That’s going to be the best defense we face all year, whether we move on or not,” Homer said. “They’re fundamentally sound, fast, and always understand what offenses are trying to do. There’s tons of similarities between them and their other championship teams.”
Colosimo similarly was complimentary of a program that he’s beaten but treats with the upmost respect.
“They’re not hard to scout, but they’re hard to stop,” Colosimo said. “They just execute so well, it doesn’t matter if you know what they’re going to do.”
Davis at Lone Peak, 4 p.m.
Fremont at Bingham, 4 p.m.
Northridge at Jordan, 4 p.m.
Alta at Syracuse, 5 p.m.
Timpview at Woods Cross, 3 p.m.
Bountiful at Mountain Crest, 4 p.m.
East at Box Elder, 4 p.m.
Highland at Orem, 4 p.m.
Bear River at Desert Hills, 5 p.m.
Dixie at Stansbury, 5 p.m.
Hurricane at Juan Diego, 5 p.m.
Morgan at Spanish Fork, 6 p.m.
Class 2A at Hillcrest High
Grand vs. Manti, 11 a.m.
South Summit vs. San Juan, 2 p.m.
Class 1A at Southern Utah
Monticello vs. Duchesne, 11 a.m.
Altamont vs. Rich, 2 p.m.