There was plenty of offense in Week 4 for the 3AA South teams during a 3-0 Friday night in Southern Utah.
Dixie scored 55 points – and needed most of them – in a win against Canyon View. Snow Canyon scored 45 points and the Warrior defense had a couple of touchdowns of its own in a blowout win against Ogden. And Cedar scored three touchdowns in the first half, then held on tight for a close win over Juab.
The St. George News sports staff, with writers Andy Griffin, Darren Cole and Jordan Abel, photographer Robert Hoppie and videographer Kassi Gillette, hustled around the region to bring you stories, photos, stats and highlights for Week 4. Here’s our report:
Dixie 55, Canyon View 42
Written by Andy Griffin
ST. GEORGE — Flyers coach Andy Stokes said the pressure was on his receiving corps heading into Friday night’s contest against Canyon View. Speedsters Jaden Harrison, Hobbs Nyberg and Bret Barben came through with flying colors.
“I love playing with these guys,” said Dixie quarterback Zak Harrah, who threw touchdowns to each of the three receivers. “When coach told me about the game plan to pass a lot in the first half, I was excited, not nervous. I knew these guys would go up and make plays for us. Our line blocked well and those guys made the plays.”
Harrah threw for 344 yards, 265 of those in the first half. Dixie continually turned to the deep ball with Canyon View playing man defense with no safety help.
“We knew they were going to do everything they could to try and stop (running back) Tre Miller,” Dixie head coach Andy Stokes said. “I don’t blame them. He’s a great player. But we have great receivers as well.”
Miller, who rushed for 111 yards (107 of which came after halftime), said he was fine with blocking and running short patterns while the pass game loosened up the defense.
“It’s all good as long as we’re winning,” he said. “I mostly stayed in and blocked in the first half, but that’s OK. The passing loosened things up for me to run some in the second half.”
Dixie’s offense had to wait awhile to get started as Canyon View opened the game with an 80-yard drive that ended with a Michael Musto 30-yard TD run. The Falcons then recovered a loose ball on a pooch kickoff at the Dixie 17-yard line. Three plays later, it was 12-0 and the Flyers offense hadn’t even been on the field.
“We were not surprised that they started well and we were not surprised that they were ahead at halftime,” Stokes said. “That’s a good team over there.”
Dixie regained the lead at 13-12 on TD catches from Nyberg (52 yards) and Harrison (44 yards). CV went back on top 20-13 with a short TD run by Payton Higgins and Dixie countered with a 14-yarder from Harrah to Nyberg. And there was still seven minutes left in the first half.
A long TD pass from Musto to Shawn Slack (63 yards) made it 28-20, with Dixie pulling to within 28-27 on an 11-yard catch by Barben.
Time ran out in the first half for the Falcons inside the Flyers 10-yard line when Musto was taken down while CV was out of timeouts. That loss of serve proved costly as Dixie would come out of the locker room after intermission on fire.
The Flyers made it 34-28 just 61 seconds into the second half when Harrah found Harrison from 45-yards out. After a Dixie stop, Harrah hit TD No. 6 on a 16-yarder to Barben to make it 41-28 with 4:27 to go in the third.
Miller had two TD runs in the fourth quarter (40 and 36 yards) to give Dixie its biggest lead of the night at 55-34 before Canyon View added a late score.
“We wanted to loosen that box a little bit with the passing game,” Stokes said. “We always have Tre as a big part of our plan. But this week we had to be patient with him. When the box did loosen up, man, he goes to work. He does a heck of a job himself. That was a battle out there.”
Dixie, 3-1, will open 3AA South Region play with a home game next Friday against Cedar, which lost to Canyon View 42-41 in Week 3.
Snow Canyon 45, Ogden 0
Written by Darren Cole
ST. GEORGE – The Warriors almost ran the gamut on scoring every way possible on Saturday night.
“We controlled the line on both offense and defense,” said Warrior offensive coordinator Tim Nowatzke. “We were able to disrupt them defensively and our offensive line gave our quarterback all the time he needed.”
Defensively, the Warriors kept Ogden for no gain or for negative yardage on their first two possession of the game. The first possession, the Tigers were facing a fourth down and 23 and punting from their 17-yard line. Defensive lineman Joe Servati came through the line and blocked the punt, directing the ball to the end zone.
“I bolted through a gap,” said Servati. “No one picked me up and I got it cleanly.”
However Servati was unable to track the ball successfully, giving up the touchdown glory to teammate Dylan Parry.
“That block was all Joe,” said a smiling Parry. “He probably deserved it.”
Parry’s scoring for the evening was just beginning. With 9:45 showing on the clock, Snow Canyon led 7-0.
Four minutes later, the Warriors were back in the end zone. Taking the ball at their own 46-yard line, Jackson Nowatzke led his team on an eight-play, 54-yard drive, culminating in a 3-yard burst up the middle by Josh Barnes. The Warrior lead was 14-0.
After another Tiger punt, Snow Canyon put together another sustained drive — Fourteen plays for 85 yards. The last play was a 13-yard reception by wide receiver Chris Poulsen. He caught the ball in the right flat and was hit just before he crossed the goal line, popping the ball straight up in the air. Poulsen alertly regained his feet and fell on the ball before it rolled out of the end zone. With 6:33 remaining in the half, the lead had climbed to 21-0.
