Ogden • Summit Academy lined up for the potential tying extra-point kick to force a third overtime, but the Bears called timeout first Saturday night.
They changed their mind during that brief break, bringing the offense back out to attempt to knock off the two-time defending state champions and punch their ticket to the Class 3A state championship game.
The options were clear — make it and you’re playing for a state title or fail and your season is over.
That was the chance the Juan Diego defense had been waiting for since early in October, the last time these teams met.
“That was just good coverage all the way around,” Juan Diego linebacker Austin Gillespie said about the final play. “It’s hard to explain what happened. There was so much going on. But we made a great defensive play, and that won it for us.”
Summit Academy quarterback Hayden Reynolds lofted a ball to his right into the end zone, but it sailed too long, and the Soaring Eagle escaped with a 38-37 double-overtime win.
“Summit Academy is nothing but a great opponent,” Juan Diego quarterback Zach Hoffman said. “I have nothing but respect for them. They came up here and they showed everybody that they weren’t scared to play against anyone. They’re just such a great team. I’m proud that we could walk away with a win this time.”
It was the second consecutive week that the Juan Diego defense turned back a potential game-winning 2-point try. Grantsville scored in the final minute in the quarterfinal round, and the Cowboys decided to go for 2 while trailing by one. The Soaring Eagle defense thwarted that try, too.
JUAN DIEGO 38, SUMMIT ACADEMY 37
• Juan Diego breaks up a potential game-winning 2 conversion in double overtime to end the game.
• Junior running back Hunter Easterly leads the Juan Diego offense with 172 yards and three touchdowns.
• Summit Academy quarterback Hayden Reynolds finishes with 375 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.
It took a bit of magic for Juan Diego to be in position to win in double overtime at Weber State. That’s because the Soaring Eagle had the ball first in the second overtime and faced fourth-and-18. But Hoffman found Lucas Prokopis, who split a pair of Summit Academy defenders for a 33-yard touchdown catch to take the lead and put the pressure on the Bears.
So much for that pressure.
Gavin Davey took a dump pass from Reynolds and raced 25 yards to the house on the Bears’ first play to set up the 2-point try.
Gillespie, who finished with seven tackles and a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the third quarter, said the defense looks forward to games against potent offensive teams like Summit Academy.
“There’s just a lot of high-scoring games when it comes to these teams,” Gillespie said. “It’s a lot of fun. There’s definitely going to be a rivalry soon.”
These two teams played a nailbiter in October, a game Summit Academy won 51-49 when the Soaring Eagle missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired. Juan Diego had a chance to win Saturday’s state semifinal at the end of regulation, but a 29-yard field goal attempt missed left.
The Soaring Eagle will try for the state title three-peat when they face Morgan at 4 p.m. Saturday at Southern Utah University.