When Duchesne met up with Kanab for the small schools football championship last year, one would think the Eagles would be all about reclaiming the glory of holding the first-place trophy after what - by the town’s standards - was a long period falling short.
“We had a few years drought there,” said Duchesne coach Jerry Cowan, who by “few” meant three as the Eagles had claimed four straight crowns between 2010 and 2013.
But what actually seemed just as prevalent in the championship game was the thought of redemption as Kanab had defeated Duchesne earlier in the season.
That would turn out to be the only loss of the season.
“Kanab beat us early in the year,” Cowan said. “When we played them again, we had the pressure of having lost to them before.”
The Eagles return their quarterback and top rusher, but most of the units have the words “open competition” attached to many of the positions by the coach.
“It’s a football town. We’ve done a lot of good things over the last ten years,” Cowan said. “I think most of the people really enjoy it.”
BEHIND CENTER • Quarterback Jarett Spencer (5-10, 160) is back for his senior season after throwing for 863 yards in 2016 and Cowan expects that his signal caller will be passing more this time around. When he doesn’t drop back, Spencer has weapons nearby. Senior Weston Poulson (6-0, 210) led the team with 909 yards rushing at one wing in Duchesne’s Wing-T formation. On the other wing, Cowan expects Jaren Mortensen (6-1, 185) to get plenty more carries for his junior season.
BALL HAWKS • A band of sophomores, according to Cowan, is the contingent that will make up the receiving corps on offense. That makes senior Dallas Stewart an early first-option for Spencer’s throws, at least until the younger players get some playing time and confidence. But Stewart (5-10, 170) himself is short on experience on offense, having done most of his ball chasing as a defensive back one year ago. On that side of the ball, senior Sergio Anaya got limited action in ’16 and he’ll be one of four in competion for a cornerback slot.