The 3AA South Region went 6-0 last week and had a good chance to repeat that feat this week. However, some late game defense by Roy, Juan Diego and Canyon View all spelled disaster for southern Utah teams, which ended up with a 3-3 record in Week 3.
Dixie’s big 45-13 win over Alta was maybe the biggest surprise, while Hurricane (17-14 over Moapa Valley, Nev.) and Pine View (30-15 over Manti) both won at home. Snow Canyon watched a 21-0 lead slip away in a 27-24 double-overtime loss to Juan Diego and Desert Hills couldn’t get any points on the board in the second half in a 24-14 loss to 5A Roy.
St. George News writers Jordan Abel, Brad Christensen, Darren Cole and Andy Griffin, along with photographers Dave Amodt and Robert Hoppie and videographer Dallas Griffin, hustled around the region to bring you the full stories on Friday night’s games. This is the Saturday Breakdown:
Dixie 45, Alta 13
Written by Darren Cole
ST. GEORGE – For the second week in a row, the Dixie Flyers came out quickly and asserted their dominance over the visiting team. This week’s victim, the Alta Hawks, rarely got past midfield in the first half as Dixie rolled to a 38-0 halftime advantage.
The defense also won the turnover battle 4-0 with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
“Our front seven are great run-stoppers and their quarterback had very little time to throw tonight,” said Dixie head coach Andy Stokes. “It was a complete effort from beginning to end.”
Defensive end Tyson Fisher had a monster night. The 225-pound sophomore had three sacks and two additional tackles for loss. He also recovered a fumble.
“I felt good tonight,” said Fisher. “I was able to mix it up using both my power and speed.”
After forcing Alta to go three-and-out on its first possession, the Flyers took over at the Alta 44-yard line. The first play from scrimmage was a 42-yard pass from Harrah to Jaden Harrison. Harrison made two cuts and then followed a great block from fellow receiver Bret Barben downfield to get to the 2-yard line.
Two plays later, Harrah ran it in from 4-yards out to make it 7-0 with less than three minutes gone.
Thanks to another three-and-out and a punt that netted four yards, Dixie took possession again deep in Alta territory at the 29-yard line. The Flyers failed to get a first down and had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Thayne Reid to go up 10-0 at the 6:44 mark of the first quarter.
After Alta’s third three-and-out, Dixie took over again in Alta territory at the 45-yard line. Three plays later, Harrah bound Barben with a 33-yard strike with 4:24 remaining in the first.
“I was surprised to find us up 17 so quickly,” Stokes said. “Alta came in 2-0 and are a better team than they showed tonight. We were just hitting on all cylinders.”
After the teams traded punts, Dixie linebacker Magalei Stevenson stripped Hawk running back Josh Davis of the football. Dixie took over at its own 39-yard line. Two plays later, Tre Miller busted one up the middle 56 yards for another quick score to put the Flyers up 24-0 at the 8:46 mark of the second quarter.
On Dixie’s next possession, the Flyers found themselves in unfamiliar territory — their own 14-yard line. No matter. Three plays later, Barben gathered in Harrah’s pass and raced 84 yards to the end zone. The score stood at 31-0 with 4:43 to play in the half.
On Alta’s next possession, Dixie linebacker Malaki Fakahua intercepted Alta quarterback Braxton Kerr’s pass and returned it to the Alta 24-yard line. After two Dixie penalties drove them back, Harrah found Harrison from 38-yards out for the final score of the first half.
Dixie did knock on the door again when Haus Jones intercepted the ball and ran it to the Alta 12-yard line. But the Flyers were not able to capitalize and went into the half up 38-0.
The third quarter saw Dixie run a lot of clock and still keep Alta out of the end zone. Dixie would get its final score of the game when Hobbs Nyberg ran around end 76 yards for the score. Miller caught up to the receiver, passed him up and threw a key block while escorting Nyberg to the end zone.
“We get great blocking from our line,” said Stokes. “But our skill positions are also great blockers, especially downfield.”
The Hawks were able to muster up 13 points, including a touchdown as time expired, against Dixie defensive reserve players. Dixie also had most of their offensive reserves in the game.
One notable exception was Bret Barben, who was in the game to catch little brother Jacob Barben’s first pass in a varsity game.
“We have always dreamed of that,” said Bret. “Hopefully he will throw me a touchdown pass before the year is out.”
For the game, Dixie had 453 total yards and held Alta to 202. Individually, Harrah completed 11 of 16 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Miller carried the ball 19 times for 107 yards. Bret Barben had four catches for 139 yards. Harrison caught five for 123 yards.
Both teams move to 2-1 with the outcome. Dixie will host Canyon View next week.
Pine View 30, Manti 15
Written by Jordan Abel
ST. GEORGE — The wind rarely ceased at Panther Stadium Friday night as Pine View High School took a 30-15 win over Manti.
