Region 9 football recap: Pine View, Canyon View, Hurricane get home wins

ST. GEORGE — The second week of the Utah high school football season saw Canyon View emerge as Region 9’s only 2-0 team, with the Falcons getting their second straight convincing win at home. Also of note was Hurricane’s last-minute, come-from-behind 15-14 win over Murray.

The following are recaps of each of the seven games played Friday night by Region 9 schools. Snow Canyon had a bye on Friday, but the Warriors will play at Morgan next week.

Canyon View 61, Grand County 22

At Canyon View, the Falcons got off to a 2-0 start for only the fifth time in school history, thanks to a convincing 61-22 win over the Grand County Red Devils.

Canyon View drove the length of the field and scored a TD on its opening drive, taking a 6-0 lead just two minutes into the game, with running back Gunner Hatch making his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. Hatch went on to score two additional rushing TDs before halftime.

Jake Tom of Canyon View tries to make a catch near the end zone, Grand County at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Other early Falcon touchdowns came on a short run by Gabe Lake and a short pass from Jake Garrett to Jake Tom in the back corner of the end zone. 

Meanwhile, Grand struggled to move the ball offensively and at one point fumbled it away on two successive plays from scrimmage.

Another highlight for the Falcons came on a blocked punt midway through the second quarter, as Canyon View inside linebacker Tommy English knocked the ball to the side, where outside linebacker Mason Berg caught it before it hit the ground and ran it back 42 yards for the score.

During that same play, the head referee was inadvertently knocked to the ground by a player and injured; however, after getting a cut on his chin taken care of by medical personnel on the sidelines, he was back at work on the field a few plays later.

Despite being behind 40-0 at halftime, Grand managed to score 16 points in the third quarter, with quarterback Dante Wells finding receiver Rylan Jones for both scores, which were each followed by successful 2-point pass conversions.

Canyon View went on to score a couple more TDs in the fourth quarter, on a Xander Larsen reception and a Jarrett Johnson run, to close out the 61-22 victory.

“I was really happy with the focus of our guys,” Canyon View head coach Chris Sawyers said after the game. “They came out hungry and played great in the first half. It was a total team effort. Our offense looked great, as did our defense.”

Next Friday, Canyon View will be the only Region 9 team playing at home as they host the 2A Enterprise Wolves.

— written by Jeff Richards

Juab 30, Cedar 19

At Cedar City, the Cedar Reds held a one-touchdown halftime lead over Juab, but couldn’t keep up with the Wasps at the end, ultimately losing 30-19

Juab took an early 7-0 lead on the last play of the first quarter, a 14-yard TD run, but Cedar then scored two touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 13-7 halftime lead. The Reds’ first score came on a 70-yard TD pass from Jaron Garrett to Braxton Torres, while the second came on a 7-yard TD run by Garrett. 

Juab at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 21, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar’s halftime lead didn’t last long, as Juab’s Bodee Blackett ran back the opening kickoff of the third quarter 99 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wasps a 14-13 lead. 

During the third quarter, Cedar turned the ball over on three straight possessions, with Juab capitalizing by kicking a field goal during that span, then getting another TD to start the fourth quarter. 

Down 24-13 at that point early in the fourth, Cedar then drove the length of the field and got a 5-yard rushing TD from Torres to pull within five points, 24-19 with six minutes left. 

However, Juab then managed to dash the Reds’ comeback hopes, as the Wasps made one last scoring drive, culminating in a 26-yard run by Trey Lund to seal the win.

Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said the Reds seemed like they were “out of gas” at the end and didn’t play as well as they should have offensively.

“That falls on me as the offensive coordinator, but we didn’t play well offensively,” Bennett said, adding that the team was also hurt by “momentum killing” penalties.

“The penalties hurt us even more than the turnovers. The turnovers compounded it, but penalties show lack of discipline, and so we’ve got to figure that out and clean some things up.”

Bennett said he believes the Reds will bounce back and be ready to face Taylorsville on the road next Friday night.

“Really, there’s nothing you can do, other than show up on Monday and try to fix what you need to fix and just move on every day and try to get better.”

— written by Jeff Richards

Roy 24, Dixie 21

The Flyers took a tough loss to Springville at home last week but looked to get back on track on the road at Roy on Friday night.

