ST. GEORGE – Dixie’s offense came fast and furious and the Spanish Fork Dons were pretty much helpless to stop the onslaught.
The No. 2-seeded Flyers were one of three Region 9 teams to capture 4A state playoff first-round victories with their 8-0 mercy-rule victory over Spanish Fork at Walt Brooks Stadium. Top-seeded Snow Canyon beat Salem Hills 3-0 and third-seeded Desert Hills knocked off Mountain View 2-1. Region 9’s fourth seed, Pine View, lost 5-1 to Region 10 champion Orem.
Jose “Tauri” Morales scored three of the eight goals, with Oscar Quintero and Trey Hoskins notching two each. Freshman Ethan Bennett ended the game about 10 minutes early by scoring the eighth goal of the game and inducing the high school mercy rule.
“Everyone who played played hard,” Dixie coach Burt Myers said. “We didn’t give up 15 or 20 minutes. I think that’s the big thing right there. I ‘d look out there and think, wow, he’s working hard. And then see another guy and wow, he’s working hard, too. It was a collective effort.”
Dixie’s first three goals came in a span of eight minutes after the opening whistle. Hoskins poked in a rebound to start the scoring in the third minute. A minute later, Quintero made it 2-0 with a chip shot over the Spanish Fork goalkeeper. Five minutes later, it was a 3-0 lead when Morales notched his first goal and the Flyers were on their way.
“We were prepared, worked hard during the week and the results came,” Quintero said. “We were just really motivated. Since that defeat last year, we were just ready and we couldn’t hold it.”
The Flyers came out firing in the second half. Quintero was tackled in the goal box, leading to a Morales penalty kick that was a no doubter with 36:16 showing on the clock. Less than two minutes later, Morales tapped a perfect lead pass to Hoskins, who made it 5-0 by beating the keeper on a low ball.
Morales scored again in a 1-on-1 situation with the keeper at the 33:18 mark to make it 6-0. Quintero then wriggled free off a rebound and pounded it home to make it 7-0 with still 29 minutes left on the clock. Myers then substituted liberally, with the Dixie JV holding its own against the Spanish Fork varsity. Bennett then ended the game with about 10 minutes on the clock.
“We were scoring, and that’s fuel for your fire, right there,” Myers said. “That makes a big difference. And we were pressuring them and we moved the ball real quickly. They were a half-step behind all game.”
Dixie, 11-1-3, recorded the shutout with keeper Kieran Atkin rarely being tested in the contest. The Flyers move into the 4A quarterfinals and will play at Bonneville Saturday at 1 p.m. The Lakers defeated Sky View 2-0 Thursday.
Desert Hills 2, Mountain View 1
Brock Parry had the equalizer on an assist from Walker Heaton and Heaton found Ben Simister for the game winner. Thunder coach Benji Nelson said his team played well as a cohesive unit.
“Every player gave 100 percent, both on the bench and on the field,” he said. “We had each other’s backs. I felt like we were the better team. We played our game and possessed the ball really well. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with such great young men.”
Nelson said his team’s activities Thursday led up to the inspiring performance on the field.
“Today we started the day visiting a school in Orem for autistic children, the Utah Autism Academy. We learned about autism and then we got to play and work with the kids at this amazing school. I think that was a factor today,” Nelson said. “We realized how these children want to speak or try and function and struggle due to their disability. We talked about how frustrating that must be for some of these kids. We talked about how important communication is as a team. If we treat each other with respect and like family we can improve our play and who we are as members of society. We played the game for my nephew Rylie, who has autism. He got to be with us on the bench and we dedicated the game to him.”
Desert Hills, 10-2-4, became just one of two three seeds to win on Thursday (Juan Diego also won). The Thunder will travel to Logan for a 4A quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon. Logan beat Ben Lomond 1-0.
Orem 5, Pine View 1
Pine View finishes the year with a 6-9-2 record.
4A state playoffs – 1st Round results
Park City 4, Bear River 0
Snow Canyon 3, Salem Hills 0
Orem 5, Pine View 1
Juan Diego 2, Mt. Crest 1
Desert Hills 2, Mt. View 1
Logan 1, Ben Lomond 0
Bonneville 2, Sky View 0
Dixie 8, Spanish Fork 0
4A state playoffs – Quarterfinal matchups (all games Saturday, 1 p.m.)
Park City (11-4-2) at Snow Canyon (10-0-5)
Juan Diego (10-4-1) at Orem (13-2-3)
Desert Hills (10-2-4) at Logan (11-3-0)
Dixie (11-1-3) at Bonneville (12-3-2)
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