Snow Canyon overcomes deficit, upends Cedar

Cedar's Morgan Garrett picks up a fumble against Snow Canyon Friday night, in Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – Snow Canyon took a page from “Friday Night Lights” and defeated Cedar in dramatic fashion 27-24.

The Warriors were down 21-19 in the fourth quarter before Mitch Phillips stormed the right-field sideline for a 55-yard touchdown that put his team on top for good.

Cedar kicker Jeff Rogers had a chance to tie the game with the clock winding down, but couldn’t convert on the field goal. The winless Reds slumped away with their most heartbreaking loss of the season.

“I don’t even know where to start,” said Phillips, who finished with four touchdowns. “Our defense had a hard time in the beginning, but picked it up later and made the stops when we needed them most.”

Cedar defender Ryan Armstrong (32) celebrates after a big hit against Snow Canyon Friday night, in Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

Snow Canyon fell behind early in the game after Cedar torched coach Jay Graft’s squad for two quick touchdowns.

Phillips led his team in the second quarter, rushing for two touchdowns of his own to bring his team within a point at 14-13.

The Reds struck back on the next drive after Mike Hourigan took a pass from quarterback Morgan Garrett in the end zone that pushed Cedar’s lead to 21-13 heading into halftime.

“We knew their offense, we had it down, but I think we overthought it,” Phillips said. “At halftime we fixed a few things and just stayed with what we were doing.”

Midway through the third quarter, Phillips leaped into the end zone for an easy 2-yard score. The Warriors attempted to tie the game with a two-point conversion, but Phillips’s run ended up short of the goal, leaving it 21-19 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Cedar put together a tremendous drive of its own that culminated in a 32-yard field goal from Rogers.

By that point, Cedar’s crowd, amidst its Homecoming weekend, was ecstatic and hopeful of celebrating the team’s first win on the year.

But it was not to be.

Phillips broke through numerous tackles on the ensuing drive, emerged from Morgan Garrett’s grasp and ran the ball in the end zone for the game-deciding touchdown.

The Warriors again tried for two extra points and succeeded after Jake Frei connected with Austin Griffin in the end zone.

The Reds had plenty of time left on the clock to make one more spectacular play. They drove the length of the field, with Brock Englestead and Mike Hourigan coming up with big catches, but Rogers’ field goal attempt with less than 10 seconds on the clock sailed left.

“A win up here – it doesn’t matter if it’s a one-point win or what – a win is a win,” Graft said. “I don’t care what sport it is, it always seems like there’s gremlins out here in Cedar. It’s like Halloween. There’s always been that mystique about it.

“But coach (Todd) Peacock’s a great man and that’s why his kids play so hard for him. I can’t say enough about his program and the things that he does.”

The win helped Snow Canyon bounce back after last week’s disappointing loss to Hurricane.

“Last week, I didn’t think we took a step forward,” Graft said. “We let the mystique of Hurricane get to us a little bit. Tonight we still had that slow start, but we were more consistent with things. It was a great effort.”

The Warriors, 5-2 overall and 2-1 in region, have a key road game at Desert Hills next Friday night. Cedar, now 0-6 and 0-3, plays at Dixie next week. A loss there would likely kill any playoff chances for the Redmen.

Boxscore: scced12

Snow Canyon’s Cade Heward (21) tries to break up a pass intended for Cedar’s Mike Hourigan Friday night, in Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Snow Canyon’s Mitch Phillips (25) runs while Taylor Johansen (22) blocks against Cedar Friday night,in Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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