On the Tigers next possession, they suffered their second turnover of the game when starting quarterback Matt Richardson fumbled the ball after a 10-yard gain. Snow Canyon’s Nick Dolce recovered the ball and the Warriors took over on their own 48-yard line. On the next play, Nowatzke found wide receiver T.J. Taimi for a 52-yard touchdown pass. Taimi caught the ball on a route across the middle and with two cuts, ran 25 yards without being touched.
“I benefited from some good blocking downfield,” said Taimi. “Really, we had good blocking all night, especially from our offensive line.” With just over five minutes remaining the lead was 28-0.
The Warriors would get the ball back with just under two minutes remaining in the half, again starting in Ogden territory at the Tiger 48. Two plays later, running back Kody Jacobsen got all 48 right through the middle of the Ogden defense. Andy Day’s PAT made him perfect for the night and gave the Warriors a commanding 35-0 halftime lead.
Many were surprised to see that after halftime the Warriors had replaced many of their starters.
“We were in a position to play some guys who can benefit from varsity experience,” said Coach Nowatzke. “We have not had this luxury the past few years.”
Neither offense would score in the second half. The Warrior defense was not finished though. After a Snow Canyon punt pinned the Tigers at their own 1-yard line, Tiger running back Keith Freeman was pushed back by a wall of Snow Canyon linemen. The Warrior lead went to 37-0.
The last touchdown came with less than one minute remaining. Ogden was driving the ball. Richardson had three straight carries of six-plus yards. Richardson then tried to get the ball to his receiver on an out route to stop the clock. Snow Canyon’s Parry stepped in front of the ball and raced 83 yards for the pick-six.
“I was waiting for that play,” said Parry. “When I saw the receiver break, I knew it was coming my way.”
The dramatics for Parry did not end there. Parry is also the holder for PATs. After the touchdown, he mishandled the long snap. He got the ball down late disrupting Day’s approach. He immediately scooped up the ball, ran right and plowed over a defender to get the ball across the plane for the two-point conversion.
“It was my mistake,” said Parry. “The snap was good. I just bobbled it. It messed up Andy’s (Day) rhythm so I just tucked it and ran. Luckily I got it across.”
For the game, the Warriors outgained Ogden 281-122. Individually, Nowatzke completed 6 of 8 for 113 yards. Taimi caught five passes for 100 yards. Jacobsen and Barnes rushed for 50 and 30 yards, respectively. Backup running back Jaden Bergen garnered 36 yards in the second half.
Snow Canyon moves to 3-1 with the win and will host Pine View next week to begin region play. Ogden remains winless on the season, dropping to 0-4.
Stats: Snow Canyon 45, Ogden 0
Cedar 21, Juab 20
Written by Jordan Abel
NEPHI – Never underestimate the importance of a good kicking game.
Cedar scored 21 points unanswered en route to the close victory. All of the Redmen’s points came in the first half. Cedar head coach Josh Bennett was disappointed in turnovers that killed drives and the team’s momentum.
“Offensively, I thought we did a good job,” he said. “We started to do a good job and then we would have a penalty or a turnover that would hurt us.”
Juab scored first when Shawn Nielsen found the end zone on a 10-yard rush. Cedar got a hand on the PAT, though, and left it only 6-0.
“I have a guy that has been pushing the team to get to the kick,” Bennett said. “We try to at least put pressure on them and try to block the kick and we were able to block the first PAT.”
Cedar then scored 21 points unanswered, including a 98-yard touchdown pass from Mason Fakahua to Bracken Yardley. Cedar’s Travis Tait and Jade Bulloch also had a rushing touchdown each in that stretch before halftime.
“In the first half, I thought, we were getting up and down the field well. We had some missed opportunities,” Bennett said. “Overall, I was extremely pleased how we moved the ball and our offensive line blocked well. We just hurt ourselves with penalties and turnovers.”
Late in the second quarter, Juab’s receiver/quarterback Tyse Ostler found Payton Bowring for a touchdown and quarterback Ryker Osborne threw for the two-point conversion to put the score 21-14 at the half.
Bennett said the defense played well, forcing four turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles. The team also held strong on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line that changed the momentum as Cedar scored on the 98-yard touchdown pass after that turnover on downs.
“Our defense played incredibly well at big times,” Bennett said. “I’m proud of our defense. They made good stops at big times. Overall, it was a great defensive effort.”
Early in the third quarter, Bowring scored on a 3-yard run, but a missed extra point left the score at 21-20 for Cedar, in which it would stay the remainder of the game.
The Redmen held the Wasps to 236 yards of offense in the game. Juab came into the contest averaging 38 points and nearly 400 yards a game.
“It’s a process each week,” Bennett said. “We always want to look for improvement.”
Cedar next plays Dixie to open region Friday night in St. George. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Stats: Cedar 21, Juab 20
Hurricane, Desert Hills and Pine View had a bye this week.
The region openers next Friday are Cedar at Dixie, Desert Hills at Hurricane and Pine View at Snow Canyon.
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