ST. GEORGE – When the Tigers and Panthers tangle, anything can happen.
“It was all about heart,” said Hurricane’s Koy Gubler, who had three interceptions in the game, including the game-clincher in over. “They were bigger than us on the outside, but we wanted to show we have bigger heart and I think we did that.”
Gubler jumped an out route on first and goal for Pine View at the 6-yard line during the Panthers’ possession of OT. Hurricane had scored moments earlier on a Jared Edwards 1-yard dive. Pine View quickly got down to 6, but Gubler started a jubilant celebration on the visiting sideline by anticipating an out pass thrown by PV’s Kody Wilstead.
“They got me on that play earlier in the game and gained a bunch of yards,” Gubler said. “Coach told me to watch the outs because they had been going inside a lot. Our line stuffed the run in overtime and made them have to pass. And I was just doing my job.”
Wilstead may likely be seeing Gubler’s No. 11 jersey in his nightmares as the Tigers senior had all three of Wilstead’s picks on the night. Gubler is just following in the footsteps of his dad, Lance. Lance Gubler, an assistant for Hurricane, holds the Hurricane school record for interceptions.
It was also a brilliant night for former Hurricane resident Prentiss Miller. He rushed for 200 yards in the first half and finished the game with 348 yards on 34 carries, better than 10 yards a rush.
“It’s frustrating to do all that and still lose, but I know my teammates gave all they had, too,” Miller said. “Even though we didn’t win, I think this is a good measuring stick for us. We know if we face them again in the playoffs, we can beat them.”
Even though he had a big night, Miller had just three yards on three carries in the last five minutes and in overtime.
“We knew we needed to step it up,” said Hurricane defensive lineman Sean Hafen, who ed stop Miller for a 1-yard loss on the first play of overtime. “We made a lot of mistakes early in the game, not wrapping up on tackles. We just needed to work harder.”
It was an excellent see-saw battle throughout. Hurricane took a 17-13 lead at the half when Edwards jostled into the end zone with 38 seconds left before the break.
Eathan Stratton, the Hurricane placekicker, helped convert a failed onside kick by the Panthers into three points to start the second half. Stratton, who had three field goals in the game, made a 26-yarder to make it 20-13 early in the third quarter.
Pine View then marched 80 yards in 13 plays to tie the game at 20-20 after a Miller 1-yard TD run with 2:15 to go in the third.
Pine View then held Hurricane and took over the ball at its own 24 six seconds into the fourth quarter. The Panthers marched to the Hurricane 1, but Miller was stuffed for a 3-yard loss on third down. Pine View did manage three points on a field goal by Ethan Baer that made it 23-20 with 8:36 left in the game.
The Panthers, apparently worried about letting Hurricane kick returner Adam Thompson handle the ball, tried a third onside kick. All three were unsuccessful and the last one set the Tigers up at the Pine View 49-yard line. After several Edwards runs, the Tigers also settled for a field goal with Stratton tying the game from 32 yards out at 23-23 with 1:17 left.
The Panthers were forced to punt and the game, fittingly, went to overtime.
Hurricane had the ball first and took six plays to punch it in. Thompson had a 13-yard run in the 25-yard drive.
Pine View then took the ball and Miller lost one yard on first down. Wilstead threw an incomplete pass on second down, but found Cason Prisbrey open amongst the defenders to set up the first down play and the eventual heroics by Gubler.
The Panthers out-gained the Tigers 501-346 in yardage with Miller’s big game a huge part of that. Edwards had 136 yards on 34 carries for Hurricane. Wilstead passed for 139 yards and two scores. Zac Prince passed for 128 yards for the Tigers.
Hurricane, 7-0 and 4-0, has now won 20 straight, seventh all-time in the state of Utah. The Tigers clinched a playoff spot and have a bye next week.
Pine View, which fell to 3-4 and 1-3, will have to really scramble to make the playoffs. The Panthers play at Canyon View next week, then a region bye (a non-league game vs. Bear River) before closing out the year at home against Snow Canyon.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.