COMMENTARY – Week 1 of high school football provided a lot of answers, and created a bunch of new questions about the new 3AA South Region. One thing’s for sure: football is back and so is Monday Rundown.
The big game is town featured two Top 5 teams in Desert Hills and Stansbury. It was no contest. The Thunder defense was incredible, allowing just 80 yards of offense to the Stallions. Bridger Cowdin was as advertised: electrifying. And those linebackers for DH are fierce. Stansbury never even got close to the red zone all game.
DH question answered: Sophomore QB Nick Warmsley ran the offense like a seasoned veteran.
DH question raised: Was the stifling defense a result of weeks of preparation and a bland Stansbury offense, or is the Thunder D really that good?
Also in town, Snow Canyon beat San Juan 21-0. The Thunder had two 100-yard rushers in Zach Kennedy (130 yards) and Connor Parry (105) and nearly a third in QB Warner Rigby (78). The Warriors also pitched shutout, allowing just 111 yards. It felt like a new attitude and a new beginning for Snow Canyon.
SC question answered: The Warriors offense looks like the real deal, especially the running game.
SC question raised: Snow Canyon attempted just six passes, so will the Warriors be able to pass when bigger teams stuff the run?
Pine View had 519 yards of offense and scored 38 points against Judge Memorial. Jack Bangerter (10 catches, 177 yards, 2 TDs) and Colton Miller (9-156-1) made great catches all game and Kody Wilstead had the biggest game of his career.
PV question answered: The Pine View offensive line (with four new starters) did a fine job, allowing just one sack in the game.
PV question raised: Judge gave up 22 points a game last season (30 ppg against playoff teams), so is Pine View’s offense really as good as it looked Friday?
Dixie’s game with Springville was tight and exciting (Isn’t it always when these two teams play?). It’s a shame that it didn’t go to overtime, but a problem on special teams meant a missed extra point at the end for the Flyers. Drew Batchelor was great (8 catches, 120 yards, three touchdowns). Ammon Takau played the entire second half at quarterback after he and Jaden Harrison split time in the first half. Takau passed for 145 yards and a touchdown.
Dixie question answered: It seems Takau has won the starting job as he led Dixie in a perfect two-minute drill to score the final touchdown.
Dixie question raised: Batchelor was good, but Tanner Webster, Lukas Hildebrandt and Andy Appel combined for just 66 yards, so what happened to the rest of the Dixie “Smurfs”?
Hurricane managed just a pair of field goals against Skyline in a 28-6 loss. But the Tigers actually moved the ball fairly well, gaining 282 yards of offense. More than half of that was passing as Adlai Elison threw for 151. Noah, his brother, accounted for 93 of those yards on four catches.
Hurricane question answered: The Elison brothers gave notice to all who will listen that the Tigers passing game is a viable threat this year.
Hurricane question raised: After giving up 435 yards to Skyline, will the young Tigers be able to stop the high-flying offenses in the 3AA South Region?
Payson beat Provo 36-22, scoring 29 of those points after halftime. Kyle Moffatt had 183 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions also showed good balance, rushing for 260 and passing for 187.
Payson questions answered: Easton Smith was pretty good in his debut at quarterback.
Payson question raised: Provo was 0-10 last season, so can we really learn anything from this game?
Cedar tried passing a bit, with mixed results. The Redmen’s only score came on a 65-yard TD pass by Brecken Lewis. The Redmen went into this game knowing that Grantsville had a stout defense. But trying to decide a QB battle is tough with Lewis and Austin Obering agsinst a fired up D.
Cedar question answered: The new 4-3 defense held its own again the Cowboys.
Cedar question raised: The Redmen are supposed to be very athletic this season, so where were those athletes Friday night?
Pine View’s off to a 4-0 start as region begins Tuesday. Kayla Hammond already has five goals in four games, plus she spent half of both of Pine View’s shutouts in goal. The Panthers will be tested right away with a road game at state quarterfinalist Dixie Tuesday night.
Defending state champion Snow Canyon is just 1-2 and got beat up by 5A Alta 7-0. The Warriors start region Thursday at Dixie.
The other Tuesday games are Hurricane at Cedar and Desert Hills at Canyon View.
Desert Hills is the defending state champ as the new volleyball season gets underway this week. The Lady Thunder came back from a two games to one deficit to snatch the state crown away from Snow Canyon.
Those two teams should battle it out at the top again this season, with Dixie and Hurricane returning players from a playoff team last year.
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