Juan Diego breaks through Manti defense to defeat Templars 40-13
By Robert Stevens
MANTI—A stagnant first quarter for both teams didn’t keep Juan Diego High from breaking out in the second quarter and outpacing Manti for a 40-13 win on Friday.
Manti had just come off a comeback win against Juab, but has been missing their first string quarterback, Kyle King, since he was injured in a game against Summit Academy—the team currently leading the region.
Sophomore Jax Parry has been filling in for King while he recuperates.
“Jax has been doing really well,” Manti coach Cole Meacham says. “He’s been up against some tough defenses, but he’s stepped up and he’s really coachable.”
Neither team scored any points in the first quarter on Friday, but Juan Diego exploded in the second quarter with three consecutive touchdowns, one of which was an interception return. All three touchdowns were accompanied by successful kicks, leaving the score 21-0 in Juan Diego’s favor at the end of the first half.
Juan Diego would score once more, in the third quarter, before Manti’s Dallin Rasmussen ran into the endzone and his teammate Seth Cornelsen kicked the extra point.
Despite another touchdown in the fourth quarter for Manti, Juan Diego racked up more points and the game ended at 40-13.
Manti’s overall record is now 4-3, but Meacham says the season is still anyone’s game.
“Our region is still really up for grabs,” he says. “Summit Academy is in the driver’s seat, but there is still some tough games to go for everybody.”
The Templars will face local rivals North Sanpete Friday at home. The Hawks have displayed excellent defensive stats this season, and the game should be an exciting matchup for local football fans.
“North Sanpete has a very good defense; their offense is physical and they really want to run the ball and wear you down,” Meacham says. “They want to keep their offense on the field a long time, and when the defense comes out, they do a good job making stops.”
Meacham says to combat the Hawks he wants to encourage his team’s offense to keep the ball on the field for a longer time for more sustained drives.