Streak halted: Desert Hills beats Hurricane in 3 OTs

Desert Hills QB Ty Rutledge (with the ball) tries to avoid Hurricane's defenders Thursday night, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 11, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
It was a stormy night for football fans, including these in Hurricane Thursday night, Oct. 11, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

HURRICANE – It was a long and strange night at Tigers Stadium, but for Desert Hills, it was all worth it.

Jordan Hokanson caught the winning touchdown pass from Ty Rutledge and the Thunder survived two lightning delays and a determined Hurricane squad to win a 46-38 triple overtime thriller Thursday night.

“I’m exhausted. I don’t even know what to say,” Rutledge said. “When you put everything you have into something, give until you can’t give anymore, and you beat a great team like Hurricane, well it’s the best feeling in the world.”

The game had more story lines than a daytime soap and didn’t conclude until well after 11 p.m. At one point, after a 45-minute halftime delay due to dangerously close lightning, Hurricane and Desert Hills administrators considered postponing the rest of the game. But after a time, Hurricane principal Jody Rich announced the second half would be played “it if it takes all night.” It nearly did.

Up 21-7 during the elongated intermission, the Tigers came out in the second half and seemed to put the game away with an 85-yard touchdown drive. Jared Edwards had most of the yardage on the drive, which took eight plays and nearly four minutes. Edwards 3-yard dive made it 28-7 with 8:13 to go in the third quarter.

“We told the boys (at that point) that they could either be men and show some pride and rise to the challenge or just roll over,” Thunder assistant coach Buck Cowdin said. “We felt embarrassed we hadn’t competed better.”

From that point on, including the three overtimes, Desert Hills outscored the defending state champions 39-10.

“That first drive after they scored in the third quarter was huge,” Rutledge said. “I’m not going to lie, I doubted us before that. But that drive showed us we could do it.”

Indeed, the Thunder went 58 yards on nine plays, converting on a third-and-19 on a pass from Rutledge to Jordan Hokanson of 21 yards, as well as a fourth-and-1 conversion from the 6-yard line on a TD run by Rutledge.

The score made it 28-14 with 3:51 left in the third and gave the DH crowd some hope. After a Hurricane punt, Keenan Wittwer snagged a Rutledge pass away from a defender to make it 28-21 with still a minute left in the third quarter. Five minutes and another Hurricane punt later, Rutledge and Dallin Bristol teamed up – in a bizarre way. Rutledge lunged for the end zone on a scramble, but the ball popped out and rolled into the end zone, where Bristol snatched it up for six points, tying the score at 28-28 with 7:40 left in regulation. Both teams had chances to win before the extra periods, but couldn’t get it done.

Hurricane and Desert Hills both scored TDs in the first overtime and the Tigers Eathan Stratton hit a 37-yard field goal to put Hurricane ahead at 38-35 in the second OT. DH’s Andrew Yergensen matched Stratton’s 3-pointer with a 27-yarder to force the third OT.

The Thunder had the ball first in the third extra period. Rutledge ran it down to the 3-yard line. Three plays later, the Thunder faced fourth down at the 4-yard line. Rutledge, under pressure, rolled to the right, then spotted Hokanson back to the left and threw across his body to get the wide receiver the ball for the go-ahead score.

“I was under pressure and was thinking I would have to break a tackle and try to score,” Rutledge said. “Then I saw Jordan doing jumping jacks over there all alone.”

The TD and a two-pointer gave Desert Hills its winning margin as Hurricane stalled out at the 22-yard line in its possession.

The win puts DH in a position to capture the No. 1 seed from region 9 with a win next week against Cedar. It also hands Hurricane its first loss since 2010, a streak of 20 straight victories.

The Tigers, 7-1 and 4-1, will likely at least tie for a fifth straight region title as they play winless Canyon View next week.

For Desert Hills, 5-3 and 4-1, it is a small measure of revenge for a championship game loss last November.

Boxscore: dhhur12

Hurricane’s Adlai Elison runs for yardage vs. Desert Hills Thursday night, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 11, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
Desert Hills WR Jordan Hokanson (with the ball) tries to avoid Hurricane’s defenders Thursday night, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 11, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • edith wittwer October 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Again? Last time you said it was Brad Wulfenstein for the touchdown at Stansbury. This time the touchdown credited to 06 was not 06, it was “again” Keenan Wittwer! Please check the # before you do not credit the right student athlete. Thanks for reporting ours games and what a game it was! Go Thunder!

    • Andy Griffin October 12, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Sorry for the mistake. To be honest, we were on the opposite end of where the play took place, but all around me (three stat guys) all thought they saw #6.

  • Dallin Bristol October 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Actually Andy, in a sense, Mrs. Wittwer was correct. Keenan’s touchdown was the fumble recovery in the end zone while Dallin Bristol (#6) was the 42 yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-21.

  • Dallin bristols mom November 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Dallin, Sweetie.. what did i tell you about lying. You know that touchdown really should be credited to Jordan Kirch. Your such red headed regret….

    <3 you babe

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.