Jordan set to host national football powerhouse at Rio Tinto
Published: September 13, 2013 11:24PM
Updated: September 17, 2013 06:30PM

The defending Class 5A champion Jordan Beetdiggers have returned to earth some.

After cruising through most of their schedule en route to a 5A state title last year, the ’Diggers (1-2), have suffered a pair of difficult losses in back-to-back weeks — one in California and another against Class 4A East High.

Jordan’s schedule isn’t about to get easier.

New Jersey’s Bergen Catholic, one of the country’s top football programs, will take on the Beetdiggers to headline this year’s Xfinity Football Challenge at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

“They said they wanted the best,” venue president Bill Manning said about Jordan, “so we brought in the best.”

Jordan suffered its lone loss of the season last year in the Xfinity matchup wtih St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), a 34-33 heartbreaker. The Crusaders of Bergen Catholic, the program that produced Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing, will be looking to bounce back from a tough 24-13 loss to Louisiana’s John Curtis, the No. 2 rated team in the nation.

“They’re going to be hungry,” Manning said about the teams. “Every team came in undefeated last year except for Alta, who had one loss. This year is a little different. You’ve got teams looking to prove themselves.”

Jordan and Bergen Catholic will kick off the premier game of the day at 7 p.m. in Sandy.

In the opener, the Alta Hawks will take on Allentown, an up and coming New Jersey program, at 2 p.m. The Redbirds won their 2013 opener last Friday, a 28-7 win over Steinert (Hamilton, N.J.). Alta, which is 1-2 heading into the Saturday’s matchup with Allentown, is coming off a 41-28 loss to 2012 4A state champions Timpview.

Tickets are available online (http://www.riotintostadium.com/events/xhsfc-2013.php) or at stadium box office.

-Aaron Falk

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk