ST. GEORGE — Region 9 football teams fared well on their opening night of the 2020 UHSAA football season. Five of the eight teams took wins with some more exciting games including a double-overtime win for Cedar and a tight 20-15 win for the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs. Read more about all of the games below.
Snow Canyon 42, Cyprus 0
Snow Canyon started off their season with a bang as they cruised to a big win on the road against Class 6A Cyprus. After leading by 35 at halftime, the Warriors added another touchdown in the third and went on to win 42-0. Senior quarterback Landon Frei passed for 210 yards and Bretton Stone had 177 total yards.
Ridgeline 42, Pine View 38 (played at Westlake High)
With the Cache Valley School District not allowing teams to travel and stay overnight, Pine View played their home game at a neutral site against Ridgeline. After a shootout loss last season to Ridgeline with a 58-56 final, the 2020 rematch did not disappoint.
The Panthers went into the locker room at halftime down seven, but brought that lead down to four with about two minutes to go in the game. They were unable to get on the board and lost another close game to the Riverhawks. Brayden Bunnell started the year off strong, completing over 50% of his passes with two touchdowns and 313 passing yards. Enoch Takau, preseason Region 9 player of the year selection, ran for two touchdowns with 146 yards on the ground in the loss.
Richfield 24, Hurricane 21
Hurricane traveled to Richfield for the start of their season and dug themselves a hole early, going down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. After being down seven at the half, the Tigers took the lead after a solid third quarter.
Going into the fourth, Hurricane were up four but Richfield was able to add one touchdown late in the game to get the win. Carter Ashby was there for two touchdowns on the night in the Tigers’ loss.
Desert Hills 24, Murray 7
Desert Hills played Murray on the road on Friday night and dominated. The Thunder took a 24-point lead and went into the fourth quarter up 24-0. Murray put one touchdown on the board in the fourth for their sole score.
Springville 25, Dixie 22
Over at Dixie, the Flyers were up three at the half but went down three against Springville going into the fourth quarter. Dixie answered with a quick touchdown in the last quarter, but Springville scored again with about five minutes left to get the win. Bronson Barber accounted for two of the three Dixie touchdowns on the night.
Crimson Cliffs 20, Manti 15
At Crimson Cliffs’ first game on their home field, the Mustangs did not disappoint. After going up 14-0, they headed into the fourth quarter up seven. That is when things got interesting.
Manti scored with 1:48 left in the game and converted on the two-point attempt to take a one-point lead. Crimson came right back and answered with 1:28 on the clock after Tyler Brown threw a 76-yard pass to Packer Butler. That score sealed the game for the Mustangs.
It was a sloppy game from both sides, but Tyler Brown accounted for all three Mustangs touchdowns with Chase Hansen catching two of them.
Canyon View 40, Payson 13
At Canyon View, the defensive-minded Falcons kicked off their season with a bang, defeating the Payson Lions 40-13.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Garrett threw four TD passes, three of them in the first half, as the Falcons took a two-touchdown halftime lead.
Canyon View’s first score came with just over 10 minutes left in the first quarter when Garrett connected with Tyler Barton, who broke to the left for a 60-yard TD reception. Payson then answered with a TD on its next drive, a 32-yard run by Tate Christensen. Both teams missed their extra-point tries, leaving the score 6-6 at that point.
Canyon View then responded with a 31-yard TD pass from Garrett to Tyler Maine with just under three minutes left in the first quarter. The ensuing extra-point kick was blocked, leaving CV up 12-6.
Then, midway through the second quarter the Falcons scored on another TD reception, with Gunner Hatch catching a 12-yard pass from Garrett. Maine then successfully scored on the two-point conversion attempt, giving the Falcons a 20-6 lead heading into halftime.
Canyon View padded its lead further during the third quarter, getting two TDs on short runs by Brayden Floyd and Maine. Immediately following Maine’s touchdown, Payson’s Isaac Canlas ran the ensuing kickoff back all the way, going end zone to end zone for a 100-yard score.
Early in the fourth quarter, Canyon View recorded one last score when Hatch got his second TD of the night on a short run.
Canyon View head coach Chris Sawyers called the victory “a really good win for our kids.”
“Our confidence was definitely boosted,’ Sawyers said. “We played well defensively. We gave up a few cheap first downs, but we got our feet under us and played well.”
Next up for Canyon View, the Falcons will host Grand County High on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. The Red Devils, a 3A school in Moab, lost their season opener Friday at Beaver, 69-0.
— written by Jeff Richards
Cedar 28, Spanish Fork 21 (2 OT)
The Spanish Fork Dons came to Cedar City hoping to avenge last year’s overtime loss to the Reds. But Friday’s opening-night matchup proved to be another close battle, with Cedar prevailing in double-overtime, 28-21.
Spanish Fork scored first, on a 12-yard run by Andrew Seidel with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. Cedar then tied the game 7-7 late in the second quarter, thanks to a 6-yard TD run by Seth Brinkerhoff.
With less than a minute before halftime, Cedar was hit with a pair of penalties (pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct) that brought the Dons from midfield to within better striking distance of the end zone. Spanish Fork then scored on a 15-yard pass to take a 14-7 halftime lead.
Cedar rallied to tie the game again in the third quarter with a short pass from Jaron Garrett to Kolby White. The extra-point kick was good, tying the game at 14.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, with Cedar missing two short field goal attempts, either of which would have likely been the game-winner. The last one, in the final seconds of regulation, was blocked by Spanish Fork, sending the game into overtime.
The Dons went first in the first OT, with Tayson Reid scoring on an 11-yard run to put Spanish Fork up 21-14.
But Cedar responded with quarterback Jaron Garrett connecting with Kolby White, who made a diving catch in the end zone. Edgar Hernandez-Hinojosa then kicked the extra point, tying the game 21-21.
Cedar then started the second overtime with possession of the ball, with Garrett throwing a 9-yard TD pass to Jack Cook.
“I knew they were where they were gonna be,” Garrett said of his two overtime TD throws. “I was able to step up in the pocket and make the pass because I knew my guys were there, and they’re gonna make the catch.”
With Cedar ahead 28-21, Spanish Fork’s had one final try to match or beat Cedar’s score, but a dramatic interception by Cedar’s Charles Cook ended the game.
“We had some senior leadership step up there at the end to win that game,” said Cedar head coach Josh Bennett, who added. “I’m so proud of our guys and coaches. I feel blessed to be here and play this game.”
“Spanish Fork is a heck of a football team,” Bennett added. “I think it’s a lot better team than we played last year.”
Next up for Cedar will be a home game against Juab on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.
— written by Jeff Richards
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