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Prep football: Duchesne beats Layton Christian for its 48th straight win

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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Duchesne huddles pre-game before facing Layton Christian Academy, high school football in Layton Thursday August 21, 2014.

By TOM WHARTON

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Aug 21 2014 11:39PM
Updated Aug 21, 2014 11:46PM

Layton • Duchesne’s football opener at Layton Christian Academy was the kind of trap game that could have easily ended the 1A power’s state record 47-game winning streak.

LCA had the home field advantage and a senior-dominated squad. The contest that opened Utah’s high school football season was being televised live, a rarity for smaller schools. Duchesne was starting a quarterback that had never taken a snap from center before in a game. And there was the little matter of the 135-mile bus trip to the game.

None of that seemed to matter, though, as Duchesne took a 20-10 victory over Class 2A LCA in a battle of teams with the Eagle mascot.

The winning team stuck the ground much of the way, keeping it simple for junior quarterback Wyatt Remund and fine senior running backs Daniel Hanberg and Dylan Despain. Duchesne’s defense was dominating much of the game.The only real weakness the four-time defending 1A champions displayed was on special teams, where a blocked punt and a fumbled long punt snap led to all of LCA’s points and where short kickoffs gave the home team great field position much of the day.

"In 1A football, sometimes you don’t put a lot of work into special teams," said Duchesne coach Jerry Cowan, whose team will likely face a tougher test next week against 2A power North Summit. "You try to get everything ready because your kids have to go both ways…We need to get back to the drawing board on special teams. I was proud of our defense. Even putting themselves in a hole, they gave up very few points in situations where we could have given up more."

He had praise for his young quarterback, who made few mistakes on a day when penalties and bad snaps plagued LCA. Remund scored the first touchdown of the season on a 14-yard play early in the second quarter and added a two-point conversion run after a one-yard run by Hanberg to give Duchesne a 14-0 halftime lead.

"That was his first start at any level," said Cowan, whose team only returned six seniors. "He had never taken a snap under center until this game. It’s a learning experience.

"He did a lot of things we need to fix, but he did a lot of things that were exciting. You can’t coach size and he’s big, strong and fast. Once he figures things out, he will be more explosive and dominant in situations where he had to make plays."

Remund admitted to be nervous while riding to the game. And, like his coach, he is trying to put the streak, which is now at 48 games, in the back of his mind.

"I tried to stay as calm as I could and keep my head," he said."It’s kind of like coach said. The record has come and gone. It’s our record. It’s just more icing on the cake if we keep winning. There’s not too much pressure."

LCA tried to make a game of it in the second half. A blocked Duchesne punt by Elijah Lenaburg resulted in a 39-yard field goal by Ilari Laine that made it 14-3.

After Duchesne got a 17-yard score by Despain to make it 20-3, Qwayvon Atkinson scored a 5-yard touchdown with 6:45 to play to make it 20-10.

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