BOUNTIFUL – Darren Denucci and a handful of former Davis County high school football players have sent Snow College to the pinnacle of success.
Denucci, along with former Clearfield High offensive lineman Etika Pauni, aided in Snow College’s 47-21 win over ASA (called Advanced Software Analysis) last Saturday.
The win for Snow College helped the Badgers finish the season ranked No. 3 in the country for the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA).
ASA, which was ranked No. 3 heading into last Saturday’s action, suffered its first loss of the season when it faced the Badgers, who were ranked No. 4 at the time. Denucci and Pauni were both anchored on the offensive line as the Badgers ran up and down the field against one of the top-ranked defenses.
The duo of Denucci and Pauni helped quarterback Christian Steward complete 10 of 24 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, against only one interception.
They also helped freshman Kalama Molisi lead the ground game. Molisi finished the game with 17 carries, 67 yards and a touchdown.
With the win, the Badgers finished the season with 11 wins. The team’s only loss came against the Georgia Military College on Sept. 8. However, the Denucci-Pauni duo represents just a few of the locals listed on this season’s squad. Others include Layton High graduates Thomas Bryson and Kimble Jensen and Northridge’s Karson Casteel.
Casteel is the backup quarterback, but finished with 149 yards and one touchdown with one interception in limited action. Bryson, a sophomore defensive end, finished the season tied for ninth for the team lead with 37 total tackles, including 20 solo. He was also second on the team with seven sacks on the season.
Jensen has seen some playing time for the Badgers this season, finishing with 10 tackles and a pair of pass breakups for the No. 3-ranked Snow College.
The most exciting part of the trip to the East Coast, according to Snow’s athletic director Rob Nielson, is the fact that the Badgers are travelling the farthest they ever have in order to play.
In its 92 years of existence, Snow College made its first trip to New York. The trip, however, didn’t seem to faze them. The Badgers’ defense and special teams also kicked in to help with the scoring for Snow.
Other highlights of the game included Damond Powell, who caught three passes for 150 yards and a touchdown. Evan Moeai, a tight end for Snow, also caught a touchdown pass, and Jake Miller had six tackles with one sack. Miller finished with defensive MVP honors in the game.
Snow’s No. 3 final ranking comes with a conference championship in the Western States Football League, a conference in the NJCAA. ASA finished the season ranked fourth.