WEST VALLEY CITY — Two unbeaten juggernauts — Juan Diego and Granger — came onto the Lancers' field Friday evening, stared each other down and waited for the other to blink.
It didn't take long.
Cameron Hansen pounced on a fumble on the opening kickoff and Juan Diego took advantage of four Lancer turnovers, surprising the home team 49-7 in a non-region contest.
Juan Diego improved to 5-0 on the season going into Region 10 play next week. Coach John Colosimo said it was his team's best game all year. The Soaring Eagle got 240 yards passing from quarterback Nick Markosian and several big plays from Jessie Springer.
Juan Diego kept pace with Hurricane and Stansbury as the only undefeated teams left in 3A. The Soaring Eagle, however, has three wins over 4A schools and now a victory over a 5A team.
"We got the momentum early and made big some plays right away," said Colosimo. "These kids are believing in themselves. We think we can play with a lot of the 4A and 5A schools."
It only took five plays for Juan Diego to cash in on Granger's miscue on the opening kickoff. The Lancers, in fact, put the ball on the ground eight times during the game (losing three) and also had a pass interception returned for a score.
Jessie Springer was a key player in Juan Diego's attack. He scored the Soaring Eagle's first three touchdowns, including the 43-yard interception return. Juan Diego led 21-0 after the first quarter and 35-7 at halftime. Much of the fourth quarter was played with a running clock due to UHSAA's 35-point rule.
"We couldn't hold on to the ball," said Granger coach Cecil Thomas, whose team fell to 4-1. "You can't give any team 21 points and expect to win."
Granger's only real highlight came with about four minutes left in the first half.
Trailing 28-0, Jordan Mortensen blocked a punt and the Lancers took over at Juan Diego's 6-yard line. On the next play, Tani Lehauli found a hole, but fumbled just before crossing the goal line. He recovered for his team's only touchdown.
Lehauli was Granger's only offensive threat. He ran for 144 yards on 22 carries, but left the game with three minutes left with an apparent knee injury. Thomas said he had "tweaked" it last week, but expected Lehauli back.1 comment on this story
"That's the kind of kid he is," Thomas said. "He didn't want to come out of the game. He'll be OK."
Granger had just 194 yards but, perhaps more importantly, had few big plays. Juan Diego, meanwhile, had several.
Springer was Juan Diego's primary threat, but Markosian added to the rout with a 63-yard scoring pass to Dakota Cox just before halftime and had a 55-yarder to Kalei Kauhaahaa in the third period.
Hansen, a junior who has been injured for much of the season, also showed some potential. Besides the fumble recovery, he had a powerful 25-yard touchdown run late in the contest.