Region 9 football recap: Pine View, Dixie, Cedar, Hurricane win in night of close games

ST. GEORGE — Friday was a night of close contests in Region 9 football, including a couple games that were decided in the last minute. One of those was the showdown at Pine View, where the Panthers faced Snow Canyon in a battle between two teams that had entered the game unbeaten in region play. 

Pine View 36, Snow Canyon 35

In a tightly contested battle between the region’s top two teams, the Pine View Panthers escaped with a one-point win at home over Snow Canyon.

Snow Canyon’s potentially game-winning 46-yard field goal attempt with nine seconds left fell just short of clearing the goalpost, leaving the Panthers with the 36-25 victory.

The bulk of the game’s scoring took place in the first half, with each team scoring four TDs to make it 28-28 at the half. Snow Canyon quarterback Landon Frei threw one TD pass and ran for another score, while Will Warner added a pick six for the Warriors. Meanwhile, Pine View quarterback

The Pine View Panthers prepare to defend their Region 9 championship during the 2020 football season, St. George, Utah, August 5, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St George News

threw two TD passes and running back Enoch Takau rushed for two scores.

Midway through the third quarter, Frei completed a 51-yard touchdown pass to Jake Hill to put the Warriors ahead, 35-28. On the Warriors’ next possession, the Panthers had them backed up nearly to their own goal line, where they were forced to punt on fourth down. The kick was blocked out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a two-point safety for the Panthers, making the score 35-30.

Those two points proved crucial later on, as Pine View’s final TD, scored by Takau on a short run on the first play of the fourth quarter, put the Panthers up by one point even though they failed on the ensuing two-point conversion attempt.

That ended up being the game-winning margin, as neither team scored the rest of the way. However, Frei made a pass to Jordan Wade to get the Warriors to Pine View’s 29-yard line with 47 seconds left. However, Snow Canyon’s next three pass attempts to get closer were incomplete. Kicker Jacob Wittwer was brought on the field to try for the game-winning field goal on fourth down.

His kick was dead center but just missed clearing the crossbar by inches.

Pine View’s Bunnell ended up with 359 yards passing, with about half of those yards coming on eight catches for 174 yards by Dominique McKenzie. Takau, who finished with three rushing TDs, added 89 yards on the ground.

Meanwhile, Snow Canyon’s Frei threw for 159 yards passing and two TDs, both of them to Hill.

Pine View improved to 5-0 in region play with the win, 7-1 overall. Next Friday, the Panthers will play the Flyers at Dixie. Snow Canyon, which dropped to 4-1 in region play, 6-1 overall, will play at Crimson Cliffs next week.

Dixie 25, Crimson Cliffs 15

At Dixie, the Flyers overcame a halftime deficit to defeat the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs, 25-15.

Crimson Cliffs at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Oct. 2, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The upset-minded Mustangs got the jump on the Flyers early in the first quarter, when Jaylen Walker made a pick-six interception return to give the Mustangs an early 8-0 lead. 

Dixie answered quickly with a scoring run by Avery Anderson. The Flyers added the two-point conversion to tie the game. Dixie’s Rene Bernal later kicked a 26-yard field goal, but Crimson Cliffs pulled ahead again late in the second quarter as Easton Droubay caught a 5-yard TD pass to give the Mustangs a 15-11 halftime lead. 

The second half was all Dixie, as the Flyers added two more TDs and kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard the rest of the way. 

Mamao Matalolo returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to push Dixie’s lead to 10 points, and the Flyers hung on for the home win. 

Next Friday, the Flyers host Pine View, while the Mustangs will host Snow Canyon.

Hurricane 35, Canyon View 28

At Hurricane, the Tigers battled the Canyon View Falcons closely the whole game before pulling out a last-minute, 35-28, home victory on the team’s senior night. 

Gunner Hatch of Canyon View scores a rushing touchdown, Canyon View at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 2, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Hurricane coach Skyler Miller said afterward it was “one of the best complete team wins” he’s seen as a coach. 

