Home for the holidays …. Valhalla’s Kurtz to play for BYU in Poinsettia Bowl

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Valhalla High School alumnus Nick Kurtz will represent Brigham Young University when the Cougars collide with the Wyoming Cowboys in this year’s San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, set for a 6 p.m. kick-off Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Qualcomm Stadium.

BYU brings in an 8-4 overall record while Wyoming, runners-up to San Diego State University in this year’s Mountain West championship game, is 8-5.

Kurtz appeared in 10 games for the Norsemen in 2010 with 23 catches for 247 yards.

Valhalla High School alumnus Nick Kurtz will represent Brigham Young University when the Cougars collide with the Wyoming Cowboys in this year’s San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, set for a 6 p.m. kick-off Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Qualcomm Stadium.

BYU brings in an 8-4 overall record while Wyoming, runners-up to San Diego State University in this year’s Mountain West championship game, is 8-5.

Kurtz appeared in 10 games for the Norsemen in 2010 with 23 catches for 247 yards.

He subsequently played two seasons at Grossmont College under coach Mike Jordan. While at Grossmont, Kurtz accumulated 1,301 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns while earning first team all-conference recognition both seasons.

He recorded six multi-touchdown games, including two three-TD outings, while totaling more than 100 yards on four occasions, including a single-game high of 174 yards.

He averaged nearly 15 yards per catch on 87 pass receptions.

He was a consistent performer with the Griffins, totaling 10 touchdowns as a freshman and eight during his sophomore campaign in 2013. He ranked third in yards per game (77.4) in the Southern California Football Association’s Southern Conference in 2012 and sixth (67.1) in 2013.

Kurtz, who stands 6-feet, 6-inches tall and weighs 215 pounds, has appeared in 26 career games at BYU with 85 receptions for 1,060 yards and five touchdowns.

He appeared in all 12 regular season games this season with 46 receptions for 482 yards with two touchdowns.

A preseason all-independent first team offense selection and academic all-district first team honoree, Kurtz caught a 23-yard pass in the end zone against UCLA and added a 31-yard TD reception against Southern Utah.

He finished the game against Southern Utah with 69 yards on five catches. He made a season-long 35-yard catch at the end of the first quarter against Utah State, finishing the game with a team-high 50 receiving yards.

Kurtz appeared in one game during his redshirt 2014 year. His first career reception was a 53-yarder in the first quarter against Nebraska as a junior. Against the Cornhuskers, finished the game as BYU’s leading receiver with five receptions for 123 yards.

He finished the 2015 season ranked third on the team with 39 receptions for 578 yards to go along with three touchdowns and a 14.8-yard average per catch. He appeared in all 13 games, starting two, en route to earning second-team all-independent honors.

The recipient of the team’s 2015-16 Comeback Player of the Year award, he caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl against Utah, a 35-28 victory.

Kurtz noted the bowl game was special in that it matched a pair of former Grossmont teammates. Tim Patrick, who ranked behind Kurtz on the Griffins with 1,229 receiving yards, was on the Utes sideline.

They took a photo after the game holding each other’s helmets.

Kurtz is joined on this year’s Cougars squad by two other San Diego County prep products – Fred and Troy Warner of Mission Hills High School.

Fred Warner, a junior linebacker, has logged 167 tackles, including 106 unassisted tackles, in 35 games. He’s also chalked up 21.5 tackles for losses, 5.5 sacks, six interceptions and four fumble recoveries as a defensive specialist.

 

Troy, a freshman defensive back, has recorded 19 tackles (14 solo stops) in nine games this season while also recorded one fumble recovery and seven pass break-ups.

Wyoming finished 6-2 in Mountain West play and is 2-0 against teams ranked in the Top 25 this season. The Cowboys dropped a 27-24 match-up to SDSU in the MW championship game in Laramie on Dec. 3.

The Cowboys are led by quarterback Josh Allen, running back Brian Hill and receiver Tanner Gentry.

Allen has completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,996 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has a 147.6 quarterback rating.

Hill has rushed for 1,767 yards and scored 21 rushing touchdowns while Gentry had made 65 receptions for 1,213 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Marching to the music

Festivities for the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl kick off in downtown San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, with the Carrier Johnson + Culture Gaslamp Marchin the Horton Plaza Park amphitheater. Marching bands and spirit squads from Brigham Young University and the University of Wyoming will showcase their musical talent in a heart-pounding battle of the bands.

“Year after year this makes for an exhilarating kick off to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl festivities that all can enjoy,” said Mark Neville, executive director of the San Diego Bowl Game Association. “This is an exciting and loud procession that makes for a great free, family event down in the Gaslamp Quarter.” 

This San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl event sponsors include Carrier Johnson + Culture and San Diego County Credit Union.

This downtown event is free for spectators.  For more information, visit SanDiegoBowlGames.com.

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