San Juan football team gets clean sweep at 7-on-7 tournament
by Barkley Christensen
San Juan High School Head Football Coach
The San Juan High School football team took a trip to Manti, UT on June 23-24 to compete in a 7-on-7 passing tournament and a lineman challenge tournament.
The Broncos faced teams representing four different classifications, ranging from 1A to 4A. The team took 75 players to compete at the varsity, junior varsity, and C-team levels.
In the 7-on-7 passing tournament, the varsity team started off strong, beating 2A North’s Providence Hall. The varsity team then took on their most familiar rival of the past few seasons, Beaver, smoking them 40-6.
The team did have one blemish in the tournament, suffering a loss to the host Manti Templars in a close game. San Juan closed out pool play with victories over Richfield and North Summit.
The varsity team was seeded fourth heading into the single-elimination tournament and opened against region rival Emery. The game went back and forth, but ended when Branten Bethea batted down a Spartan pass as time expired.
That punched the Broncos’ ticket to the semifinals where they faced 2A North rival Summit Academy. San Juan started off slow against the Bears and found themselves down 12-0 with only seven minutes left to play.
Summit Academy had possession and was effectively taking time off the clock while marching the ball all the way down to the Bronco five yard line.
Just when it looked like it would be the Bears heading to the championship game, San Juan junior linebacker Jake Ivins stepped in front of a Summit Academy receiver and picked the ball off.
Interceptions in 7-on-7 tourneys count for three points, so that put the Broncos on the board, still trailing 12-3.
On the very next play from scrimmage, San Juan quarterback Parker Snyder hit receiver Tyler Pehrson on a fade ball for a touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion attempt, the Broncos had pulled to with one, 12-11.
When Summit Academy got the ball back with four minutes to go they fully planned on running out the remaining time on the clock. They successfully drove down the field but threw an incomplete pass, turning the ball back over to San Juan with only four seconds remaining.
In the rules of 7-on-7 the team that has the ball when time expires is allowed to complete their drive. So, San Juan had one last chance to win the game and earn a spot in the tournament championship game.
The Broncos drove all the way down to the Bears’ five yard line, but were down to one last shot facing a crucial fourth down. A score would win it for San Juan and a stop would win it for Summit Academy.
Quarterback Parker Snyder took the snap and found “Mr. Reliable”, Anthony Done for a strike in the middle of the end zone giving the Broncos an exciting 17-12 win.
In the championship game San Juan faced 4A Snow Canyon. The Broncos put it all together to beat Warriors 28-14 to claim the tournament championship.
The varsity team wasn’t the only San Juan squad to win a championship on the weekend. Both the JV and C-team also won as the Broncos got a “Clean Sweep” to win all three divisions.
The varsity team went 7-1 and beat Snow Canyon (4A) in the championship. The JV team went 8-0 and beat Emery in the championship. And the C-team also went undefeated, finishing with a record of 8-0 and beating Beaver in the championship.
It was a great day for San Juan football and very rewarding for a group who has been working extremely hard since the beginning of June.
The lineman challenge tournament was also very successful for the Broncos. San Juan took 20 lineman to compete in the challenge, fielding one varsity team and three JV teams.
Each team consists of five linemen competing in various challenges against other teams from different schools. The challenges test each team’s strength, speed, quickness, and athleticism.
After all was said and done, the San Juan varsity team placed second, losing a close one to Providence Hall.
In the JV competition San Juan teams placed first and second. It was a very successful day for our lineman and skill guys and we could not be prouder of how our teams competed over the weekend.