Quick hits: Hurricane defense steps up in victory over Snow Canyon

Hurricane vs. Snow Canyon, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 16, 2016 | Screen cap by Dallas Griffin, St. George News

HURRICANE – Hurricane’s defense allowed just 181 yards and the Tigers withstood a late comeback bid by Snow Canyon to take a 22-16 victory at Tigers Stadium Friday night.

hurricane-logosnow-canyon-logoHurricane never trailed and led 15-0 at halftime. But the Warriors rallied twice in the game, pulling to within 15-13 in the third quarter and then within 22-16 in the game’s final minute. But the Tigers recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock to record the home win.

Hurricane scored on its first two drives. Running back Jaron Cordova scored on a 4-yard run midway through the first to get the Tigers on the scoreboard. On the ensuing extra point, the Warriors were called for a “roughing the kicker” penalty. Coach Steve Pearson accepted the penalty on the PAT, then sent his offense in and plunged the ball in for two points and an 8-0 advantage.

After forcing a Snow Canyon punt, the Tigers had another long, sustained drive, culminating in an 18-yard run by running back Joe Armijo.  The PAT put Hurricane up 15-0 with less than two minutes gone in the second. Both teams would move the ball later in the second, but neither could get the ball into the end zone.

The Warriors made it a game in the third quarter. SC got on the board quickly when quarterback Matt Kitchen found running back Chris Poulsen on a screen pass. Poulsen made two Tigers miss before he found the end zone. With the extra point, the lead was trimmed to 15-7 with 7:24 remaining in the third.

Josh Parker (7) and Jaron Cordova celebrate a touchdown, Snow Canyon at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 16, 2016 | Screen cap by Dallas Griffin, St. George News
Josh Parker (7) and Jaron Cordova celebrate a touchdown, Snow Canyon at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 16, 2016 | Screen cap by Dallas Griffin, St. George News

After a quick three-and-out, momentum swung in the Warriors favor and five minutes after their first score, Poulsen found the end zone again, this time on a 19-yard run. Down two however, Snow Canyon’s pass attempt failed on the two-point try and the Warriors still trailed 15-13 with 2:24 remaining in the third.

Hurricane answered immediately, again on a sustained drive. Quarterback Josh Parker guided the team 79 yards for the score. It was again Cordova with a 2-yard dive with 10:55 remaining. Hurricane’s PAT gave the Tigers a two-score advantage, 22-13.

After a turnover on downs by Hurricane, Snow Canyon took over on its 36-yard line. On 4th-and-11, Kitchen found Poulsen on a swing route down the Snow Canyon sideline. Another controversial call went against Snow Canyon as Poulsen’s catch was ruled out of bounds and the ball was turned over on downs.

Hurricane took valuable time off the clock before turning the ball over on downs with 1:09 remaining at the Snow Canyon 29-yard line.  Kitchen drove SCHS down to the Hurricane 25-yard line, where Snow Canyon head coach Mike Esplin sent in the kicking unit for the 42-yard field goal to try to cut the deficit to 22-16. Kolton Barber’s kick was on the money, setting up the onside kick.

But there would be no last-second heroics for the Warriors as the Tigers recovered the onside kick and Parker knelt on the ball to run off the final 20 seconds.

Hurricane outgained the Warriors 384-181 yards. Parker completed 9 of 15 passes for 151 yards. Cordova had 165 yards rushing on 33 carries. Wide receiver Riley Ballard had three catches for 51 yards.

For Snow Canyon, Kitchen completed 8 of 21 for 139 yards. Brooks Sampson caught three passes for 51 yards. The Warriors managed just 42 yards rushing.

Hurricane moves to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 9. The Tigers will travel to Desert Hills next week. Snow Canyon falls to 2-3 and will travel to Pine View next Friday.

For more on this game and the rest of the 3AA South Friday night lights, including photos, quotes, stats and insight, go to Saturday Breakdown on St. George News.

Stats: schur91616b schur91616h

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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