4A football playoff recap: Snow Canyon storms back to beat Desert Hills; Dixie, Pine View cruise to home wins

ST. GEORGE — In the second round of the 4A football playoffs Friday, ninth-seeded Snow Canyon overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to upend region rival Desert Hills, the eighth seed, 42-31. Meanwhile, both Dixie and Pine View also advanced, coasting to comfortable home wins over opponents from northern Utah. However, the Cedar Reds lost by a touchdown at Green Canyon.

No. 9 Snow Canyon 42, No. 8 Desert Hills 31

A game that looked like it would be a big win for the Thunder quickly shifted in favor of the Snow Canyon Warriors.

The Snow Canyon offense could not get anything going in the first half. They scored on their first possession of the game thanks to a Landon Frei rush, but the Thunder took over, scoring four touchdowns unanswered. The energy on the Desert Hills sideline could easily be seen, and it was translating on to the field.

The Thunder slowed the game down, using the rush to their advantage, and Kina Taufa showed why he is one of the best power running back in not only Region 9, but Class 4A. His efforts did not stop in the second half as he continued to put up big numbers, but the Thunder was shocked coming out of the half.

Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, second round of 4A football playoffs, St. George, Utah, Nov. 1, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Snow Canyon went on a run of their own, scoring four touchdowns unanswered to take the lead right as the fourth quarter began. Desert Hills got close to a touchdown of their own shortly after, but they were pushed back on a third-down play in the redzone, and elected to kick the field goal.

The Thunder got a much-needed stop on defense but was quickly halted. On fourth down, the Thunder tried to keep the ball in their own hands with a fake punt, but Snow Canyon knew it was coming. They made the stop and had the ball on the 17-yard line. They quickly got the touchdown to seal the game.

The game was full of ups and downs, but Snow Canyon was able to pick themselves up off the ground for a big win. They survive and advance on to play the top-seeded Park City Miners next week in the quarterfinals.

— written by Ryne Williams

No. 3 Dixie 38, No. 14 Ridgeline 7

Ridgeline at Dixie, second round of 4A football playoffs, St. George, Utah, Nov. 1, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The Dixie Flyers started off the game as expected, on a Reggie Graff rushing touchdown. It looked like the Flyers were going to take over the game early, but Ridgeline didn’t back down. Dixie marched their way into the redzone, and Ridgeline was able to intercept Graff, taking the interception beyond midfield which would set up a touchdown of their own.

One thing Ridgeline did show was their youth. They were undersized in coverages against bigger Dixie receivers, and while their offensive line showed flashes of greatness, Dixie was able to run the ball with ease.

Dixie was up 21 to 7 at the half. Using the running game to control the tempo in the second half, the flyers widened that margin, winning 38 to 7. The Dixie defense was stellar as well, stopping the biggest part of the Ridgeline offense, the run.

The Flyers move on to play No. 6 Stansbury next week at home.

— written by Ryne Williams

No.5 Pine View 49, No. 12 Bear River 7

At Pine View, the No. 5-seeded Panthers racked up seven touchdowns to defeat the 12th-seeded Bear River Bears Friday afternoon with a score of 49-7.

Quarterback Macloud Crowton had six TD passes and rushed for another score as the Panthers didn’t miss a beat after clinching the Region 9 title three weeks ago.

“We had three weeks off, you know, so we tried to get back into the swing of things,” Pine View head coach Ray Hosner said afterward. “It’s hard, you know, not playing for three weeks is not not good for anybody. So, we were glad to work out some of the kinks and get ourselves going. I was proud of our kids, who came out and played a great game.”

“At the beginning, we were a little rusty, but our defense played good all night,” he added. 

Pine View scored first on a 54-yard TD pass from Crowton to sophomore Dominique McKenzie midway through the first quarter. McKenzie caught another scoring pass from 24 yards out with 7:30 left in the second quarter to put the Panthers up 14-0. McKenzie finished the game with 10 catches for 262 yards.

Bear River at Pine View, second round of 4A football playoffs, St. George, Utah, Nov. 1, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

In the closing seconds of the first half, Crowton scrambled his way to a 10-yard TD run, extending the Panthers lead to 21-0 at the break.

Bear River got on the board early in the third quarter when Josh Payne caught a 20-yard pass from Ren Fonnesbeck. The ensuing PAT kick made it 21-7, but the Panthers answered almost immediately, driving the length of the field in about 30 seconds of clock time and scoring again, this time on a 29-yard pass reception by Daylor Rymer. 

Rymer also added another TD catch at the beginning of the fourth period, after which, Pine View went on to add two more late TDs on receptions by Jacob Nobili and Michael Moore, respectively.

Defensively, Enoch Takau led the Panthers with 10 tackles, while Izaiah Moten made two interceptions.

Next Friday, Pine View will travel to the north end of the state to face fourth-seeded Green Canyon, which won its second-round game over the Cedar Reds, 28-21. Next Friday’s quarterfinal game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Pine View faced Green Canyon last year when the Wolves won 45-38 at North Logan at the start of the 2018 preseason.

“It’s nice up there,” Hosner said of returning to Logan to play Green Canyon again. “We’ve got to come ready to play. I always say the best team doesn’t win, it’s the best team on that day that wins.”

No. 4 Green Canyon 28, No. 13 Cedar 21

Cedar at Green Canyon, second round of 4A football playoffs, North Logan, Utah, Nov. 1, 2019 | Photo by Kenneth Wilson for Cache Valley Daily, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Green Canyon in North Logan, the Wolves outlasted the Cedar Reds, 28-21.

Green Canyon scored first on a short TD run by Brennan Dean near the end of the first quarter. Cedar then answered with a TD run by quarterback Jaron Garrett with 8:30 left in the second quarter, which tied the score 7-7.

The Wolves added two more TDs late in the second quarter, with quarterback Jacob Lundin throwing for one score and running for the other. Green Canyon led 21-7 at the half.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but early in the fourth, Garrett connected with junior receiver Jack Cook for a 59-yard score to make it 21-14.

Green Canyon’s Lundin then added another short TD run with just over 4 minutes remaining to put the Wolves two TDs ahead once again.

Then, with just 40 seconds to play, Garrett found Cook in the end zone for another score, making it 28-21. Cedar was able to successfully recover the onside kick and run several plays, getting as close as the Green Canyon 31-yard line. However, a last-ditch pass attempt as time expired was knocked down by Green Canyon, who escaped with the win.

Green Canyon, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will host No. 5 seeded Pine View in the quarterfinals next Friday at 4 p.m.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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