4A playoff football recap: Pine View, Cedar and Snow Canyon advance; Crimson Cliffs, Dixie and Desert Hills eliminated

ST. GEORGE — Friday night’s 4A football playoff games involving Region 9 teams saw more than a few tricks along with plenty of treats, especially for the home teams, as the host schools won all four second-round contests in decisive fashion. Pine View cruised over Crimson Cliffs, Cedar shut out Dixie, Snow Canyon blew past Logan, while Desert Hills fell at top-seeded Sky View. Following are recaps of the action:

Pine View 42, Crimson Cliffs 10

The No. 2 Panthers jumped out to an early lead on the No. 15 Mustangs and coasted the rest of the way. On its second possession of the game, Pine View QB Brayden Bunnell marched his team down the field, finding wide receiver Dominique Mckenzie on the left side of the end zone just under eight minutes into the game. The tandem linked up for another touchdown pass in the second quarter, and Pine View took a 28-3 lead into the half.

Bunnell threw for three touchdowns and carried one in on his own. 

His third touchdown pass came as the second quarter ticked down to the final seconds, finding Preston Mann over the middle in their own half of the field, who carried it more than 50 yards the rest of the way. 

Crimson Cliffs at Pine View, 4A state football playoffs, St. George, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Running back Enoch Takau had a rushing touchdown and Marcus Kemp returned a kickoff with less than two minutes remaining in the game to account for the Panthers’ last score, breaking a lion’s share of tackles and changing direction several times.

Crimson Cliffs’ two scores came on the heels of Pine View mistakes. Its first-quarter field goal came after a botched snap on a Panthers punt attempt put the Mustangs in the red zone to begin their drive. 

Mustang QB Chase Hansen carried in their only touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, but only after an interception he threw to Kemp on fourth-and-10 earlier in the drive was overturned due to a personal foul. That gave the Mustangs a first and goal, and Hansen pushed his way through on third down.

“You just got to be disciplined and got to take care of business. Don’t give people more opportunities,” Pine View head coach Raymond Hosner said, adding, “I always tell the kids, ‘I don’t care who we’re playing, we just need to get better as a Pine View football team.’”

Pine View had taken the regular season matchup between the two teams 21-7 on Sept. 25.

Pine View takes on No. 10 Bear River at home in the quarterfinals next Friday.

— written by Rich Allen

Cedar 28, Dixie 0

At Cedar City, the No. 8 seeded Cedar Reds put the defensive stops on the No. 9 Dixie Flyers, posting a 28-0 shutout victory.

Dixie at Cedar, 4A state football playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News / Cedar City News

Earlier in the season, the Flyers had beaten Cedar 24-19 at Dixie, marking their ninth straight win in a rivalry that spans some 92 contests.

Friday night, it was Cedar’s turn to shine on its own home turf.

Cedar’s two first-half TDs both came after turnovers. The Flyers fumbled the ball away at midfield during its opening drive, after which the Reds advanced downfield and quarterback Jaron Garrett breaking into the end zone to give Cedar a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Later in the quarter, the Reds thwarted another Dixie drive, thanks to an interception by Jack Cook. That set up another Cedar score, as Garrett found receiver Bryan White for a 28-yard TD pass on the first play of the second quarter.

Cedar’s 14-0 lead stood until halftime, as the Flyers couldn’t get on the board. Dixie’s Carson Greer intercepted a pass by Garrett and nearly ran it back, but a personal-foul penalty on the Flyers brought the ball back to midfield. The Flyers made it close to the goal line on their ensuing drive, but Cedar defenders batted down passes in the end zone on both third and fourth down, ending the effort.

After halftime, Cedar scored on the opening drive of the second half, as Garrett completed a pass to Cook, who weaved his way back and forth until making it into the end zone for a 43-yard TD with 10:23 left in the third.

Then, in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Garrett rushed up the middle for a 10-yard TD run, making it 28-0 for the Reds.

That score stood until the end of the game, as Cedar used up much of the clock on its last two drives, while managing to keep Dixie out of the end zone. 

