Region 9 football recap: Pine View beats Dixie as Cedar, Desert Hills and Snow Canyon also win

ST. GEORGE — The Pine View High School football team stayed unbeaten in Region 9 play Friday night, as the Panthers handed Dixie Flyers their second region loss. Second-place Snow Canyon also won, as did Cedar, which moved into a tie with Dixie for third place. At Canyon View, the Desert Hills Thunder overcame a halftime deficit and rolled to their second region win of the season. The following are recaps of Friday’s action:

Pine View 32, Dixie 21

At Dixie, the Flyers battled the region-leading Panthers to a 14-14 tie in the first half, but Pine View rallied to score three second half TDs for the 32-21 win, keeping them unbeaten in region play.

Dixie scored two TDs in the first quarter to take an early 14-0 lead, with Alexander Maycock and Avery Anderson each finding the end zone on 1-yard runs a few minutes apart.

Pine View at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Oct. 9, 2020 | Photo by Jacqui Knighton, St. George News

Early in the second quarter, Pine View quarterback Brayden Bunnell connected with Christian Bailey for a 20-yard TD reception. Then, midway through the quarter, the Panthers tied the score on an 8-yard pass from Bunnell to Dominique Mckenzie.

Pine View then scored on its first possession of the second half, with Bunnell finding Mckenzie again, this time from 52 yards out, and the Panthers took a 20-14 lead, as the PAT kick attempt was blocked.

Dixie punted on its next possession, after which the Panthers threatened to score again, with Mckenzie making a catch at the 1-yard line. However, Pine View turned the ball over on the next play, as Dixie recovered a fumble in the end zone.

Early in the fourth quarter, Enoch Takau scored on a 1-yard run to put the Panthers up 26-14 (the 2-point conversion attempt failed). Dixie answered immediately, as Bronson Barben threw an 80-yard TD pass to Shea Anderson, brining the Flyers within five points, 26-21.

The Panthers’ defense held tough for the remainder of the fourth quarter, with Pine View getting one last TD on another pass from Bunnell to Bailey, this one from 15 yards out, pushing Pine View’s lead to 12, where it stayed until the final whistle. 

Bunnell finished with four TD passes for the Panthers, who improved their region record to 6-0.

In Wednesday’s season finale next week, Pine View hosts Hurricane while Dixie travels to Cedar City to play Canyon View.

Cedar 49, Hurricane 0

At Cedar, the Reds used a 35-point burst in the second quarter to power their way to a 49-0 win over the Hurricane Tigers. 

Hurricane at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 9, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Tigers drove to the Cedar 12-yard line on their first drive, but weren’t able to get any closer. They attempted a field goal, but missed the kick.

Late in the first quarter, Cedar’s Jack Cook caught a pass from Jaron Garrett and scrambled 26 yards for the touchdown as Cedar went ahead 7-0.

Cedar scored five TDs during the second quarter to take a 42-0 halftime lead. Braxton Torres made two interceptions just over a minute apart. The first one set up a 40-yard TD pass from Garrett to Kolby White with just under 8 minutes left in the second quarter, while Torres returned the second interception all the way back for a 52-yard pick-six TD with 7:16 remaining.

A few minutes later, Torres took the ball from Garrett at the 14 yard line and tried to run it around the right side, but the ball was knocked loose. Teammate Seth Brinkerhoff didn’t miss a beat, catching the fumble in midair running it into the end zone for a TD. That pushed Cedar’s lead to 35-0 with 2:05 left in the second quarter.

One minute later, defensive player Nate Stubbs scooped up a fumble and ran it back 39 yards into the end zone with 1:00 left in the first half, giving the Reds a 42-0 lead at halftime.

Ultimately, six different Cedar players scored touchdowns, while kicker Edgar Hernandez-Hinojosa was a perfect 7-for-7 on PAT attempts.

“Our offense executed well and our defense created some turnovers that helped us win the game,” said Cedar head coach Josh Bennett.