With the gusty night, the Panthers turned to the run game and more specifically, Kobe Topalian in improving its record to 3-0. Pine View is the only remaining undefeated team in the 3AA South Region as the Panthers take a bye week before entering region play.
All touchdowns were scored on the ground Friday night, which played into Pine View’s strengths.
“I think we are a defensive football team this year,” PV head coach Ray Hosner said. “Our defense caused two fumbles, which led to two field goals.”
Pine View led 6-0 early on a pair of field goals by Conner Brooksby, both from 33 yards and with the wind. Manti’s Braxton Good opened the second quarter with a 3-yard TD run to put the Templars ahead 7-6.
Pine View answered with a long drive that ended with a Topalian 1-yard TD dive. That score, with 3:25 left in the first half, made it 13-7.
Brooksby hit his third field goal of the night to open the second half, this time from 25-yards away, to make it 16-7.
Manti made the game interesting when Mac Stevens had a 3-yard touchdown run and Jordan Hughes ran in the two-point conversion to make the game 16-15 in favor of Pine View with 2:30 to go in the third quarter.
But the Panthers would then go on to score 14 points unanswered behind Riley Livingston and Kobe Topalian in the fourth quarter to finish the game.
Livingston, who had a rough 6 for 20 night passing, kept on a 10-yard scramble that made it 23-15 with 10:27 left in the game. Topalian’s 3-yard dive for six clinched the victory for PV with 3:29 left in the game.
Livingston had 57 rushing yards on 7 carries and Topalian finished with 159 rushing yards on 36 carries.
“Kobe Topalian did a great job at running back for us,” Hosner said. “He played his tail off.”
Hosner also mentioned how well defenders Tyler Heaton and Dillan Robertson did in the game. Hosner also praised the run game.
“We gotta flip the field if we don’t score on offense,” Hosner said. “If we can keep the ball on the ground and get four or five yards a pop, we are doing well.
“Our defense had some good turnovers, so we knew we needed to score off of them. The wind was howling tonight also, so we didn’t want to put anyone in a bad position throwing the ball.”
The Panthers outgained the Templars 334-145 and PV had 11 more minutes of possession time in the game. But star slotback Lance Mandrigues was held without a catch after 120-plus yards a week ago. He did have 27 rushing yards.
Pine View opens region play in two weeks against Snow Canyon at Warriors Stadium.
“We gotta get better,” Hosner said. “We haven’t seen film on them yet, but they’re a good football team. We gotta get better and figure it out.”
Hurricane 17, Moapa Valley, Nev. 14
Written by Brad Christensen
HURRICANE — In an effort to make-up for a loss last year in Overton, Nev., the Hurricane Tigers played host to the defending Nevada 1A State Champion Moapa Valley Pirates. In a back and forth defensive struggle, the Tigers pulled off a 17-14 win to get to 2-1 in the young season. Moapa drops to 1-1.
Neither team was able to score in the first quarter as both defenses keyed on the big playmakers from last week. Hurricane’s Jake Carr, who scored four touchdowns against Union, was held to short gains and Moapa’s RJ Hubert, who scored five touchdowns against Sierra Vista a week ago, was shut down by the Tigers.
“Our defense keyed on Hubert,” said Tigers’ defensive coordinator Chris Hurst. “We put our best athlete on him and double-covered him most of the night.”
After a failed fake punt in the second quarter, Hurricane got the ball in great field position. It didn’t take long for the Tigers to score as Kyler Blackmore ran to the right side of the line, bounced off of a would-be tackler and scampered into the end zone, a 48-yard TD run. After a bad snap and missed extra point, Hurricane led 6-0.
After that, Moapa Valley changed its offensive strategy and started handing the ball to Trystin Deal, who gained positive yardage on several carries. The Pirates moved the ball deep into Hurricane territory. A quarterback sneak by senior Nate Cox with just over five seconds left in the half and an extra point put the Pirates up by one at halftime.
The third quarter did not start well for Hurricane. After an offside penalty on the kickoff, the Tiger’s made the mistake of kicking the ball to Hubert, who ran it back 82 yards for a score. After a successful extra point by Jay Mortensen, the Pirates led 14-6 with 11:38 left in the third quarter.
Hurricane got the ball back and marched down the field on great runs by Kyle Williams, Carr, and Nick McDaniel. With 9:32 left in the period, Carr broke tackles and ran over defenders on his way to a 15-yard touchdown. The junior fullback got the ball again on the two-point try and would not be denied, knotting the score at 14-14.
Moapa’s RJ Hubert got the ensuing kickoff and ran it back for a touchdown that was called back for holding, putting the Pirates on their own 10. Hurricane got the ball back after a punt and started marching again, using a combination of runs and passes. As the third quarter closed, Hurricane was knocking on the door. However, Blackmore, trying to make extra yardage, had the ball knocked out of his hands and Moapa recovered on its 15-yard line.
