ST. GEORGE – Playing on their home field for the last time this season, the Pine View Panthers took full advantage by dominating Tooele on both sides of the ball, especially on the interior, to win their first round game 63-14.
The Panthers scored early and often. In fact, as a punter, Jeshan Allen got the night off. The Panthers were successful on every offensive possession. They never punted nor did they ever turn the ball over. Kicker Connor Brooksby successfully kicked all nine extra points and kicked the ball 10 consecutive times into the end zone on kickoffs. The damage could have been much worse. The clock ran after halftime and Pine View sat all of their regulars in the fourth quarter with a 56-0 lead.
“We played in sync offensively the entire night,” Panther assistant coach Kolei Maile said. “We got great blocking from our line and receivers. And our backs made great reads.”
After PV forced a punt to start the game, Brown drove the Panthers 37 yards for the first score when he called his own number for the 4-yard option read.
On the Buffaloes ensuing possession, the Pine View defense gave up chunks of yardage and Tooele came close to the Panther red zone before PV head coach Ray Hosner called timeout.
“We have been preparing for their shotgun offense,” said Hosner. “They threw some new stuff at us. We had to call timeout to make some adjustments.”
After that timeout, Tooele would not gain any significant yardage until Hosner put in his reserves at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Buffaloes would turn the ball over on downs. That led to the second quarter and a barrage of Panther touchdowns. With the second quarter not even a minute old, Brown again kept the ball on a read option, burst up the middle, then cut left and raced 52 yards to the end zone.
On the Panthers next possession, Brown only had to direct the team 25 yards. Jacob Mpungi scored his first touchdown on a 2-yard run with 7:23 left in the half to put the Panthers up 21-0.
After Jakobe Turlington intercepted Tooele quarterback Austin Meono’s pass, Brown hit Mpungi with a 31-yard strike on the first play of the drive for a 28-0 lead with 5:42 on the clock in the second quarter.
Forcing another quick punt, the Panthers got the ball with 3:45 remaining at their own 45. Mpungi got a big run down to the 1-yard line where running back Julian Olson got his first touchdown on only his ninth carry of the year for the 35-0 lead with 2:36 remaining.
Pine View got the ball back again with just over one minute remaining. Using the clock wisely, Brown moved the ball about 20 yards to the Buffalo 38-yard line with 1.2 seconds left. The final play was a read option that went to Mpungi. The running back cut through the middle, then went to the right. Tooele had a prevent defense and at the 20-yard line, three defenders formed a seemingly impenetrable wall. Mpungi sprung right through them and raced the final 15 yards for the touchdown with time having expired. Pine View had a 42-0 halftime lead.
In the third, it was Brown who scored the final two touchdowns with the varsity offense on the field. On the first possession, Pine View drove the ball 70 yards. Mpungi once again got the ball to the 2-yard line. Brown punched it in from there.
Brown’s last score was a 38-yard run that culminated a 64-yard drive for the Panthers.
In the fourth period, Buffalo running back Nukuluve Helu scored twice. The first was a 5-yard reception from backup quarterback Kulani Iongi. The last was a 32-yard run in the final minute. Those two scores sandwiched the final touchdown by the Panthers, Olson’s second one of the night. The running back ran the ball in from 7-yards out at the four-minute mark.
Pine View outgained the Buffaloes 528-269 yards. Brown completed 5 of 12 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Brown rushed for 198 yards on 11 carries. Mpungi gained 172 yards rushing on 12 carries. Defensively, Koa Katoa led the team with 5.5 tackles and two sacks. Samson Doyle joined Turlington in the interception department. It was Doyle’s sixth of the year. Brooks Maile and Christian Reis also got sacks.
Hosner, known for his precision passing offenses, has seen his team win five straight with a dangerous run attack. The coaching staff, and more importantly, the players, have bought into the new offensive scheme 100 percent.
“Our receivers are used to getting more glory,” said Maile. “But they have not only accepted an offense where they are seeing the ball less, they are also out their leading our running attack with downfield blocking.”
Panthers’ leading receiver Michael Moten echoed that sentiment.
“We knew from day one of the switch that our offense would be more potent running the ball,” Moten said. “When you have talent like Jacob (Mpungi) and Dallin (Brown) in the backfield, you have to run the ball.”
Pine View improves to 8-3 and advances to play Sky View, the No. 1 seed from Region 12 next Friday. The Bobcats are undefeated (10-0) and beat Mountain View 50-14 on Friday night. Tooele ends the year 5-6.
4A State Playoffs First Round Results
Mountain Crest 44, Salem Hills 31
Dixie 30, Park City 6
Stansbury 28, Cedar 20
Ridgeline 25, Spanish Fork 22
Pine View 63, Tooele 14
Sky View 50, Mountain View 14
Orem 36, Bear River 7
Desert Hills 45, Bonneville 13
4A State Playoffs quarterfinal games (Nov. 3, times tbd)
Mountain Crest (10-1) at Dixie (10-1)
Ridgeline (7-4) at Stansbury (7-3)
Pine View (8-3) at Sky View (10-0)
Desert Hills (6-4) at Orem (9-2)
State 4A semifinals are Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at U of U
4A Championship game is Nov. 17 at 11 a.m. at U of U
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