3A football: Dixie out to tame second straight unbeaten
Prep football • 3 players have rushed for more than 600 yards apiece for Juan Diego.
Published: November 9, 2012 03:44PM
Updated: March 6, 2013 11:32PM
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Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune Juan Diego QB Nick Markosian, #12, was one of the Soaring Eagles' offensive stars, here on the sidelines after he was lifted from the game late in the second half. Juan Diego beat Hurricane 38-0 in a 3A state quarterfinal playoff game, Friday, November 2, 2012.

The Dixie football team will face an undefeated opponent in Juan Diego in its Class 3A semifinal game Friday.

It’s a tough task, but not an intimidating one for the Flyers, who knocked off unbeaten Stansbury in the quarterfinals and aren’t concerned with the Soaring Eagle’s unblemished record.

“We understand Juan Diego is a good team, and they’re 12-0 for a reason,” Dixie coach Blaine Monkres said. “It’s because they’re well-coached and they have good kids on both sides of the ball, but I don’t think being undefeated or not undefeated at this point plays that big of a factor in the semifinal game.”

Juan Diego has outclassed opponents on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Soaring Eagle are averaging more than 43 points over their past eight games, and they rely on a number of playmakers for their success. Chase Williams, Nick Markosian and Jessie Springer each have rushed for more than 600 yards for the Soaring Eagle, while Markosian also has thrown for 11 touchdowns against just three interceptions.

“They’re a very unselfish team, and they’ve got a bunch of guys who can hurt you,” Monkres said. “I don’t think they care who gets the yardage, as long as the job gets done.”

The Juan Diego defense has been just as dominant. The Soaring Eagle have allowed just three points per game over their past eight games, including shutouts in their first two playoff games.

“In any game, you’ve got to play both sides of the ball,” Juan Diego coach John Colosimo said. “We take a lot of pride in our defense, and we feel like we can stay in games if our offense isn’t there.”

The Flyers (9-2), the third seed from Region 9, will counter with a high-scoring offense of their own and a capable defense.

“Everybody been doing their job and taking care of their responsibility,” Monkres said. “You’ve got to play disciplined football and assignment football.”

Potentially playing into the Flyers’ favor if they can keep the game close is the fact the Soaring Eagle haven’t been tested late since a 27-19 win over Skyline on Sept. 7.

“That’s the million-dollar question, I guess,” Colosimo said.

“Can we continue to stay in the game and keep battling if it’s close? I like to think so. … There’s a mentality there to be able to continue to play for four quarters, and you talk about it and emphasize it, but we haven’t had to do those things in a long time.”

Playoff schedule

5A semifinals, Thursday

at Rice-Eccles Stadium

11 a.m. • Syracuse vs. Bingham

2:30 p.m. • Lone Peak vs. Jordan

4A semifinals, Friday

at Rice-Eccles Stadium

11 a.m. • Highland vs. Mountain Crest

2:30 p.m. • Timpview vs. East

3A semifinals

at Rice-Eccles Stadium

Thursday, 6:30 p.m. • Spanish Fork vs. Desert Hills

Friday, 6:30 p.m. • Juan Diego vs. Dixie

2A title game, Saturday

at Pleasant Grove High

11 a.m. • Manti vs. San Juan

1A title game, Saturday

at Pleasant Grove High

2 p.m. • Duchesne vs. Rich