The fourth quarter began with Hurricane’s Kirt McDaniel intercepting a pass at midfield. The Tigers were not able to capitalize on the turnover and the teams exchanged punts.
With 7:51 left in the game, the Tigers got the ball and Carr and McDaniel took over. With big gains and first downs, Hurricane marched down the field. The Tigers settled for a 22-yard field goal by Jaden Stone and led 17-14 with 3:47 left in the game.
Hurricane attempted a squib kick that was recovered by a Moapa player on the Pirates 41-yard line. The Pirates completed a pass to Hubert, then had a motion and holding penalty that move them back to the 46. With 2:40 left on the clock, Kirt McDaniel made his second interception of the night and sealed the win for the Tigers.
“They were trying to get it to Hubert all game,” said McDaniel. “As I saw him come out on the play, I sunk back and just read the quarterback’s eyes.”
Hurricane has a bye next week, then hosts 3AA South rival Desert Hills. Moapa Valley takes on Desert Pines next week.
Canyon View 42, Cedar 41
Written by Jordan Abel
CEDAR CITY – Down seven points with 1:36 left in the game and 63 yards away from the end zone, Cedar needed big plays from quarterback Mason Fakahua. The junior signal-caller made them all to get the Redmen into the end zone. But the two-point conversion — that was a different story.
Cedar couldn’t quite punch the ball over the goal line for the two-point conversion with 37 seconds remaining in the game. The Redmen fell to crosstown rival Canyon View for the first time in 10 years with the 42-41 final.
“It’s been a long time coming to beat these guys,” CV head coach Robby Robinson said. “We haven’t beaten them since 2005, so we’ll take it.”
Fakahua completed a 47-yard pass to get his team inside the red zone, but he was stuffed on a keeper on that two-point conversion try.
“I thought (Mason Fakahua) played well,” Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said. “He stepped up in critical moments. He’s one of our leaders on our offense and he stepped up when we needed big plays. I’m proud of him.”
After the long pass play, Fakahua spiked the ball to stop the clock. But on the next play, the snap went over Fakahua’s head. He recovered the fumble, but the play cost Cedar 20 yards and some precious time. Fakahua gained 10 yards of the 20-yard loss on the third down, but it wasn’t enough to reset the downs.
On fourth-and-20, Fakahua dropped back to pass and found Derek Ball in the end zone. With the PAT, this game would be going into overtime, but Bennett had a different idea.
Cedar went for two points and potentially the win. Fakahua scrambled and was stood up just short of the end zone.
“We just felt we had a lot of momentum going, and said, ‘Hey, let’s just go and win this thing,'” Bennett said. “It looked like he was in, but we had another penalty that would have brought it back anyways.”
Penalties were a huge factor in the game with the rivals going at each other. Both teams had multiple personal foul penalties, which helped extend or kill drives.
“I thought our kids played hard,” Bennett said. “I think the thing that really hurt us in this ballgame was we had critical turnovers and critical penalties at bad times in the game. It just hurt our momentum. We played a very good team, and I thought we played well as well. You can’t make the mistakes we made and win a football game.”
The game started out fast as the two rivals traded scores back-and-forth until CV found its way to a 14-point lead with 5:13 left in the game.
“It was a tough game,” Fakahua said. “It’s great for Canyon View. I’m happy, it’s going to motivate them to move on and hopefully do better things. All we can do is move on.”
Bodrey Allred, on the ensuing kickoff, picked up the ball at the sideline near the 25-yard line and found a hole and blockers out in front, which led to a 75-yard kickoff return for a quick touchdown, making it 42-35.
CV stuck to the ground-and-pound until losing the football on a fumble with 1:36 left in the game, giving Cedar its last chance.
“When we got the ball back, I was just thinking, play harder than I did at the start of the game; play harder than I ever have,” Fakahua said. “I think that’s what we did. Our team pulled together and we went down the field and scored. That’s all we can do is work hard and play together.”
Fakahua finished the game with 277 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 121 yards (not including the bad snap, a 20-yard loss) and a touchdown.
For Canyon View, the load was on the backs of Jackson Vasi and Payton Higgins. Vasi finished the game with 160 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored a touchdown on a reception. Higgins rushed for 144 yards and two scores.
Cedar, 1-2, plays at Juab High School next Friday. Canyon View, 3-0, is at Dixie.
“We could have played better,” Ball said. “We played pretty good, but there’s more to work on for sure. We gotta keep our heads up and move on to next week.
Juan Diego 27, Snow Canyon 24 (2OT)
Written by Andy Griffin
ST. GEORGE — Anyone who left this game early in the second quarter, perhaps assuming the game was headed to Blowout City, missed a whale of a ball game at Warriors Stadium.