“It was the last home game for our seniors and the kids deserve all the credit,” he said. “There’s that resilience that we pride on, and a willingness to never quit. Especially when it’s hard to come by, we need to salvage every opportunity we can. The kids wanted this one really bad tonight.”

Hurricane’s Luke Wright made a 65-yard TD run in the opening minutes, but Canyon View answered with a drive that culminated in a 2-yard rushing TD by Gunner Hatch to make it 7-7.

Almost immediately after Hatch’s touchdown, Hurricane took the lead again on a 62-yard pass from Carter Ashby to Jack Reeve, making it 14-7. Canyon View later answered with a TD pass from Jake Garrett to Jake Tom that made it 14-14 with 3:30 left in the first quarter.

Wright scored again on another huge run, this one down the sideline for 76 yards at the beginning of the second quarter, giving the Tigers a 21-14 lead.

Later, with less than a minute left before halftime, Hurricane attempted a field goal that would’ve put them ahead 24-14. Instead, Canyon View picked up the ball and returned it to midfield. The Falcons ended up scoring a quick TD, thanks to a short run by Gunner Hatch that tied the game, 21-21, at the half.

Hurricane coach Skyler Miller is surrounded by his senior players following their 35-28 win over Canyon View, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 2, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Canyon View got the ball first to start the third quarter, capping off its opening drive with a quarterback sneak play, with Jake Garrett punching it the final six inches for the TD to put the Falcons up 28-21.

Hurricane then answered with a TD drive of its own, capped off by a short run by Conner Nielson late in the third quarter to tie the game again, 28-28.

Canyon View managed to get into Hurricane territory late in the fourth, but the drive stalled due to an illegal motion penalty on a play where they appeared to have gotten a key first down. Backed up an additional five yards, the Falcons still went for it on fourth-and-8, but their pass attempt fell short and they didn’t get the first down. 

Taking over on downs, Hurricane had just enough time to make it downfield once more, with Nielson again doing the honors, scoring the go-ahead TD on a 10-yard run up the middle with just under 30 seconds left. 

Next week, Hurricane plays at Cedar, while Canyon View hosts Desert Hills.

Cedar 17, Desert Hills 14

At Desert Hills, the Cedar Reds picked up a 17-14 road win over the Thunder.

Desert Hills scored first, on a 30-yard pass from Noah Fuiailetolo to Josh Crandall. Cedar then got on the board with a 25-yard field goal from kicker Edgar Hernandez-Hinojosa with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. That was followed by a rushing TD by Seth Brinkerhoff early in the second quarter, giving the Reds a 10-7 lead that would stand until halftime. The Reds made a key goal-line stand right before halftime to keep Desert Hills from scoring.

Each team scored a TD in the second half. Cedar’s Bryan White put the Reds up 17-7 with a 2-yard run late in the third. Then, early in the fourth quarter, Desert Hills’ Braxton Turnbow caught a 20-yard scoring pass from Fuiailetolo. Neither team scored again, as Cedar made key defensive stops down the stretch to come away with the road victory. 

“Our defense played a great game,” Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said afterward. “We came up with some big stops on third and fourth down, and we also forced three turnovers to help win the game.”

“Offensively, we were able to establish some great drives and had no turnovers.” he added. “Our goal was to not give up the big play and have no turnovers on offense, and we felt like we would win the game. We were able to do that.”

Cedar hosts Hurricane next Friday, while Desert Hills will play at Canyon View.

Region 9 football standings, as of Oct. 3 (region record, overall, RPI)

  1. Pine View 5-0 (7-1) 2nd RPI
  2. Snow Canyon 4-1 (6-1) 4th RPI
  3. Dixie 4-1 (4-4) 9th RPI
  4. Cedar 3-2 (5-3) 8th RPI
  5. Crimson Cliffs 2-3 (3-4) 14th RPI
  6. Desert Hills 1-4 (2-6) 17th RPI
  7. Hurricane 1-4 (2-6) 20th RPI
  8. Canyon View 0-5 (3-5) 16th RPI

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

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