3AA high school football playoff preview
Hurricane vs. Bear River
Hurricane finished their regular season with a record of 3-6 and they will take on Bear River in the quarterfinals of the 3A playoffs. Bear River comes in as the clear favourite with a much better 7-3 record and the lowest points against in the 3A division. Hurricane is reeling heading into this game with four straight losses and they are a heavy underdog to beat the Bears.
Bear River doesn’t run the ball much but it’s worth noting they do have a capable running back with Gage Kaneko, who finished with 270 yards on 53 attempts during the regular season. Kaygen Canfield is a solid quarterback for the Bears, not spectacular but efficient. Gunner Soreson is the teams top receiving with 244 yards through the air, not much but worth noting.
The calling card of this Bears team is definitely their defense. They only allowed 122 points to opposing teams whereas Hurricane allowed 195 points.
Park City vs. Cedar City
Park City and Cedar is definitely an intriguing matchup. Park City finished the regular season with a record of 5-5 while Cedar City had a mark of 4-5. Both teams will be heading into the playoffs on a one game-losing streak.
The Miners have one huge advantage and that is definitely their quarterback, Senior Spencer Zur. Zur leads all 3AA quarterbacks with 2371 yards passing but he also has 22 touchdowns, 296 rushing yards and a 102.4 quarterback rating. Mason Fakahua is a different kind of quarterback, as he finished with 614 passing yards and 390 rushing yards. Cedar City has a number of different players that can make plays and run the ball, not just their quarterback and running back, which will make them dangerous.
Cedar City’s biggest concern has to be the big three receivers that Zur will be throwing to, like Colin Zur, Beau Pederson and Tyler Shea. All of those players have over 500 receiving yards. Derek Ball and Drake Lewis are Cedar City’s biggest threats through the air.
Jade Bulloch and Bailey Gray are two outstanding defensive players for Cedar City, as they are both top three in total tackles. Cedar City only allowed 106 points to their opponents while Park City allowed 164 points.
Dixie State Football Star NFL Draft Hopeful
Written by Ryan Kelly
Joe Don Duncan is the name to look for in this year's NFL Draft. The local star tight end from Dixie State University has a chance to be drafted into the NFL coming up on May 8. He could be one of the first to be drafted staight out of the DSU. Many have come to DSU and then moved on to Division-I schools like Corey Dillon. Duncan is gives DSU a chance to get on the map with a selection in the NFL Draft.
Duncan has made an impression on many by his strength, character, and work ethic. He caught many eyes with his near-record breaking bench press of 35 reps at 225 lbs. In a recent interview with Devin Dixon, he was compared to Jason Witten due to his strentgh in blocking and great catching ability. Right now he is projected by most scouts as a 7th round pick or possible free agent pick up.
Scouts worry about the durability of Duncan and his age. He will be a 25 year old rookie and with his multiple injuries to his leg and recent foot surgery, it could be a risk to take Duncan. Yet, his leadership skills and great hands are worth enough to give him a chance even if undrafted.
Keep your eyes open for Joe Don Duncan when watching the NFL Draft this year. Hopes are high for the former Dixie State star.
4. Kody Wilstead, Saint George (Utah) Pine View – The most impressive out-of-state prospect on Sunday, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound passer is a big presence in the pocket. He should have no trouble seeing over the offensive linemen at the next level. Wilstead also has a high release point without suffering any on the quickness of his delivery. He has a trio of offers already from Louisville, San Diego State and Southern Utah but will see that total increase this spring.