Broncos top Juan Diego 40-6, win 27th straight
by Rhett Sifford
The San Juan High School football team won their state-leading 27th game in a row and moved to 2-0 on the 2023 season with a 40-6 victory over the Juan Diego Soaring Eagle on Friday, August 18 in Draper.
The win moves the Broncos into a three-way tie for the 12th-longest win streak in the nation with St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) and Tioga (NY), who have yet to start their seasons. But it didn’t come with a little work and, unfortunately, attrition.
San Juan and Juan Diego traded touchdowns in the first quarter. The Broncos opened the scoring when they capped a nice drive with a two-yard run from Zack Conway 5:34 into the game.
Juan Diego answered 3:26 later when junior quarterback Hayden Mezanen broke a couple tackles and went right up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown run.
Both PATs failed and with the score tied 6-6 after the first quarter, it seemed like a long battle might ensue for the remainder of the night.
But the San Juan defense rose up in the second quarter, forcing three straight Eagle turnovers. The Broncos took full advantage, scoring touchdowns on every takeaway to establish a 27-6 lead.
For good measure they added one more TD with 1:42 left in the first half to take firm command of the game 33-6.
The second half breezed by with neither team scoring until San Juan broke through on Conway’s fourth touchdown run of the night with 4:45 left in the game, cementing the win.
Along the way, Conway ran for 128 yards on 16 carries, putting together another outstanding effort. Quarterback Parker Snyder ran for 104 yards with a rushing touchdown.
He completed 16 of 27 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown. He did throw two interceptions in the game, but one was the result of a freak bounce off his intended receiver’s heel.
Anthony Done had an excellent night, catching seven Snyder passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Brigham Nielson had three catches for 43 yards, Javin Montella had three catches for 35 yards, and Zack Conway caught a 32-yard pass.
Defensively senior Jordan Duke led the team with 15 tackles while junior JD Palmer collected 14. Jaiten Knight and Jake Ivins stopped 11 Juan Diego ballcarriers apiece.
Conway, Knight, and Palmer all sacked Hayden Mezenen one time each. Branten Bethea and Trace Bennett each intercepted Mezenen. Bethea and Duke recovered one fumble apiece.
The only bad news from the Broncos’ visit to Draper is that senior wide receiver Keaton Ivins broke his collar bone in the game and will have to sit out for at least eight weeks.
Snyder was hobbled by a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter, but coaches are optimistic it won’t be a serious issue for the senior quarterback going forward.
Following the win Bronco Head Coach Barkley Christensen praised the toughness of his team and their never-say-die attitude. He was pleased with their balanced effort on both sides of the ball.
San Juan returns to Blanding for a very rare home game this Friday, August 26 against the Bayfield, CO Wolverines, who are playing in the first game of their season.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and as always you can catch the game live on Redrock 92. The Picture It Palmer website is down, but video will stream on StreamUtah.Live