West Valley City • Granger High School is undergoing a $68 million renovation scheduled to finish next fall, and a new football stadium was one of the first additions. The football team, on the other hand, could still use some work, as the Lancers suffered through a 49-7 loss to Juan Diego on Friday.
Boasting the state's leading rusher, junior Tani Lehauli, and a 4-0 record, the 5A Lancers looked poised to roll over visiting 3A Juan Diego. But the Soaring Eagle also entered Friday's game undefeated and took advantage of four first-half Granger turnovers to jump to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
Granger was out of sorts from the start as Kylon Pierre fumbled the game's opening kickoff, setting up a short field for Juan Diego. Running back Jessie Springer who finished with 74 yards and three scores on 12 carries capitalized with a 3-yard touchdown run.
"It's a nice win, but even I didn't expect it to turn out like this," said Springer, pointing to the scoreboard. "We sent a message tonight."
Granger senior center Chris Shell, sidelined because of a neck injury, could only sit back and watch as his replacement, freshman Fui Kalaniuvualu, continued to sail snaps over the head of quarterback Jairo Tarver.
In an attempt to salvage a poor snap on Granger's first possession, Tarver hurried a pass that resulted in a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by Juan Diego's Justin Caywood. On the ensuing drive, another errant snap resulted in a fumble recovery that led to six more points for Juan Diego.
"Our defense helped us out all game," Juan Diego quarterback Nick Markosian said. "They definitely flipped the momentum in our favor."
Lehauli was the lone bright spot for Granger, finishing with 149 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries. He left the game late with a leg injury.