“They were hungry tonight for a win and they just outplayed us tonight on defense,” said Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres, who added, “We got off to a slow start and weren’t ready to go from the beginning. When you get into the playoffs, you can’t do that, especially against a good team. I mean, they’re a good team. They just got after it tonight. Our kids did a good job, but it just wasn’t our night.”

Cedar head coach Josh Bennett credited his team’s preparedness.

Coaches talk to Cedar players after their 28-0 win over Dixie in the 4A state football playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Our coaching staff had these guys prepared for two weeks and we knew coming in the game that we were well-prepared. We didn’t anticipate we’d shut them out, as they are a well-coached team. It was a heck of an effort by our defensive team. They just came out and executed well, and I’m so proud of these guys.”

Cook said he and his teammates came into the game with a high level of confidence.

“We were hoping for it and I think we were prepared enough that we knew we were going to come out confident and strong, and every time they got in the red zone, we didn’t let them score,” Cook said. 

The win marked Cedar’s first football victory over Dixie since 2010, and also their first shutout of the Flyers since Oct. 21, 2001, when Cedar beat Dixie 20-0 in a region playoff game at Enterprise, noted football statistician George Felt told St. George News after the game.

The game also marked Dixie’s first scoreless game since Oct. 28, 2011, a span of 109 games, Felt added, noting that the streak was the fourth longest active streak in the state, and ties Dixie with Cedar for the 20th longest scoring-game streak (no shutouts) in state history. Cedar’s streak of 109 scoring games lasted from 1996-2005 before it was ended by Dixie, 35-0.

Dixie finishes their year 5-6, marking their first losing season in 10 years. Meanwhile, Cedar, which improved to 7-4, is having its first winning season in nine years.

Cedar next advances to take on top-seeded Sky View Bobcats in Smithfield in next Friday’s quarterfinals.

— written by Jeff Richards

Snow Canyon 35, Logan 16

At Snow Canyon, the third-seeded Warriors opened up a sizable first-half lead over the No. 14 Logan Grizzlies and went on to post a 35-16 victory.

Logan at Snow Canyon, 4A state football playoffs, St. George, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Snow Canyon’s Tyden Morris broke the ice with a 21-yard scoring run with 8:40 left in the second quarter. Then, seconds later, Brenton Childs made an interception and ran it back for a TD, putting Snow Canyon up 14-0.

Shortly thereafter, quarterback Landon Frei completed a 41-yard TD pass to Morris, putting the Warriors up 21-0. Snow Canyon added one more TD just before halftime, on a 34-yard pass from Frei to Braxton Hickman.

“We were a bit rusty and off our routine to start,” said Snow Canyon coach Mike Esplin. “Tyden Morris gave us the spark we needed to get going with his first TD, followed by a big pick six by Childs. The blocked kick by Brax Hickman continued to give us momentum.

“Defensively we were in a bend but didn’t break scheme,” Esplin added. “We were all right to give up some yards but didn’t want any scores. During the meat of the game, we did that.”

Frei threw another TD pass to Hickman during the third quarter to put Snow Canyon ahead 35-0. Logan managed to score two TDs in the fourth to account for the final margin.

Next Friday, Snow Canyon will host No. 6 seed Stansbury in the quarterfinals.

— written by Jeff Richards

Sky View 42, Desert Hills 12

Desert Hills at Sky View, 4A state football playoffs, Smithfield, Utah, Oct. 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Robert Scott, Cache Valley Daily / St. George News

Top-seeded Sky View ran away with 21 points in the third quarter to separate itself from the No. 16 Desert Hills Thunder and advance to the quarterfinal with a 42-12 win.

The Thunder actually held an early lead, scoring first on a 69-yard pass from Noah Fuailetolo to Hendrick Lusk in the first quarter. They took that lead into the second, but allowed 39 straight points with all but a field goal coming before the fourth quarter. The Thunder did not have an answer for Kasen Carlsen, who threw for four touchdowns during the scoring stretch. 

Desert Hills found the end zone again with 5:26 left in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Hunter Bentley.

“Our kids battled,” Desert Hills head coach Mark Murdoch said. “We hung right with them for the first half, but then turnovers and injuries caught up to us.”

— written by Rich Allen

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

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