Snow Canyon showed explosiveness in sprinting out to a 21-0 lead just 13 minutes into the game. The Warriors took the opening kick and marched easily down the field, with Josh Barnes scoring from 4-yards out.
After forcing a Juan Diego fumble, SC scored again, this time with Jake Rhea taking a post pass into the end zone to make it 14-0. After a Soaring Eagle punt, SC struck again, going up 21-0 on another Barnes short run with 11:30 left in the half.
Yep, 21-0. Game over, right?
Not so fast, said the Juan Diego squad. After an exchange of punts, the Soaring Eagle went on an impressive 10-play, 68-yard drive to score and make it 21-7 just before halftime. And the Soaring Eagle was just getting warmed up.
“That was big for us, because we didn’t want to go into the locker room down three touchdowns,” said JD quarterback Alex Hoffman. “We knew we were getting the ball first in the second half, too. So that score was big.”
Juan Diego cut it to 21-14 with an impressive 80-yard drive to open the second half. Ryan Baker took it in from 8-yards out to cap the drive, which took nearly seven minutes off of the clock.
The Warriors put a nice drive of their own together after that, but a missed field goal (wide right) kept the score at 21-14.
JD then tied the game on another long drive, chewing yardage and clock time. Hoffman found Baker over the middle for a 29-yard pass that tied the game with 6:10 to play.
In the first OT, the Soaring Eagle fumbled the ball away, but made up for it by blocking a Snow Canyon field goal. In the second OT, the Warriors got the ball first and, after getting stopped, Andrew Day booted a 35-yard field goal to make it 24-21.
The Soaring Eagle took their possession and made one first down. But the next set of downs, JD found itself facing a fourth-and-3 at the 15.
“I never once thought about kicking the field goal,” JDHS coach John Colosimo said. “We wanted to get out of here with the win and I think we had some momentum.”
Hoffman, who is 6-foot-4 and 220-pounds, kept the ball on a sneak play and pushed forward for the yardage.
“They weren’t covered with the linebacker, so I knew I could just push ahead and I could get there,” he said. “I was just thinking about the forward-lean and hopefully falling past the first down.”
Two plays later, Kaden Hayward dove through the middle to end the game and complete the improbable comeback.
“Snow Canyon’s got a good team and they’re the reason we got behind early,” Colosimo said. “They’re real physical and forced us into some mistakes. But our guys didn’t give up.”
The loss spoils an excellent outing for Barnes, who had 177 rushing yards and two TDs, plus another 38 receiving yards. The senior running back averaged 7.7 yards per carry.
For Juan Diego, the trio of Hoffman, Hayward and Baker combined for 282 yards rushing.
SC, 2-1, hosts Ogden next week before starting region play Sept. 18 at home vs. Pine View.
Roy 24, Desert Hills 14
Written by Darren Cole
ROY, Utah – Desert Hills was on the road this week against a very physical Roy team and came up short, falling to the Royals 24-14.
The Thunder got on the board first. Quarterback Nick Warmsley found wide receiver Garrick Sharp for a 36-yard strike to go up 7-0. Roy would score the next two touchdowns, both in the second quarter. The first was a 1-yard run by Baby Tee Eteuati. Eteuati would score again on a 45-yard pass from Ethan Sabin.
Warmsley then found receiver Zak Fuchs from 22-yards out to knot the score at 14-14 before halftime.
The second half told a different story.
Desert Hills had trouble finishing drives, either turning the ball over on downs or on fumbles. The weather played a definite role in the outcome as Franke made decisions he normally would not have made.
“The wind was blowing pretty hard tonight,” said Franke. “Normally we would have had our field goal kicker out there to put up points. But we made the decision to go for it on fourth down a couple of times and came up short.”
The Thunder was also hampered by two late fumbles that stalled drives deep in Roy territory.
“Our offense drove the ball all night,” said Franke. “We just could not finish those drives in the second half.”
Despite giving up 24 points, Franke said his defense played well, especially on the line.
“They scored two touchdowns on trick plays,” said Franke. “A reverse pass on one, and a double pass on the other. Except for those two plays our defense did a good job.”
Tyler Eteuati scored Roy’s final touchdown, a 25 yard pass from Coleby Stark. Kicker Brayden Sampson put the game out of reach late with a 35-yard field goal for the Royals.
Quarterback Nick Warmsley led the team in rushing with 57 yards and also had two touchdown passes.
Roy Coach Fred Fernandes led the efforts at halftime to raise money from the crowd for injured Thunder star Nephi Sewell, who suffered a broken neck in Week 1.
“Coach Fernandes is a class act,” said Franke. “He initiated efforts to raise money for the Sewell family. We are very appreciative.”
The Thunder, 1-2, will host Dixie in 3AA South Region action on Sept. 18.
Stats: Roy 24, Desert Hills 14
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