Ogden • The trick play had to wait.

Juan Diego’s good fortune made the patience necessary.

When the Soaring Eagle did get the chance to run the play, it led to a touchdown and lead they did not relinquish. The three-peat was complete with a 45-20 victory in Saturday’s Class 3A state championship game.

“It’s special, for sure. Senior year, I’ve been playing with a lot of these guys since the fourth grade,” senior quarterback Zach Hoffman said. “It’s amazing.”

Juan Diego got off to a quick start when a Morgan fumble gave the Soaring Eagle the ball at the Trojans’ 13. Hoffman ran in from the 2 two plays later for the early score.

But Morgan, led by quarterback Jacob Stephens’ 314 yards passing, answered right away. The Trojans marched 80 yards and tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter on a 10-yard pass from Stephens to Jacob Rounkles.

Then came the trick play Juan Diego had been planning.

The Soaring Eagle, starting from their 20-yard line, had senior receiver Dallen Davis throw back to Hoffman on the right sideline. Hoffman nearly made it to the end zone on the long pass before being pushed out at the 4. But he scored on another 2-yard run for the 14-7 lead.

“We’ve been practicing it all year,” Davis said. “He’s a wide receiver [originally], so we just connected. I couldn’t believe that coach would agree to that.”

Juan Diego coach John Colosimo collected his eighth state championship for the school since 2002. Just getting to the title game turned out to be the biggest postseason difficulty for the Soaring Eagle. Juan Diego beat Grantsville 14-13 in the state quarterfinals then slipped by Summit Academy 38-37 in double overtime in the state semifinals. Both Grantsville and Summit Academy failed on 2-point conversions that could have ended Juan Diego’s season.

“We could’ve lost the last two weeks. I told the boys playoffs are about surviving,” Colosimo said. “I think tonight we were full-bore. We didn’t want it to come down to a 2-point conversion.”

After an Alex Saunders field goal in the second quarter, Hoffman lofted a pass past the Morgan secondary, which was reeled in by Hunter Easterly, who rumbled 72 yards for a touchdown and a 24-7 lead.

Easterly had 50 yards rushing to go with Hoffman’s 133 and Tristen Tonozzi’s 127 on the ground. The burly junior didn’t play football last year to concentrate on lacrosse.

“We won one in the spring for lacrosse,” Easterly said. “I think it’s just awesome that we came out and played our best as a team.”

The Trojans, seeking their first football title in 20 years, cut their deficit to 24-14 late in the second quarter on a Porter Giles 3-yard run. But Juan Diego answered just before intermission on a 45-yard Tonozzi scoring run.

“When you’re playing Juan Diego, you just can’t make mistakes,” Morgan coach Kovi Christiansen said. “We would’ve had to play a perfect game.”


• Juan Diego wins its eight state football championship under coach John Colosimo and its third in a row.

• Saturday’s game was a rematch of the Class 3A finale two years ago. Zach Hoffman, who played wide receiver on that Juan Diego team, led the squad from the quarterback spot Saturday.

• Hoffman leads all players with 133 yards rushing, while teammate Tristen Tonozzi adds 127. Morgan quarterback Jacob Stephens throws for 314 yards in the loss.