ST. GEORGE – Teams can live by the blitz and they can die by the blitz.
Snow Canyon QB Warner Rigby burned a San Juan blitz with a fourth-quarter TD pass to Zach Kennedy and the Warriors defense did the rest in a 21-0 victory Friday night at Warriors Stadium.
Only seven points separated San Juan from Snow Canyon going into the fourth quarter. That score came on a 74-yard run by Connor Parry on the first play from scrimmage to start the game.
The Warriors had been in the red zone twice since then, but had been turned away by a stingy Bronco defense intent on blitzing the daylights out of SC.
The Warriors were knocking on the door once again midway through the fourth quarter, facing a 2nd and goal at the 7-yard line with less than seven minutes in the game. It looked as if the Bronco defense would come through again when they attacked with a full blitz and nailed Zach Kennedy for a 5-yard loss.
On the ensuing play, the Broncos again sent nine players after quarterback Warner Rigby. But he executed an excellent play-action fake and hit Kennedy with a short pass to the flats and Kennedy made his way to the end zone for an insurmountable lead of 14-0 in the defense-dominated contest at the 6:38 mark.
On the ensuing kickoff, San Juan returned the it to the Warrior 44-yard line. After a personal foul and two Max Morley runs, the Broncos stalled at the Warrior 14-yard line, their only trip into the red zone. A missed field goal put the Warriors at their own 20-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Kennedy again took it to the end zone, running 80 yards on an inside counter for the final touchdown of the game at the 3:14 mark.
“Our offensive line is amazing,” Kennedy said. ” Their off-season hard work has really shown and they put it all together in the fourth quarter. I cannot credit them enough for this game.”
The Warriors played see-saw most of the game with great defensive play from both teams.
While most of the Snow Canyon possessions ended with punts, the Warriors were able to turn over the San Juan offense with four interceptions.
“Our defensive line was quick to the ball,” said linebacker Brady Sargent. “(Defensive tackle) Keaton Plant won’t show up in the stat book, but his pressure was the key to forcing their quarterback into rushing his throws and making mistakes.”
Parry’s touchdown run to open play was blocked perfectly. Offensive lineman Bowman Loo, Joe Servati and Plant all made downfield blocks to spring Parry.
“The offensive line created a huge hole,” said Parry.
“We had stellar play on both sides of the ball,” SC coach Marcus Matua said. “Warner Rigby performed exactly how we expect him to perform. He directed the offense well, his passing was spot on and he ran well. On defense, Sargent played like a monster. He gives us great leadership at the linebacker spot.”
Snow Canyon is at Shadow Ridge, Nev., next Friday night and then will take a bye week before beginning region play against Pine View.
See tonight’s incredible 3AA South region photo gallery here.
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