COMMENTARY — Welcome to the STGnews weekly Monday Rundown, where we’ll take a glance at what happened over the weekend in high school sports and what it means for the teams you love. If you have ideas or suggestions for the Monday Rundown, please comment below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whatever it’s called, none of the games were particularly close in football last Friday. In fact, the closest of the Region 9 games of import was the 43-34 Hurricane win over Las Vegas school Legacy – the one game many thought would be a huge blowout. However, after a mediocre Week 1, Region 9 looks like it is starting to play like it did last season when three of the four semifinal teams at state were from down here in southern Utah.
So were any of the routs on Walkover Weekend surprises? Pine View whipping Uintah (54-7) was expected. Dixie blasting Provo (55-14) was not a shocker. And the way Park City has been playing lately, Snow Canyon’s big win (51-27) was no surprise.
That leaves Desert Hills and its 35-3 pasting of West. Did anyone see that coming? Evidence during the game suggests the Panthers didn’t. West committed 20 penalties for more than 200 yards. Many of those penalties were Unsportsmanlike Conduct. A couple of West players were even ejected. The Thunder out-gained West 415-189 in total yards. And yes, the Panthers had more penalty yards than offensive yards gained.
So, is West that bad or is Desert Hills that good? I suspect it is a little of both. The Panthers aren’t going to win many (any?) games in Region 2 in 5A, that’s for sure. But Desert Hills is incredibly athletic, a fact everyone in Region 9 knew already. Thunder rivals in the region were hoping it would take some time to adjust to new coach Carl Franke and for all those inexperienced players to take some lumps along the way. That blitzing of West may just have served notice to the rest of the region that Desert Hills is ready to be good sooner, rather than later.
Notable performances: Two running backs are raising eyebrows around the state. Hurricane’s Jared Edwards has scored nine touchdowns in the past two games. And Pine View’s Prentiss Miller has 520 yards rushing the past two games (and he had just two carries in the second half vs. Uintah). Dixie QB Blake Barney has accounted for 891 yards and 10 touchdowns in his team’s first three games. Snow Canyon QB Mason Smith is averaging nearly 100 rushing yards a game. PV’s Wes Kauvaka had 2.5 sacks against Uintah.
Key match-ups: Week 4 is the start of Region 9 play for six of the seven teams (Snow Canyon has a region bye and plays North Sanpete). Hurricane is at Cedar in what is usually a great game, though the 3-0 Tigers will be big favorites over the 0-3 Redmen. Desert Hills may have another cakewalk as they play up at 1-2 Canyon View, which hasn’t won a region game in more than five years. But for the most bang for your buck, the adrenaline will be flowing when Pine View visits Dixie Friday night. The 3-0 Flyers look sharp offensively and haven’t allowed more than 14 points defensively. Meanwhile, PV seems to have put it together after losing to East and losing quarterback Kody Wilstead in the season-opener. It should be quite a game.
Region 9 play is under way in volleyball with Snow Canyon, Hurricane and Desert Hills all picking up wins Thursday. The Warriors got a straight set sweep at Canyon View. Hurricane swept Pine View and Desert hills was equally impressive in sweeping Cedar. Region really gets rolling this week with two matches (Wednesday and Thursday) for most teams.
Pine View managed to win again in golf this week despite what Coach Gary Higgins called a “poor” performance. “We didn’t play very well,” he said. “We were lucky to still win.” The Panthers have won all four region tournaments this year.
Use of an ineligible player (grades) by Dixie girls soccer means their win over Hurricane is actually a forfeit loss. So Hurricane is 3-0, a single point behind Cedar (3-0-1). For Dixie, they have scored just a single point this season in their tie with Cedar and are 0-2-1. The Flyers will have to scramble to make the playoffs.
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