Hurricane blames self for defeat
The crying began the minute Skyler Moran's game-winning field goal split the uprights.
As did the lamenting over the missed opportunities.
Hurricane had multiple chances to score points, and maybe even take control of Friday's Class 3A state title game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. But the Tigers failed to take advantage, leading to a third consecutive championship game loss and more questions of what could've been.
"We definitely missed a lot of chances," senior defensive lineman Daniel Nielsen said. "We stalled out on several drives and we didn't capitalize on things when we should've. We definitely thought we were the better team."
For much of the game, Hurricane looked like the better team. The Tigers moved the ball, seemingly at will in the second half. They spent much of the third quarter in Juan Diego territory, and they twice lined up for field-goal tries.
The only problem is that both of those tries sailed wide of the mark. Cory Edwards, a senior kicker, missed from 36 and 51 yards on consecutive possessions. In the first half, a 37-yard attempt was blocked.
"I thought Hurricane moved the ball very well," Juan Diego coach John Colosimo said. "But I thought our defense was very tough when it needed to be."
Not scoring on those drives proved to be the undoing for the Tigers. Especially since the Hurricane defense bottled up the Soaring Eagle offense for most of the game. But when asked, Nielsen, a University of Utah commit, said the failure of his team to put points on the board was mainly self inflicted.
"We hurt ourselves," Nielsen said. "We had too many penalties, and too many empty possessions. But I'm proud of us, and I'm proud of our team. We've accomplished a lot and I love these guys. I wish I could play with them one more time."
• Cory Edwards misses two field goals and has another attempt blocked.
• Hurricane dominates field position for most of the second half, to no avail.
• The Tigers lose their third consecutive Class 3A state title game.