Region 9 boys soccer: Snow Canyon assumes top spot after ending Crimson Cliffs’ undefeated bid

Snow Canyon soccer's Jake Wittwer leaps for a bicycle kick in the team's win at Crimson Cliffs, Crimson Cliffs High School, Washington city, Utah, April 2, 2021 | File photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Snow Canyon ascended to the top of the Region 9 boys soccer standings thanks in part to the Warriors’ overtime win over Crimson Cliffs on Friday.

Canyon View boys soccer at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, April 2, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

They moved into first place with a 7-1 record in region play after shutting out Canyon View on Tuesday night. Crimson Cliffs, Desert Hills and Dixie are just one game behind at 6-2 each.

One game went to overtime but five were decided by at least four goals and three finished 8-0 over the course of the week. The surging Desert Hills Thunder won their fourth and fifth straight, recovering from losses in two of their first three Region 9 games. The 2019 state champion rematches with Snow Canyon on Friday.

Following are recaps of the past two region contests for each team, along with a peek at the games scheduled later this week:

Tuesday’s games

Desert Hills 4, Crimson Cliffs 0

The Mustangs took their second consecutive loss after starting the season with six straight victories in a decisive Desert Hills Thunder victory at home.

Desert Hills scored two goals in each half to trounce Crimson Cliffs. Bridger Heaton got involved on all four goals, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist on Ben Ekins’ score. Josh Greer notched a shutout in net for the Thunder. Dawson Barker and Ty Stum added assists.

The Thunder have not allowed a goal in their past four games, scoring 19 of their own. They had previously lost at Crimson Cliffs 2-0 on March 19. Desert Hills hits the road for a rematch with Snow Canyon on Friday. The Warriors beat the Thunder 4-1 on March 9 to open the season.

Cedar 3, Pine View 1

The Reds did all their damage in the first half, jumping to a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes on the road. Drake Olsen had a pair of goals and Ethan Spencer added another.

Austin Kogan scored for Pine View in the second half.

The Reds host Dixie on Friday and Pine View travels to Crimson Cliffs.

Snow Canyon 8, Canyon View 0

The Warriors claimed sole possession of the pole position in the standings with a home rout of the Falcons that ran concurrent with Crimson’s second loss.

Snow Canyon took a 4-0 lead into halftime.

Scorers for the Warriors were Damon Lund, Jake Wittwer (assist from Jeyson Perez), Stockton Wittwer, Sanders Esplin (assist from Perez), Lund again, Carter Gubler (assist from Esplin), Gubler again (assist from Brock Schroeder) and Brayan Hernandez (assist from Alex Merdes). Adler Brough held down the net and was credited with the shutout.

The Warriors host Desert Hills on Friday.

Dixie 8, Hurricane 0

Denrick Tahual was one of six Flyers with multiple points, leading the way with seven in a decisive home win. Tahual scored three goals and an assist as Dixie stormed out to a 7-0 first-half lead. Rene Bernal and Jorge Quintero each had a goal and two assists. Gabriel Jimenez scored a goal and an assist and both of Easton Ellett and Darinel Briones scored. The Flyers peppered Tigers freshman keeper Kandon Heaton with 12 shots on target.

Tracen Lemmons was the only Tiger with shots on goal with two. Carson Greer and Carlos Diaz split the shutout for Dixie.

Canyon View boys soccer at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, April 2, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The third-place Flyers travel to Cedar on Friday. Hurricane also heads to Cedar City, playing at Canyon View.

Friday’s games

Cedar 3, Canyon View 1

At Cedar, the Reds picked up a 3-1 win over Canyon View.

Brandon Brown knocked in Cedar’s first goal 10 minutes into the game, and Ethan Spencer added another just before halftime to put the Reds up 2-0. Early in the second half, Tristan Yapi lofted in a header over Canyon View keeper Brock Marsh to push the lead to 3-0. The Falcons later broke the shutout with a goal by Josh Gonzalez.

Snow Canyon 3, Crimson Cliffs 2 (OT)

Snow Canyon dealt the Mustangs their first loss of the Region 9 season in Washington.

Snow Canyon soccer at Crimson Cliffs, Crimson Cliffs High School, Washington city, Utah, April 2, 2021 | File photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Crimson took an early lead on a goal by Kai Klingonsmith from Ramon Mitchell Squires in the first half before Jake Wittwer tied it shortly into the second. Two minutes after that, Klingonsmith scored on a penalty kick to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead. Sanders Esplin tied the game with 12 minutes to play, and the tie held until overtime.

Wittwer scored the winner in overtime on a leaping header from a cross by Damon Lund just over a leaping Crimson goalkeeper Jack Monson.

Read the full story about the game here.

Thursday’s games

Dixie 4, Pine View 0

Dixie scored a pair in each half to beat the Panthers at home.

Easton Ellett had a pair of goals. Marttinno Campos and Rene Bernal also scored. Bernal added an assist, as did Kamden Rocha and Iker Meza. Carson Greer and Carlos Diaz split shutout credit.

Desert Hills 8, Hurricane 0

The Thunder defended their home turf with a flurry of goals.

Desert Hills posted a 4-0 lead by halftime. Dan Simister scored twice and six other Thunder found the net: Adam Wright, Ty Stum, Bridger Heaton, Alexis Gonzalez, Ben Ekins and Dawson Barker. Heaton tallied four assists. Stum and Ekins added assists to their goals, and Seb Rosas and Gaige Lewis were also credited with helpers. Josh Greer got the shutout.

Friday’s schedule (April 9)

  • Dixie at Cedar, 4 p.m.
  • Hurricane at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
  • Desert Hills at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
  • Pine View at Crimson Cliffs, 7 p.m.

Region 9 boys soccer standings, as of April 7

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

Cedar City News reporter JEFF RICHARDS contributed to this story.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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