The game was tied at 7-7 after the first quarter and the score stayed the same going into halftime. Every time the Flyers scored, Roy answered with a score of their own. It was 21-17 in favor of Dixie with 6:26 to go in the game but Roy once again scored, taking the lead with about a minute to go in the game. That would seal the deal as Dixie suffered another tough loss in Week 2.

Next Friday, Dixie is scheduled to play at Mountain View High School in Orem at 7 p.m.. The Flyers are not traveling to play in California, as a previous schedule had indicated.

Hurricane 15, Murray 14

At Hurricane, the Tigers came from behind in the final minute to defeat Murray 15-14, successfully scoring a two-point conversion for the win.

The Tigers had battled Murray closely all night. The Spartans scored a touchdown in the first quarter, after which Hurricane’s first TD had come on a 1-yard run by Conner Nielson in the second quarter, making it 7-7 at the half.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but the Spartans took a 14-7 lead on a touchdown drive with just over four minutes remaining. 

Murray at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 21, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Rylee Neilson, St. George News

Undaunted, Hurricane managed to drive the length of the field and score with less than a minute to play, thanks to a 30-yard pass from quarterback Carter Ashby to Jack Reeve that brought Hurricane within one point, 14-13. 

Hurricane head coach Skyler Miller said the ensuing decision to go for the two-point conversion was a “no-brainer.” 

“We were going to go for two, and we just put it on our kids because we believed in them and they executed,” he said.

Sure enough, the Tigers pulled it off, with Tucker Wright running it in for the go-ahead score, sending the hometown crowd into a frenzy. 

The Tigers then shut down Murray’s last-ditch attempt to get within field goal range. 

Miller said it was gratifying to see the Tigers put forth the effort they needed to win.

“We had 4:11 on the clock, we had one timeout left,” he said. “And we just believed in our kids and believed in our coaches in what we were prepared to do. We’ve been trying to build a culture back to where Hurricane’s just a never-quit team. It’s a never-quit culture and a never-quit community, and the kids just decided to make this the response.”

Hurricane will hit the road for its game next Friday, which will be at Mountain Ridge High School in Herriman.

— written by Jeff Richards

Alta 54, Desert Hills 14

Alta at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Aug. 21, 2020 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

After a win over Murray to start the season, Desert Hills returned home to take on Alta. The Thunder got the first touchdown of the game and lead after the first quarter, 7-0. After that, it was all Alta. The Hawks offense exploded for 41 straight points before the Thunder scored their second touchdown of the night to open the fourth quarter. Alta would get another touchdown in the fourth before winning by a final score of 54-14.

Noah Fuailetolo accounted for both of the Thunder touchdowns in the loss, with one coming by way of the pass and another on the ground.

Next Friday, Desert Hills is scheduled to play the Spanish Fork Dons at Spanish Fork. The Dons lost in overtime at Cedar during last week’s opener.

Lehi 36, Crimson Cliffs 0

The Mustangs played their second straight game at home Friday night, against the visiting Lehi Pioneers.

It was a tough night for Crimson Cliffs. Lehi shut out the Mustangs’ offense and was able to get the blowout win on the road by a final score of 36-0. Four of Lehi’s touchdowns came on the ground while the Pioneers were also able to take an interception back for a touchdown and get a safety.

Crimson Cliffs has a bye next week. The Mustangs were originally scheduled to travel to Salem, Idaho next Friday to face the Sugar-Salem Diggers, but that game has been dropped from the schedule due to travel restrictions.

Pine View 21, Highland 13

Highland at Pine View in St. George, Utah, August 21, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams. St. George News/Cedar City News

At Pine View, the Panthers had a battle with the visiting Highland Rams.

On the very first play of the game, Brayden Bunnell threw an interception but the Panthers defense picked him up, just like they did throughout the first quarter. Their defense looked stellar en route to a 14-0 lead at halftime. The Rams then opened the second half with a seven and a half minute drive for a touchdown but Pine View would answer quickly.

Highland then marched down the field and got another touchdown but the point-after attempt was blocked. The score was now 21-13. Pine View made quick work getting down the field once again but they were then stopped in the red zone on a Rams interception. With under two minutes to go the Rams made one more push but a Pine View interception deep in Panther territory sealed the win by a final score of 21-13.

Bunnell accounted for all three of the Pine View touchdowns on the night, finishing with 206 passing yards and 14 completions.

For its Week 3 game, Pine View will travel to Park City for a contest against the Park City Miners next Friday.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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