Next week’s games are on Wednesday night. The Reds will host Snow Canyon while the Tigers will play at region-leading Pine View, with both games starting at 7 p.m.

Desert Hills 45, Canyon View 20

At Canyon View, the Desert Hills Thunder followed a sluggish first half with an explosive second as they routed the Falcons. 

Desert Hills at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 9, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Falcons got off to a good start, scoring two early TDs to take a 14-0 lead. The Falcons got an early touchdown run from Gunner Hatch late in the first quarter, followed by a 63-yard reception by Tyler Maine early in the second.

Desert Hills then got on the scoreboard with an 11-yard pass from Noah Fuailetolo to Ethan Ford, to narrow the Thunder’s deficit to 14-7 at the half.

Canyon View started the second half with a solid drive, but Desert Hills put on the defensive stops, forcing the Falcons to try a field goal, but it missed.

From that point on, the Thunder would roll off 38 straight unanswered points. Fuailetolo finished with three TD passes. The Thunder added both an interception return and a fumble return for touchdowns. 

Desert Hills coach Mark Murdoch said his players had an attitude change at halftime, which sparked the Thunder’s turnaround.

“Our guys just decided that they wanted to be here and they weren’t going to lose the game,” Murdoch said. “That’s kind of what it came down to. The first half, we were just lackadaisical in everything that we were doing. We weren’t executing, we were fumbling, and nothing was clicking.”

“It was their attitude, and so they changed it. They flipped the script.”

Murdoch said he told his players at halftime, “The thing is, we may be down but the team next door, they don’t know that you’re not a team that’s never given up in a game. Your record doesn’t show it, but we’ve never quit. And so they came out and fixed it.”

The Falcons’ only score of the second half came on a rushing touchdown by Adrian Ward as time expired.

At next Wednesday night’s season finale, Desert Hills will host Crimson Cliffs while Canyon View will host Dixie.

Snow Canyon 44, Crimson Cliffs 24

At Crimson Cliffs, the Warriors handed the Mustangs a 44-24 defeat. Snow Canyon went right to work, scoring the first three touchdowns of the game. 

Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 9, 2020 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Early in the first quarter, quarterback Landon Frei scored on a 10-yard run, after which Tyden Morris scored on a 15-yard run a few minutes later. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Brenton Childs ran back an interception for a TD, giving the Warriors a 21-0 lead.

However, Trei Rockhill of Crimson Cliffs then ran the ensuing kickoff back 83 yards for a score, putting the Mustangs on the scoreboard.

Midway through the second quarter, Snow Canyon’s Brooks Esplin caught a short TD pass from Frei to make it 28-7, but Crimson Cliffs managed to score again right before halftime when Gunner Orr caught a short pass from Chase Hansen to make it 28-14 at the break.

Snow Canyon then added two more TDs in the second half, including a run by Childs. The Mustangs’ last score was a TD run by Creed Leonard in the fourth. Snow Canyon kicker Jacob Wittwer added a 19-yard field goal near the end to account for the final margin.

For the Warriors, Frei completed 15-of-21 passes for 162 yards and 2 TDs, in addition to his rushing touchdown.

Next Wednesday, Snow Canyon plays at Cedar while Crimson Cliffs plays at Desert Hills.

Note: the Utah High School Activities Association has temporarily hidden the football RPI rankings, but will reveal them, along with the 4A state playoff brackets seedings, after next week’s games.

Region 9 football standings, as of Oct. 10 (region record, overall)

  1. Pine View 6-0 (8-1) 
  2. Snow Canyon 5-1 (7-1) 
  3. Dixie 4-2 (4-5) 
  4. Cedar 4-2 (6-3) 
  5. Crimson Cliffs 2-4 (3-5) 
  6. Desert Hills 2-4 (3-6) 
  7. Hurricane 1-5 (2-7)
  8. Canyon View 0-6 (3-6)

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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