Falling in the state title game by the slightest of margins wasn't quite the swan song to an outstanding prep career Alex Kuresa had hoped for.
However, the consolation prize was still pretty darn satisfying.
That consolation prize was awarded Thursday when the Mountain Crest senior was announced as the 2010-11 Gatorade Utah Football Player of the Year.
Kuresa is the second Mustang to earn this award, joining fellow quarterback Ryan Zimmerman, who was honored in 2001. Former Logan great Riley Nelson (2005) was the last Cache Valley football player to receive this accolade.
The son of Dave and Susanne Kuresa was also named Mr. Football by the Deseret News on Thursday.
"It's definitely a huge accomplishment," Kuresa said. "Mr. Football felt great too. Both of them have come with a lot of hard work and a lot of effort. It's nice to know that when you work hard and you put that much time into something that it's going to pay off and it's not going to go unnoticed by others, and not just in the valley but throughout the state."
Kuresa enjoyed his best statistical year in 2010, completing 297-of-465 passes (63.8 percent) for 3,983 yards and 38 touchdowns. No. 7 also rushed for an additional 698 yards and 19 TDs on 185 carries.
Nevertheless, Kuresa's senior season was really a reflection of his entire prep career. The Milville native shattered a wealth of state records in 2010, including total yards (12,917), yards passing (10.951), completions (751) and attempts (1,154) and touchdown passes (101).
Kuresa, a three-year starter - he also started the Mustangs' final four games as a freshman - also tied Nelson for the most total touchdowns in state history with 136.
"It's just the cherry on top, I think," Kuresa said of his career culminating with this award. "I've had some success throughout the years and it's been a fun ride. And to end it with being noticed like this on a state and even a national level, it feels really good."
The Gatorade award "recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field," according to a press release.
Kuresa is a solid student as he has maintained a 3.47 grade-point average. The BYU-bound senior also is a member of Mountain Crest's student council and has volunteered his time in the community as a youth football and basketball instructor.
"He's always been a great leader," MC head coach Mark Wootton said in the press release. "He's very, very well prepared. People forget how much time goes into it. The game seemed to kind of slow down for him.
"... He set the bar pretty high. It's going to take a pretty special person to come through and break those records."
Kuresa is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month.