ST. GEORGE — It took Snow Canyon only 63 seconds to take the lead in their opening round playoff game against Richfield and less than eight minutes to show the rest of the state that Warriors mean business in this year’s 3A State Tournament.
“We just tried not to do anything different, act like we were playing Dixie or something,” said SC fullback Branson Stafford. “Coach was on us about not changing anything, just playing like we always do.”
Stafford opened the scoring by dribbling around two defenders and then punch the ball to the left of Richfield keeper Ry Hosmer. It came with 38:57 showing on the 40-minute first-half clock.
“I saw a chance for us to go up, so I just went and took it all the way and finished it,” Stafford said. “It started us off well and got us going, got us scoring a lot of goals.”
Just over two minutes later, Snow Canyon made it 2-0 when Kolton Barber beat his man and banged one off the keeper and into the goal.
At the 33:03 mark, Kevin Chillin pushed the lead to 4-0 when he dribbled around a pair of defenders and pounded it in for an easy goal. At that point, it was readily clear that the Warriors were a step faster and a practice or two more skilled than the Wildcats.
“Richfield earned a playoff spot and congratulations to them,” Warriors coach Marc Wittwer said. “It’s a different region, obviously. Hopefully we’re ready for Saturday. That’s why we gfot the starters out as quick as we could. We didn’t want them to develop any bad habits.”
Just 43 seconds after the Chillin goal, midfielder Angel Muniz made it 4-0 with an assist from Axel Vichi. It went to 5-0 on Muniz’s second goal with 19:34 left in the half, then 6-0 when defender Parker Jenkins went right, then shot with his left foot to roll on in with 13:47 left in the half.
SC scored twice more in the first half to make it 8-0 on strikes by William Regalado and Jorge Cuara and Wittwer then emptied the bench. The game was called after 10 minutes of the second half via the UHSAA mercy rule.
“All week we were preparing for this game and it was just keeping our mental heads in the game,” Jenkins said. “We knew this was going to kind of be an easy game and we’re not ones to keep our heads all the time, so we just had to keep our heads. But it was a lot of fun.”
The Warriors, who improved to 13-4-1 with the victory, move into the state quarterfinal round and will host Grantsville, which beat Ben Lomond 3-2 in overtime Thursday. The Cowboys placed second in region 10 and are 9-2-4 on the season.
3A State Playoff First Round results
Grantsville 3, Ben Lomond 2 (F/OT)
Canyon View 2, Cedar 1
Desert Hills 4, Carbon 2
Stansbury 2, Morgan 0
Dixie 6, North Sanpete 1
Logan 5, Park City 1
Snow Canyon 8, Richfield 0
Juan Diego 6, Union 1
3A State Playoff Quarterfinal matchups (all games Saturday at 1 p.m.)
Logan at Canyon View
Grantsville at Snow Canyon
Dixie at Stansbury
Desert Hills at Juan Diego
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