ST. GEORGE — The opening night of Region 9’s regular season kicked off Friday night, with all four games being decided by margins of four touchdowns or more. Dixie, Cedar and Pine View all picked up decisive victories on the road, while Snow Canyon won handily at home.
Cedar 37, Crimson Cliffs 7
At Crimson Cliffs, Cedar capitalized on Mustang turnovers to build a sizable lead early on. The Reds scored the first 37 points of the game, just as they had done at Taylorsville the week before, and went on to defeat Crimson Cliffs, 37-7.
Cedar’s Charlie Cook made an interception on the Mustangs’ first play from scrimmage, which set up an early field goal by Edgar Hernandez-Hinojosa to make it 3-0. A few minutes later, Braxton Torres made a pick-six, running an interception back 55 yards for a touchdown, giving Cedar a 10-0 lead.
The Reds went on to take a 23-0 lead by halftime, with Seth Brinkerhoff getting a 16-yard TD run and Trey Payne catching an 11-yard TD pass. Cedar’s defense made yet another interception during that span and continued limiting the Mustangs’ offense.
“I thought we did well, offensively and defensively,” Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said after the game. “I thought we played our hearts out. We told our guys – really the only thing that’s going stop us and what we want to get better at – is our penalties and turnovers. That was our challenge two weeks ago and I feel like since then, we have been better with our penalties and turnovers.”
“Anytime you can get or create turnovers on defense, I mean that’s huge,” he added.
Bennett also credited the special teams for their work on kickoffs and punt returns, with a highlight being Torres running back the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards for a touchdown, giving the Reds a 30-0 lead.
“If we win the special teams battle, that obviously gives us an upper hand,” Bennett said.
A few minutes later, quarterback Jaron Garrett ran in Cedar’s final score from two yards out. At that point, the Reds had a 37-0 lead, which triggered a running clock the rest of the way.
Crimson Cliffs did make it on the board with an 11-yard TD run by Easton Droubay early in the fourth quarter to account for the final score.
Next Friday, Cedar plays at Pine View, while Crimson Cliffs will play at Canyon View.
Dixie 35, Hurricane 6
At Hurricane, the Dixie Flyers picked up their first win of the season, a 35-6 win over the Tigers.
Quarterback Bronson Barben got the Flyers on the board with a 1-yard run less than two minutes into the game. Then, with less than a minute left in the first quarter, Hurricane’s Luke Wright caught a TD pass from Carter Ashby. The point-after attempt was no good, leaving the Flyers ahead 7-6.
Dixie scored another TD on the final play of the first quarter when Barben connected with receiver Shea Anderson for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Dixie’s Easton Ellett scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, giving the Flyers a 21-6 halftime lead.
During the third quarter, Barben threw his second TD pass, this one to Beau McGiven, and then rushed for another TD a couple of minutes later.
Although Dixie had a tough preseason, the Flyers looked strong against Hurricane. Dixie improves to 1-3 overall with the win, while the Tigers drop to 1-3 with the loss.
Next week, Dixie hosts Desert Hills while Hurricane is at Snow Canyon.
Pine View 49, Desert Hills 20
At Desert Hills, Pine View had a big scoring night with seven touchdowns, as the Panthers prevailed over the Thunder 49-20.
Senior quarterback Brayden Bunnell threw four TD passes for Pine View. His first scoring pass came early in the first quarter when he found receiver Preston Mann from 7 yards out. Mann then scored again a few minutes later when he ran back a punt 85 yards for a TD, putting the Panthers up 14-0.
Desert Hills managed to get on the board late in the first quarter on a 40-yard TD pass from Noah Fuailetolo to receiver Hendrick Lusk. Fuailetolo added a short rushing TD on the first play of the second quarter, tying the game at 14-14.
Pine View then rattled off three straight unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to build a 35-14 halftime lead. After 2-yard scoring runs by Bunnell and Enoch Takau, Bunnell threw another TD pass to Mann.
The Panthers tacked on two more TDs in the second half, both on 9-yard passes by Bunnell. The last one was Mann’s third TD reception of the night, which capped off Pine View’s scoring. Mann finished the game with 75 yards receiving and three TD catches.
Bunnell ended up with 238 yards passing, completing 19-of-31 attempts. Takau led the Panthers in rushing with 110 yards on 21 carries.
Desert Hills did get one more touchdown in the final minute of the game, when Cordon Dell caught a 20-yard pass from Hunter Bentley.
Next week, Pine View hosts Cedar while Desert Hills is at Dixie.
Snow Canyon 49, Canyon View 14
At Snow Canyon, the Warriors overpowered the Canyon View Falcons 49-14 in a battle between the region’s only two teams to go undefeated during the preseason.
The Warriors set the stage for their big night when Braxton Hickman ran back the opening kickoff 99 yards for a TD. Later in the first quarter, Snow Canyon quarterback Landon Frei scored on a 15-yard TD run, with Jacob Wittwer’s extra-point kick giving the Warriors a 14-0 lead.
Canyon View’s Jake Tom got the Falcons on the board late in the first quarter with a TD catch that made it 14-7 Warriors. However, Frei scored on a short run on the first play of the second quarter, with teammate Drake Kelly adding another short TD run a few minutes later. Midway through the second quarter, Frei added another TD pass, this one a 9-yarder to Logan Mendenhall, as the Warriors built a commanding 35-7 halftime lead.
Snow Canyon’s Tyden Morris ran back a punt 60 yards for a TD early in the third quarter, pushing the lead to 42-7. Each team scored one more TD from that point, with Canyon View’s Gunner Hatch making a 9-yard scoring run late in the third and Frei making a 14-yard scoring pass to Jake Hill at the midway point of the fourth.
The Warriors improved to 3-0 overall with the win, while Canyon View dropped to 3-1 with the loss.
Next Friday, Snow Canyon hosts Hurricane while Canyon View hosts Crimson Cliffs.
Region 9 football standings (as of Sept. 5)
- Snow Canyon 1-0 (3-0)
- (tie) Cedar 1-0 (3-1)
- (tie) Pine View 1-0 (3-1)
- Dixie 1-0 (1-3)
- Canyon View 0-1 (3-1)
- Crimson Cliffs 0-1 (1-2)
- (tie) Desert Hills 0-1 (1-3)
- (tie) Hurricane 0-1 (1-3)
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