High school football: Duchesne Eagles 2020 preview

Note: Duchesne finished with a 10-2 record in 2019 and was first in 2A North with a 5-0 record. It was RPI seed No. 4 in the 2A playoffs, and was eliminated by Beaver 14-7 in semifinals.


SANDY — After narrowly losing in the 2A semifinal last year to undefeated Beaver, Duchesne is ready to roll in 2020.

“We lost in the semifinals to Beaver, the team that won it. I thought we played them better than any team. We lost a 7-point game that we had chances to win. It didn’t end the way we wanted it, but I think we played really well towards the end of the year and gave ourselves a chance to beat the team that hadn’t been beat,” Duchesne head coach Jerry Cowan said. “Overall, it was pretty successful.”

Cowan and the Eagles return a good chunk of their starting lineup as Duchesne works to get past the semifinals in 2020 and win a state championship. Returning running backs Brock Adams and Kaleb Sanchez, who combined for 1,654 yards and 16 touchdowns, will help the Eagles’ offense, while linebacker Tristan Farnsworth will be a key part of the defense.

“Our outlook is to try to win a state championship. We feel like we’re better in a lot of ways. we’re going to be a little more ready for the 2A level. We hadn’t been in the 2A league — last year was our first year . So I think, I think we got little more familiar with the change,” Cowan said.


Duchesne Eagles at a glance

Coach Cowan’s thoughts on how his players dealt with the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“I think the biggest thing it’s affected is just the weight room, the few months that we were in lockdown. I feel like we’re a little further behind than we normally are, athletic ability overall. You know, we’ve tried to catch up to some of those days off that we missed. Overall we’ve been around the kids for quite a while now. So we feel like it’s not a thing of the past, obviously, but no, we kind of moved on from it and made the most out of it.”

Duchesne Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Wyatt Gines

2019 offense: 37.3 ppg (2nd in 2A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • 5 returning starters
  • Wing-T offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Brock Adams (RB)
  • Kaleb Sanchez (RB)
  • Dylan Newell (OL)
  • Cameron Brady (QB)
  • Westin Gines (RB)
Coach Cowan’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“Well, I think last year, that’s what’s held us back. We scored 7 points in the semifinals and held a team that’s been scoring 40, 50 points per game to 14, but we still couldn’t find a way to win. This year, we’re going to try to do a better job of opening things up a little bit and spreading the ball out and try to be a little less predictable and, hopefully, keep the defense on its toes a little bit. I feel like we got playmakers in all different areas from our receivers to running back, quarterback. Spread the ball out and trying to make guys make plays in space and just do our best to put some points on the board, because we didn’t do a very good job of that last year.”


Duchesne Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Justin Parker

2019 defense: 11.2 ppg (2nd in 2A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • 4 returning starters
  • 4-2-5 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Brock Adams (DE)
  • Kaleb Sanchez (OL}
  • Jaxon Morlan (LB)
  • Tristan Farnsworth (LB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Westin Gines (LB)
Coach Cowan’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“Putting the right guys in the right spot. We’ve got athletes. We’ve got a few newcomers. We fee like we’re pretty good in certain areas. DB, that is probably the biggest question mark. We’ve got some guys that we’re just trying to experiment with. For us, it’s just going to be finding the right guys and putting them in the right spots.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

Duchesne is reloaded and ready to contend for a 2A title. Most importantly for the Eagles will be filling in holes defensively with only four returning starters. With a lot of offensive production back in the run game, Duchesne will rely on its experienced running backs. The Eagles should contend for the 2A North crown and could get over the hump in the 2A playoffs.


Felt’s Facts for Duchesne

  • All-time record: 275-214-1 (49 years)
  • Region championships: 16 (1983 co, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Playoff appearances: 90
  • All-time playoff record: 39-34

  • State championships: 6 (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016)
  • State championship record: 6-5

  • Most played rivalry: 69 meetings with Altamont dating back to 1973. Duchesne leads 43-27.


