MT. PLEASANT — The North Sanpete Hawks stepped onto their home field last Friday to take on the Juan Diego Soaring Eagles in the 3A state football quarterfinals. The Hawks knew this game would be a battle as Juan Diego, even though having a ninth place RPI ranking, is a school with a big defensive line and a lot to prove.
The Hawks prepared thoroughly throughout the week, watching film and studying their opponents and their hard work paid off as they ran right through the Soaring Eagles. Early in the game the Hawks asserted their dominance as they ran up the score and held Juan Diego to zero.
Seniors Conner Jorgensen and Payton Clawson both scored touchdowns for North Sanpete with Jorgensen scoring two and Clawson one. Junior Rance Christensen kicked in two of the tree extra points and brought North Sanpete to a commanding 20-0 lead early in the game. The second quarter was fairly quiet as neither team was able to find the end zone until the last few minutes left in the first half, Juan Diego scored and brought the score to 20-7 for the Hawks.
As the game progressed, Juan Diego was able to score a safety in the third quarter bringing the score to 20-9. There was talk wondering if the Hawks were going to be able to withstand the size of the Juan Diego Eagles, as they seemed to be slowly starting to chip away at North Sanpete.
However, the Hawks continued to be relentless on both offense and defense and Juan Diego in their frustration began to accrue penalty after penalty causing the Eagles to lose control of the game.
During the fourth quarter, the Hawks made some big plays that put the nail in the coffin of the Soaring Eagles. Landon Bowles completed a downfield pass to senior Jaxton Langschwager that gave the Hawks field position and a few plays later Jorgensen scored another touchdown for North Sanpete.
The discouraged Eagles began to commit penalties that continued to improve North Sanpete’s field position and on the other hand kept harming their own. By the end of the game, the Eagles had accrued more than 155 yards of penalties that pushed them further away from their end zone. The Hawks ended the game with another touchdown run in by Jorgensen bringing the final score to 33-9 for the Hawks.
The Hawks hope to repeat school history this Saturday as they take on Morgan High School in the semifinals at Mountain View High School at 11 a.m.
Last year, the Hawks made history as they beat Morgan in the semifinals and continued on to the state championship, further than any other North Sanpete football team had gone.
Should the Hawks beat Morgan again this Saturday, they will again continue on to compete in the 3A state championship game.