ST. GEORGE – The Cedar Redmen traveled to Pine View to face an explosive offense that put 46 points up against them five weeks ago. The Panthers took a different approach, but still put up 45 points against their Region 9 foe Friday night in a 45-10 3AA quarterfinal win at Panther Stadium.
“They switched up their defense on us,” said Pine View coach Ray Hosner. “They ran a 3-3 stack against us last time. Tonight they disguised their blitz packages well and took away our deep threat. We settled for the 5-yard outs and (Pano) Tiatia runs tonight.”
Just as they did in October, the Panthers would jump out to an early lead. Tiatia broke through the line for a 32-yard run to put the first touchdown on the board three minutes into the game.
The Redmen responded with a 40-yard field goal by Jeff Rogers to pull to 7-3 halfway through the first quarter.
Pine View put together a long drive on its next possession. “We are happy with the 3- and 4-yard gains,” said Tiatia. “We know if they are playing the deep ball that I will get a lot of carries. Occasionally I will break one.” Tiatia would lead all rushers with 237 yards on 20 carries.
The drive culminated with a Kody Wilstead strike to wide receiver Colton Miller from 4-yards out, putting the Panthers up 14-3.
In the second quarter, kicker Ethan Baer would match Rogers’ field goal with one of his own. The 38-yarder put the Panthers up two touchdowns with 6:34 to go before halftime.
Pine View was not done however. Wilstead found wide receiver Steve Bangerter on a 20-yard strike to go up 24-3 going into the break.
In the second half the Redmen defense hurried and flushed Wilstead several times from the pocket. “The offensive line played great,” said Wilstead. “I guess sometimes I get greedy and hold the ball longer than I should.”
On Pine View’s next possession, Wilstead was flushed again but realized that no one was in front of him. The quarterback raced 64 yards untouched to the end zone to put Pine View up 31-3.
After the teams traded punts, Cedar quarterback Brecken Lewis moved the Redmen down the field, ending with a 20-yard strike to Rogers. The touchdown pulled Cedar to 31-10, but that was the closest the Redmen would get.
Before the third quarter would end, Wilstead would find Steve Bangerter all alone in the back of the end zone from 2-yards out. The score was 38-10 going into the final stanza.
Coach Hosner would utilize Tiatia in the fourth quarter to take time off the clock. However Tiatia broke one for 72 yards to cap the scoring for both teams. Up by 35, Hosner utilized his bench, giving his reserves playing time.
Pine View out-gained the Redmen 488-263 yards. Wilstead completed 13 of 24 passes for 152 yards. Wilstead also had 84 yards on four carries. Bangerter and Preston Allen had four receptions apiece.
For Cedar, Lewis completed 8 of 14 passes for 81 yards and also ran for 83 yards.
The loss completes the season for the Redmen, finishing the year at 5-6. The Panthers, with the unique situation of playing only Region 9 foes to win the championship, improve to 8-2. They will face a hot Dixie team. Pine View defeated Dixie in a shootout in September, but the Flyers have won six straight since then, scoring 50 points per game over its last five contests.
“I said at the beginning of the year that Region 9 would comprise all four spots in the semifinals,” said Hosner. “Coach Monkres is a great coach and has his team playing very well. They gave us all we could handle in our first match-up. It will be a great game Thursday.”
Pine View will face Dixie at Rice-Eccles Stadium this Thursday. Game time is 6:30 p.m.
Stats: Pine View 45, Cedar 10
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