CEDAR CITY — It was Senior Night at Cedar High and a couple of seniors, and plenty of underclassmen, came up big for the Redmen Friday in a 28-21 win over Pine View.
“I was proud of our seniors; I was proud of our team,” Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said. “We’ve told these guys all year long ‘If we can play all four quarters, then we can compete with anybody.’ So hats off to our seniors. Hopefully things will play out where we will have another home game.
Cedar jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but then everything seemed to calm down for both teams as it turned into more of a ground game.
Allred, a senior, received the first touchdown as he caught the first pass from scrimmage and took it 80 yards for the touchdown on a seam pass right up the middle of the field.
“We’ve been practicing that play a lot, and Mason had been overthrowing me,” Allred said. “The first thing I thought was ‘Dang, Mason, you finally got it right.’ Then I turned up the field and there was no one. (Senior night) is kind of one of those tear-jerker moments, because it may be our last game on this field. I was raised saying, ‘I can’t wait to play on this field.’ It’s one of those amazing moments and I’m just thankful we could come out here and win.”
After a turnover on downs, Cedar took the ball 73 yards and Cedar QB Mason Fakahua found the end zone on a 4-yard scamper. The TD was set up by a 53-yard pass from Fakahua to Derek Ball.
“Two words: Hard work. We had fun and played hard,” Fakahua said. “We’re trying to go 50/50 (passing and running). Passing did open up a lot in the game. We do work on it a lot in practice. I think our runs are still killing it and the pass is just something to help out, too.”
Pine View then was pinned deep in its own territory but found a way out of it as the ground game started to move behind Brooks barney and Kobe Topalian. The drive stalled, but thanks to a muffed punt by Cedar, Pine View retained possession and Topalian scored from 1-yard out. The score was 14-7 at halftime.
Pine View came out firing in second half and tied it up on the first drive of the third quarter with help from a 57-yard pass from Barney to Michael Moten that set up Barney’s 1-yard touchdown run.
“I thought we played a great team tonight,” Bennett said. “We came out and executed. We did the things we were supposed to do to be successful”
The defenses played tough back-and-forth after that until Cedar began a long drive toward the end of the third quarter that was extended by a fake punt. Fakahua then found Allred again in the end zone for a 16-yard score.
“We went about 80 percent passing in practice, and it actually surprised me how often we ran the ball this game,” Allred said.
On Cedar’s next drive, the Redmen punted to what seemed to be Pine View’s last chance to tie the game. Pine View’s returner lost the ball though and Cedar recovered. Four plays later, Cedar took a two touchdown lead with 53 seconds left when Brock Oldroyd scored from 6-yards out.
Topalian wouldn’t let that be the end, though. He picked up the short kickoff and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Pine View recovered the onside kick and made it look like the game could be headed into overtime. But Jaden Tullis picked off PV’s Nick English on a Hail Mary try at Cedar’s 4-yard line with just seconds left in the game.
“We knew they were going to go deep, so we all stepped back, and we waited for the ball to come to us, and it came right to us,” Obering said. “It’s been a long four years, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m glad we ended our last home game on that. That was really fun.”
Fakahua ended with 229 passing yards and two touchdowns and 12 rushing yards and a score. Allred had 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns. For Pine View, Barney threw for 87 yards and rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown, but left the game with a leg injury in the third quarter. Topalian had 37 rushing yards and a touchdown along with the 82-yard kickoff return.
Cedar, 4-4 overall and 2-2 in region play, has a bye next week before traveling to Desert Hills Friday, Oct. 23.
“I thought all of our coaches did great this week working with these guys and getting them ready for this game,” Bennett said. “I like how we’re playing right now. Our kids are responding. Our coaches are doing a great job. Coach Dale Loveland, our defensive coordinator, did an excellent job getting his guys prepared.”
Pine View, which has lost three straight after starting the season 4-0, plays at Murray High next Wednesday. The Panthers are 1-3 in region and finish league play in two weeks with a trip to Dixie.
“We’re just going to play football,” PV head coach Ray Hosner said. “We’ll try to get better on defense and put us in a situation where we can improve as a football team. We gotta execute, and we gotta do a better job coaching to win the close games.”
PV’s Riley Livingston, who suffered a head injury against Desert Hills, didn’t play Friday and isn’t expected to play against Murray.
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