ST. GEORGE – Dixie got a goal from Tyler Bennett and an assist from Mother Nature, which cut Friday’s game with Snow Canyon nearly 17 minutes short en route to a 1-0 win in the final Region 9 boys soccer match of the season.
Bennett scored off a free kick from Av’ry Green with 33:21 left in the second half. With 16:42 remaining, the head official ordered both teams off the field after a lightning strike within one-and-a-half miles of the stadium. That started a 30-minute delay mandated by the Utah High School Activities Association. Several more lightning strikes forced resets of the clock, prompting the head official, at the direction of UHSAA official Jeff Cluff, to declare the game complete, thus giving Dixie the victory.
Interestingly, Desert Hills had a 1-0 lead over Pine View with 22 minutes left in the game when the head official suspended the game. School officials decided to resume the game on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
And, in the only full game of the day, Cedar defeated Hurricane 5-3. The Redmen need a Desert Hills win to slip into fourth place and into the playoffs.
With the win, the Flyers ended Snow Canyon’s nine-game winning streak and earned a share of the region championship. Dixie was the defending region and state Class 3A champion.
Both coaches were disappointed with the decision to declare the game complete.
That decision came through interpretation of rule 7-1-3 in the high school soccer rulebook.
“I felt like we had momentum,” said Dixie coach Burt Myers. “We came in with a good game plan and we executed it.”
“Rules are rules,” said Snow Canyon coach Marc Wittwer, who campaigned for a declaration of suspended game. “We would love to continue on Monday. But now we’ll put it behind us and look forward to state.”
Both the Flyers and Warriors will have home games when the state playoffs begin at 4 p.m. On Thursday. Administrators from the two schools will conduct a coin flip on Monday to determine seedings.
Cedar 5, Hurricane 3
Hurricane took on early lead on goals from Jeff Brubaker and Jeff Bjarnson. The Redmen came back with goals from JD Beachum, Abe Brower, Jesus Tapia and Jaden Carver to lead 4-2 at the half.
Ethan Fletcher extended Cedar’s lead to 5-2, but Jaden Stone scored to bring the Tigers within 5-3.
“Our victory may be enough to put us into the playoffs, depending on the outcome of the Desert Hills-Pine View game,” noted Cedar coach Scott Kamachi.
If Cedar gets into the playoffs, it will meet Canyon View, the Region 12 champion, Thursday at 4 p.m.
Region 9 Standings
Snow Canyon 9-1-0 (12-4-1) 27 pts
Dixie 9-1-0 (11-3-1) 27 pts
Desert Hills 5-4-0* (11-4-0) 15 pts
Cedar 2-7-1 (5-9-2) 7 pts
Pine View 2-7-0* (5-10-0) 6 pts
Hurricane 1-8-1 (3-11-1) 4 pts
* DH and PV will finish their game Tuesday at 5 p.m. with DH ahead 1-0 with 22 minutes remaining
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