Region 9 football roundup: Crimson, Dixie move to 4-0; Desert Hills handles Snow Canyon

ST. GEORGE — Two teams remained unbeaten in Region 9 football on Friday night but there’s a group of teams right behind them with two weeks left in the regular season.

Crimson Cliffs rolled to another big win on the road while Dixie held on at home and the Warriors and Flyers stayed on top of the region standings at 4-0.

Meanwhile, Desert Hills used its punishing ground game to snap a two-game skid and picked up a big win at home.

Following are recaps of Friday night’s Region 9 football games as well as the scores from around Southern Utah.

Dixie 31, Cedar 28

Dixie pulled ahead in the fourth quarter for the third week in a row and held on to defeat the Reds in a replay of one of the oldest football rivalries in Utah.

Cedar ball carrier Krew Giles is pursued by Dixie’s Carter Vanlehn (3) in a Region 9 football game, St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Dixie started strong after a Ran Sawyer interception set up the Flyers early in the first quarter. 

Wyatt Truman threw the first of his three touchdown passes, connecting with Jaxon Barben for a 59-yard score and an early 7-0 Flyers lead.

Cedar got on the board early in the second quarter when quarterback Everett Kelling threw a 15-yard score to Jonathan Jeter. The Reds’ PAT kick failed so they were behind 7-6.

Dixie upped its lead with a 55-yard TD scamper from Junior Coughlin, who weaved across the field and slithered through several Reds on his way to the house.

But Cedar came right back, scoring on a fourth down end-around by TreDyn Elliott. Kelling and Jeter connected for the 2-point conversion pass and the teams were tied 14-14 at halftime.

Dixie jumped ahead again early in the third frame when Truman found Sawyer splitting two defenders and then blazing 66 yards to paydirt.

Barben’s second touchdown reception, this one for 29 yards, put the Flyers up 28-14 late in the third quarter.

“We started slow every week, didn’t end up that way this game,” Barben told St. George News. “We got tons of weapons on the field so it’s good to get us all the ball. Win’s a win, so we’ll take it.”

Dixie quarterback Wyatt Truman (left) hands off to Junior Coughlin (right) against Cedar in a Region 9 football game, St. George, Utah, Sept. 29, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George Neww

Cedar didn’t go down quietly. Kelling threw a 51-yard TD to Ammon York and the visitors got within one score right at the end of the third quarter.

And midway through the final session, Kelling threw into the corner of the end zone and Elliott hauled it in for a 14-yard touchdown pass that tied the game 28-28.

Both teams had chances in the final minutes, but Dixie put together a sustained drive that ended with Jonathan Bibiano’s 36-yard field goal that provided the final margin.

Cedar moved down the field on its final possession but was stopped on a fourth down play in the red zone and Dixie ran out the clock.

The Flyers stayed tied atop the Region 9 standings at 4-0 and is 4-4 overall. Meanwhile, Cedar slipped to 2-3 in the region and 3-5 overall after the setback.

Desert Hills 31, Snow Canyon 21

The Thunder snapped a two-game skid and got back in the win column behind four touchdowns and over 300 rushing yards by Tytan Mason.

Desert Hills went to the ground game early and often as Mason scored his first TD, a 22-yard burst, and the Thunder led 7-0 after one quarter.

Action from Friday’s Desert Hills-Snow Canyon Region 9 football game, Sept. 29, 2023 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Snow Canyon’s quick-strike offense tied it 7-7 after Tank Kelly’s 97-yard touchdown bomb to Semaj Thompson.

But Mason’s second 22-yard scoring run gave the Thunder a 14-7 lead at halftime.

Again Snow Canyon answered with a big play, this time a 65-yard TD pass connection between Kelly and Cael Johnson.

Tristan John’s 36-yard field goal was followed up by Mason’s 75-yard carry to the house and Desert Hills took a 24-14 lead into the final quarter.

Snow Canyon did not go away. Bryce Barnes ran in a 5-yard touchdown and the visitors got within a field goal with over 8 minutes remaining in the game.

Desert Hills secured the win on Mason’s 15-yard score with 44 seconds left to provide the final margin.

Desert Hills evened its record in Region 9 at 2-2 and is 3-4 overall after the win. Snow Canyon slipped to 2-2 in Region 9 and 5-3 overall after the defeat.

Crimson Cliffs 62, Hurricane 7

At Hurricane, region-leading Crimson Cliffs opened with an offensive onslaught that included seven unanswered touchdowns in the first half alone.

Crimson Cliffs placekicker Ty Ottenschott successfully kicks an extra point Friday against Hurricane. Ottenschott was 8-for-8 on PATs as the Mustangs beat the Tigers 62-7, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 29, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Mustangs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, with quarterback Steele Barben throwing an 80-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ty West on the game’s first play from scrimmage.

A few minutes later, the Tigers turned the ball over at midfield, with Konner Kell returning an interception to the Hurricane 33-yard line. That helped set up a 23-yard scoring pass from Barben to McCord Christiansen that put the Mustangs up 14-0 with just over 7:00 left in the first quarter.

Senior defensive lineman Parker Andrus snagged an interception for the Mustangs, running it back 38 yards for a pick-six TD. Then, as the clock ran out at the end of the first quarter, Crimson tacked on another touchdown to make it 28-0.

As Hurricane’s offensive struggles continued, Crimson Cliffs capitalized on miscues as it seized advantageous field position time and time again.

Early in the second quarter, Barben found Christensen again for a TD reception, this time from 30 yards out. That put the Mustangs ahead 35-0. Mason Topalian later ran it up the middle for a 3-yard rushing score to make it 42-0.

Crimson’s seventh and final touchdown of the first half came in the final minute of the second quarter, when Barben connected with West again, for a 27-yard completion. Even though the ensuing two-point conversion rushing attempt failed, the Mustangs still entered the halftime break with a commanding 48-0 lead.

That was the only time Crimson didn’t attempt a point-after kick, as Ty Ottenschott was a perfect 8-for-8 in his PAT attempts on the night.

With a running clock activated in the second half, Crimson scored two more TDs, both on short runs by senior Darius Strickland, while Hurricane got on the board with a 54-yard TD pass from Dylyn Gabriel to Austyn McRoberts with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter.

Crimson Cliffs improved to 4-0 in Region 9 play, 7-1 overall. Meanwhile, Hurricane dropped to 0-4 in region play, 1-7 overall.

– written by Jeff Richards

1A/2A/3A results

Canyon View 40, Juab 24

Quarterback Jaxon Jensen and receiver Bubba Ludlow had several touchdowns apiece as Canyon View improved to 7-1 in the 3A South.

Beaver 70, Parowan 0

The Beavers (7-1) defense dominated in a 70-0 shutout of host Parowan (0-8). Nine Beaver rushers shared the load, amassing nearly 400 yards on 25 carries.

Enterprise 32, Kanab 7

Kyron Bracken scored four touchdowns as No. 1 Enterprise beat Kanab 32-7, remained atop the 1A South and improved to 8-0.

Altamont 36, Water Canyon 18

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