ST. GEORGE — In local high school football action Friday night, a new player emerged in the race for the Region 10 title.
Dixie rolled to its second consecutive big victory at home, while league-leading Desert Hills also dominated. Meanwhile, over at Crimson Cliffs, the Mustangs led the whole game and beat Pine View for the first time in their young program’s history.
Crimson Cliffs 28, Pine View 14
In a game that featured all of the scoring in the first half, the Mustangs got solid play from their linemen on both sides of the football to secure the homecoming win.
“We’re excited. You know, it’s a big step for us,” Crimson Cliffs coach Jaron Tate told St. George News. “Especially with the way our season has been going, it was a good win for us.”
The Mustangs took the opening kickoff and drove right down the field. The drive was fueled by third-down conversion passes from Gunner Orr to Konner Kell and Jayton Tanibe.
Senior Easton Droubay finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run and Crimson Cliffs quickly led 7-0.
After forcing a Pine View punt, Crimson Cliffs again marched down the field. This time it was Orr barreling into the house for a 1-yard score on fourth-down and the Mustangs went ahead 14-0.
“We wanted this game,” Orr said. “We’ve lost to them the past two years by a lot. We wanted this game a lot more than them and we just came out and played hard and do what we do.”
Pine View got back into the game after an efficient drive of its own. Quarterback Tyler Brown scrambled for four yards, then pushed the ball over the goal line and the Panthers were on the scoreboard down 14-7.
Then the Mustangs seized the momentum right back as Orr connected with Kell for an 82-yard touchdown bomb, upping their advantage to 21-7.
Pine View immediately responded. Tyson Moten collected the ensuing kickoff and exploded 96 yards down the field for a score, and the Panthers trimmed their deficit to 21-14.
Pine View looked to get the ball back before halftime and forced a Crimson Cliffs punt.
But the kick was fumbled and senior Isaac Golder collected the loose ball and returned it for a Crimson Cliff’s touchdown that would turn out to be the last score of the game.
“I just got down there, saw the ball, picked it up and just ran,” Golder said. “It didn’t feel real, to be honest. A lot of the time we just practice the finish, finish the play, and that’s exactly what I did.”
The second half was the opposite of the first as both defenses were stout and play was bogged down by a lot of penalties. The Mustangs defensive line really took control and won all the battles on the line of scrimmage.
“We didn’t have to blitz a lot and we still got pressure, and that helped us out,” Tate said. “D-line and the linebackers really stepped up and let us play our game.”
Mustangs kicker Ryan Wooley went 4-for-4 on extra point kicks in the victory. He and the other Crimson Cliffs players celebrated along with their fans when they stormed the field after the game ended.
“It was a big game, amazing to get a homecoming win,” Golder said. “Feels great.”
The win moved Crimson Cliffs into second place in the Region 10 standings, while Pine View dropped to fourth with the loss.
Dixie 42, Snow Canyon 14
At Dixie, the Flyers used a strong second quarter to build a 35-point halftime lead over the Snow Canyon Warriors, then coasted to the finish under a running clock during the second half.
Snow Canyon’s first possession of the game ended on a three-and-out, followed by a punt, after which Dixie promptly scored, with running back Jeffrey Christian capping off the drive by scoring on a 7-yard run up the middle.
Snow Canyon answered with a TD on its next drive, as quarterback Hunter Johnson connected with receiver Brooks Esplin for a 53-yard scoring pass to make it 7-7.
Dixie’s Shea Anderson then took the ensuing kickoff to the house with a 93-yard return, putting the Flyers back up by a touchdown, 14-7.
The second quarter was all Dixie, as the Flyers rattled off four more unanswered touchdowns to extend their lead to 42-7 at the half. Two of those scores were made on short runs by Christian, one was a run by quarterback Bronson Barben and one was a 5-yard pass from Barben to Derek Kesterson. Kicker Jonathan Bibiano was 6-for-6 on extra points, all in the first half.
“It was just one of those nights where that first half, everything seemed to go right,” Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres said afterward. “We had some good momentum, with the defense making stops and the offense was really rolling. And our special teams had that big kickoff return.”
The Flyers’ 35-yard halftime lead meant a running clock throughout the second half. Dixie punted on its first possession in the third quarter, the first time it had done so all game.
Snow Canyon managed to put another TD on the board late in the fourth when Talan Kelly threw a 68-yard pass to Will Warner to make it 42-14 with 2:37 left.
Snow Canyon managed to recover an onside kick attempt after that, but ultimately ran out of time as the Flyers ended up with the decisive 28-point victory.
The game, which was played before a packed house, marked Dixie High’s first “Friday Night Showcase” event hosted by the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team and sponsor Intermountain Healthcare. Former Raider tight end and Dixie High alumnus Doug Jolley was on hand to sign Raiders posters and other freebie merchandise for fans before the game. He was joined by a couple of Raiderettes cheerleaders and Raiders team personnel.
Additionally, many fans at the game, including a large percentage of the student sections of both schools, wore pink in support of the fight against breast cancer.
— written by Jeff Richards
Desert Hills 47, Hurricane 6
At Desert Hills, the Thunder got the jump on the visiting Hurricane Tigers, scoring three touchdowns and a safety in the opening quarter to take an early 23-0 lead.
Desert Hills went on to add one more TD in each of the remaining quarters, ultimately building a 47-0 lead before the Tigers finally got on the board with a 73-yard scoring run by RJ Wright with three minutes left to account for the final margin. Six different players scored touchdowns for the Thunder.
Region 10 football standings (region, overall) (as of Oct. 2)
- Desert Hills 4-0 (7-1)
- Crimson Cliffs 3-1 (5-3)
- Dixie 3-1 (4-3)
- Pine View 2-2 (5-2)
- Snow Canyon 2-3 (4-4)
- Cedar 1-3 (2-5)
- Hurricane 0-4 (2-6)
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