Region 9 football: Athletic California team outruns Tigers

HURRICANE – Only one thing slowed down Christian High in its 60-38 routing of Hurricane High on Friday night and it was 5-yard penalties.

The Patriots came into town with an air raid of passing that even the likes of Texas Tech University would be proud of. Not only did Christian High stay cool in the blistering southern Utah temperatures, but its wide receivers torched all Hurricane cornerbacks and safeties.

The Tigers lacked any sort of answer for the frequent big plays and 371 yards of passing offered up by Christian quarterback Bradley Jeremiah.

“We played a really, talented offensive team tonight [with] a great quarterback and a great corps of wide receivers,” said Hurricane head coach Steve Pearson. “Not really like anything we see on a week-in-week-out basis. We see good ones, but not like that.”

Yet, neither defense showed extreme poise as the two teams allowed for 1,048 yards of total offense combined.

The Patriots struck first and struck early as Jeremiah ran into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown with 7:59 left to play in the first quarter.

Before Hurricane could put a bandage on its early battle wound, the Patriots were back at it. Christian High scored two more touchdowns through the air, with the second one coming from an 85-yard pass. The Patriots led big after one quarter, 20-0.

File photo, Jaron Cordova scores a touchdown, Hurricane vs. Snow Canyon, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 16, 2016 | Screen cap by Dallas Griffin, St. George News

“They are very good at what they do,” Pearson said. “I think we just got out athleted at the wide-out position tonight.”

The Tigers managed to get running back Jaron Cordova free for Hurricane’s first touchdown, which resulted from a 33-yard dash with 9:51 left in the second quarter. Hurricane, determined to stick to its identity, pounded the Patriot D-line the entire game. Impressively, the Tigers collected 383 yards on the ground, 211 of those from Cordova.

Even after cutting the lead to 20-6, the Tigers still had no answers defensively as the Patriots scored easily on a 34-yard touchdown, one of five from Jeremiah on the night.

Less than two minutes later, the Tigers cut into the Christian High lead as Cordova out-sprinted the Patriot defenders into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night, making the score 26-14 after converting the two-point try.

As the Tiger offense stalled for the remainder of the first half, the Patriots still were not finished as they continued putting numbers up on the score board. In the final 4 1/2 minutes of the second quarter, Christian High managed to cross the goal line twice, both on passes. The Patriots secured a 25-point lead as they headed into halftime, 39-14.

Half number two produced a different tempo as each team made adjustments to its game plan. The potent Patriot offense began slowing the tempo as pass plays primarily turned into running plays, while the Tiger offense looked to increase the tempo with the hope of getting back into the game.

Christian High scored first about midway into the third quarter as Javier Jimenez carried the rock from 13-yards out. The touchdown was set up by a 30-yard run on the previous play from teammate, Nashom Carter. The Patriots stretched their lead even more, 46-14.

“We are pretty athletic at the skill positions,” said Patriot head coach Matt Oliver. “We create matchup problems that teams have a hard time going with.”

As the third quarter came to a close and the fourth quarter began, Hurricane managed to mount a small comeback as the Tigers put together two scoring drives. Hurricane managed to make it a two-possession game with 9:29 to go in the fourth quarter, 46-30, after a short TD dive by Cordova.

Just as the Patriots had done all game, they proved too much for the Tigers as they scored two more times and closed the game out with a 22-point victory, 60-38.

Hurricane looks to bounce back after this defeat at home in next week’s match-up with Moapa Valley High School on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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