Last 5 Seasons

  • 2019 — 10-2 (5-0 in 2A North – 2A Semifinals)
  • 2018 — 8-5 (3-0 in 1A North – 1A Runner-up)
  • 2017 — 10-2 (3-0 in 1A North – 1A Runner-up)
  • 2016 — 11-1 (4-0 in 1A North – 1A Champions)
  • 2015 — 8-3 (4-0 in 1A North – 1A Semifinals)

Duchesne coaching history

  • 2012-current — Jerry Cowan (118-34) *3 State Titles
  • 2008-2011 — Bill Hoopes (36-12) *2 State Titles
  • 2003-2007 — Jerry Cowan (40-17) *1 State Title
  • 2000-2002 — Colby Knight (10-19)

  • 1999 — Brian Berrong (1-8)

  • 1996-1998 — Don Hill (9-21)

  • 1993-1995 — Dave Woolstenhulme (17-13)

  • 1987-1992 — Rick Durban (27-30)

  • 1984-1986 — Stan Young (23-8)

  • 1981-1983 — Rick Durban (14-16)

  • 1979-1980 — Robert Cook (9-9)

  • 1977-1978 — John Dowell (3-14)

  • 1974-1976 — Ed Browning (3-21)

  • 1973 — Russ Shirts (5-5)


Duchesne All-State at-a-glance

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
  • 2016 — Steven Skewes, RB/LB
  • 2013 — Trent Roberts, QB/LB

  • 2012 — Kaden Moon, RB/LB

  • 2011 — Max Lewis, OL/DL

  • 2010 — Grant Marett, OL/DL

Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2019 — Gavin Davis, RB
  • 2019 — Brock Ford, OL
  • 2019 — Skyler Ford, OL
  • 2018 — Jaren Mortensen, RB/FS
  • 2018 — Dillon Moon, OL/LB
  • 2018 — Gavin Davis, WR/DB
  • 2018 — Brock Ford, TE/DL
  • 2018 — Skyler Ford, RB/DL
  • 2017 — Kade Lamborn, CB/SS
  • 2017 — Jack Roberts, OL/DL
  • 2017 — Jaren Mortensen, RB/FS
  • 2017 — Weston Poulson, RB/LB
  • 2017 — Jarett Spencer, QB/DB
  • 2016 — Weston Poulson, RB/LB
  • 2016 — Chad Lewis, WR/DB
  • 2016 — Jaren Mortensen, TE/DB
  • 2016 — Aaron Verduzco, OL/DL
  • 2016 — Kenyen Kielbasa, OL/LB
  • 2016 — Jack Roberts, OL/DL
  • 2015 — Carsen Reinhardt, QB/DB
  • 2015 — Layne Coil, RB/FS
  • 2015 — Wyatt Remund, TE/FS
  • 2015 — Aaron Verduzco, OL/DL
  • 2014 — Dylan Despain, RB/LB
  • 2014 — Jesse Wickel, OL/DL
  • 2013 — Matt Muir, RB/DB

  • 2013 — Colin Moon, Duchesne, RB/DB

  • 2013 — Dylan Despain, RB/LB

  • 2013 — Matt Dye, FB/DL

  • 2013 — Braxton Spencer, WR/LB

  • 2012 — Trent Roberts, QB/LB

  • 2012 — Josh Hanberg, RB/DB

  • 2012 — McKade Nielsen, TE/FS

  • 2012 — Jesus Pena, OL/DL

  • 2012 — Wade Shepard, OL/DL

  • 2012 — Cassidy Smith, OL/DL

  • 2011 — Shiaba Allen, QB/LB

  • 2011 — Braiden Despain, RB/LB

  • 2011 — Macoy Young, RB/DB

  • 2011 — McKade Nielsen, TE/DB

  • 2011 — Kane Nealley, OL/LB

  • 2010 — Shiaba Allen, QB/LB

  • 2010 — Braiden Despain, RB/LB

  • 2010 — Max Lewis, OL/DL

  • 2010 — Devin Fabrizi, RB/LB

  • 2010 — Kane Nealley, OL/DL

  • 2010 — Austin Poulson, OL/DL


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