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Rich Rebels fall to Duchesne in Utah state 1A title game

Posted: Friday, Nov 16th, 2012

The Rich Rebels battled hard but couldn’t top a dominating Duchesne team Nov. 10. Photo by Rob Leifson

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — The Rich Rebels are a very good football team. Their 8-4 record and Utah 1A championship appearance reflect just how good they are.

The problem is, they ran into a team destined to become a part of Utah high school sports lore, the things legends are made of — the juggernaut that is the Duchesne Eagles football program, which not only dominated the classification this season, but has for three years.

The Eagles completed a perfect 12-0 season with their 28-0 win over the Rebels on Nov. 10. That win represents a 1A three-peat — three titles in a row, with Rich the last team to claim a title in 2009, over the Eagles. And in a great year for Eagles football in the region — think Lyman, as well — Duchesne is on course to meet, surpass and claim a state record of its own. The team’s third title in as many years extended the win-streak to 34 games, two shy of the Utah state record set by Timpview, with 36. Anybody want to bet against Duchesne not winning its first three games of 2013? That’s how good the squad is.

The Rebels had lost to the Eagles, 14-40, when the two teams were ranked third and first, respectively, back on Oct. 5. Most believed the Rebels would have to play a perfect or near-perfect game, to have a chance.

Defense wins championships, it is said, and the Eagles held the Rebels to just 145 yards of total offense. Sixty yards of that total came in the game’s late stages with things long since decided. The Rebels’ hopes had to be somewhat dimmed when Kaden Thomson, who rushed for over 1,000 yards on the season for Rich, went out with an ankle injury three plays into the the Rebels’ first offensive possession. Without his breakaway speed to the outside, the Rebels became much easier to defend, having to rely on senior quarterback Austin Groll, who also cracked the 1,000-yard mark in rushing on the season, to go along with 876 passing yards. 

Rich came into the game with momentum. The Rebels were on a three-game win-streak and had outscored their opponents 131-41 in those games leading to the title appearance, played at Pleasant Grove. But no team had come close to Duchesne all season, with every win by double digits.

The Rich Rebels are sure to have some post-season awards in the form of all-state or all-class award winners, and the Herald will report those once they are known. Again, an 8-4 season, with two of those losses coming to the eventual champs, and reaching the state title game, all point to a great season for Rebels football. They just happened to face a buzz saw in a team who will more than likely own a coveted Utah state record once next season is a few weeks old.

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