COMMENTARY – It was a humbling week to be a prep football fan from southern Utah.
Dixie and Hurricane got beaten pretty badly, though both teams played high-quality opponents in Riverton and Legacy (Nev.). Pine View dropped a tough one at Lehi in a game with 956 yards of offense. Cedar and Payson both lost by double-digits. And Desert Hills, the 3AA South Region’s lone winner, had key players injured and endured a bench-clearing brawl.
So, it might be a good time to look at the positives of a weekend full of disappointment.
For Desert Hills, obviously getting a win against West (26-3) is the biggest positive, but the Thunder are also establishing a trend. It’s easy to see the Thunder want to play tough defense, take care of the ball on offense and feed the rock to Bridger Cowdin. That formula is unlike any other in the region right now and doing something different, and doing it well, is a good thing. Next game: Friday at Cedar
Pine View, which fell to Lehi 36-33, could get discouraged in losing to a team that Dixie had just beaten by 23. Both teams had big offensive numbers vs. Lehi (PV had 518 yards, Dixie had 536), but Dixie’s defense allowed just 290 Lehi yards. Pine View gave up 438. But the Panthers defense actually played well in the second half, allowing Lehi only one touchdown and just over 100 yards. Plus, PV quarterback Kody Wilstead passed for more than 400 yards on an incredibly windy night. Next game: Friday at Snow Canyon
Dixie was missing three starters in its 57-24 loss to 5A Riverton and it showed. The Flyers gave up 554 rushing yards and more than 600 total yards. But Dixie showed some pluck, ignoring a 15-0 early deficit to pull to within 23-16 against the bigger, faster Silverwolves. Ultimately, four turnovers helped Riverton turn it into a rout, but Dixie showed that, even shorthanded, it could hang with the big boys. It also helps that Dixie has a region bye this week and is playing a weak Canyon View team. Next game: Friday vs. Canyon View
Hurricane fell to Legacy 34-14 on a muggy Saturday night in Las Vegas. The Longhorns ransacked the Tigers defense for 470 yards and two different Legacy running backs had just under 200 yards each. But Hurricane is young and starting to gain confidence in certain areas. Jeremiah Ieremiah is the real deal at linebacker (he had a pick-six early in the game) and receivers Jay Williams and Noah Elison are viable threats in a solid passing game for the Tigers, normally a rarity in Hurricane. Next game: Friday at Payson.
Meanwhile, Cedar hung in there with 4A Skyline, falling 38-19. The offense is gaining momentum, scoring 82 points the last two weeks, plus Redmen kicker Jeff Rogers is one of the best in 3AA. Next game: Friday vs. Desert Hills
For Payson, a 33-13 loss to Spanish Fork may be disheartening. Nobody wants to lose to their rival. But the Lions showed a decent passing game, with QB Easton Smith throwing for 223 yards. And Payson was in the game until late, despite playing without star running back Kyle Moffatt. Next game: Friday vs. Hurricane.
Even Snow Canyon, which had a bye last Friday, can take positives out of the weekend. The Warriors have to be licking their chops at all the yards Pine View gave up last week. Plus, SC had a week to heal, rest and prepare for the Panthers. Next game: Friday vs. Pine View.
Four of the local volleyball teams sneaked in their first Region 9 match before heading to the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic at Lone Peak High School. Snow Canyon and Desert Hills both got wins Thursday night.
The Lady Thunder beat Dixie 27-25, 25-19, 25-15, then went up north and won three out of five matches. DH beat Snow Canyon (25-21, 14-25, 15-8), Northridge (21-25, 25-23, 15-9) and Hurricane (19-25, 25-19, 15-2) at the tourney. The Thunder lost matches to host Lone Peak (25-18, 14-25, 15-11) and Lehi (25-19, 25-21).
The Lady Warriors opened region with a 25-15, 25-7, 25-7 sweep of Pine View. At the tourney, SC went 1-3, beating Northridge (26-24, 25-22), but falling to Desert Hills, Lone Peak (25-12, 25-14) and Rocky Mountain (Ida.) in two games (26-24, 25-18).
The full slate of matches Tuesday night include Cedar at Desert Hills, Dixie at Hurricane and Snow Canyon at Canyon View.
In soccer, Dixie continues to roll. The Lady Flyers have allowed just one goal in four region games, including a shutout sweep last week with 3-0 and 4-0 wins over Hurricane and Canyon View, respectively.
Not to be outdone, Cedar is 3-0 and has scored 13 goals in three region games. The two leading teams will meet Thursday in Cedar City, though both have matches Tuesday first. Dixie plays third place Desert Hills (1-0-2, 5 points) and Cedar battles at fourth place Pine View (1-1-1, 4 points).
Tuesday’s other Region 9 match has Hurricane at Snow Canyon. All soccer games have scheduled start times of 7:30 p.m.
Brad Wade and Taylor Cummings are leading the way for the Desert Hills golf team, which has won three of four matches this season in region. The duo finished at +2 last weekend in leading the Thunder to an eight stroke victory over Dixie. Snow Canyon finished third, 16 strokes back of Desert Hills. Nicklaus Britt was low man for Dixie (+3), while Kaden Goodrich was +5 to lead SC.