Keric’s Week 5 Recap
By Keric Seegmiller
(ST. GEORGE, Utah – Sept. 12, 2022) It’s time for another edition of the Region 10 Football Weekend Wrap Up. This week we’ll take a look at the fifth week of the high school season, and the second week of the region schedule. It’s hard to believe we’re already at the halfway point of the 2022 season, but alas, here we are. Time flies when you’re having fun.
The second week of Region 10 Football went straight chalk, or simply put, the favored team in each matchup emerged victorious. Dixie and Cedar picked up blowout wins at home, while Crimson Cliffs claimed a victory in an instant classic thriller with an ending that probably has some people still trying to figure out what they just watched. Meanwhile, Desert Hills got back on track with a shutout win in out-of-region play.
Let’s take a closer look at each game and dissect how Friday’s results came to be.
CRIMSON CLIFFS 27, SNOW CANYON 25
A quick Google search yielded various results in my quest to find a definition for the term “Instant Classic”, but here’s my favorite: “referring to something being extravagantly awesome.”
Indeed, the Crimson Cliffs versus Snow Canyon game was every bit “extravagantly awesome”. The Mustangs were favored to win coming into the contest, but the Warriors must have missed the memo. Despite playing without starting quarterback Hunter Johnson, Snow Canyon raced to a 13-0 lead.
After forcing a Mustangs punt, the Warriors took advantage of a short field on their first possession and needed just three plays to find the end zone. Junior quarterback Talan Kelly fired a 41-yard dart to Jake Hill on the first play from scrimmage, and two plays later, Kelly strolled into the end zone. After a missed point-after attempt, the Warriors held a 6-0 lead.
In a near carbon copy of the game’s opening drives, Snow Canyon forced another quick Crimson punt, then quickly found the zone. But this time, if you blinked, you missed the touchdown. After Snow Canyon fielded the punt at its own 45-yard line, Kelly connected with Hill for a 55-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive to push the Warriors lead to 13-0 less than four minutes into the game.
Three plays later, Brandon Gough jumped in front of a Steele Barben pass and rolled into Crimson territory on the return. Snow Canyon was in business again and had a chance to take complete control of the game, until McKay Wright decided enough was enough. As the Warriors neared the red zone, Kelly looked to find Brooks Esplin across the middle, but Wright made a leaping interception from his spot at linebacker to end the threat. And while the Mustangs didn’t score on the ensuing drive, the tide had turned. Crimson would eventually respond with 20 unanswered points.
Crimson Cliffs cut the lead in half midway through the second quarter when Mason Topalian capped a 9-play, 70-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to pull the Mustangs within 13-6. The home squad would go on to tie the game at 13-13 heading to the halftime when Barben tossed a 55-yard strike to Tyler West, just 16 seconds before the break.
The Mustangs continued to roll in the third quarter, scoring the lone touchdown of the frame on a 29-yard toss from Barben to Boston Adamson to cap a 5-play, 65-yard drive and take their first lead of the game at 20-13.
Crimson maintained the seven-point lead until midway through the fourth quarter, when Bo Hickman picked off a Barben pass to set up a 47-yard scoring drive for the Warriors. Kelly tossed to Hill on the 10th play of the drive for their second touchdown connection of the contest, this time from 12 yards out. But the point-after attempt sailed wide right and the Mustangs held onto a 20-19 advantage.
And then things got wacky on the ensuing drive.
Crimson Cliffs marched methodically to the red zone and eventually held 1st-and-goal from the SC 5-yard line with a chance to put the game away. The Mustangs ran the ball to the right side on first down, only to have Hickman strip the ball away after making the stop to give the ball back to Snow Canyon.
Unfazed, the Mustangs defense stopped Snow Canyon on three straight plays and forced the Warriors to punt from their own end zone. Crimson linebacker Brayson Phillips blocked the punt and Jace Sweeten picked it up and ran to the 2-yard line. Topalian notched his second 2-yard touchdown run on the next play to extend the Mustangs lead to 27-19 with less than four minutes to play.
Snow Canyon wasted no time with its counterattack, marching 70 yards in two minutes to score on a 7-yard pass from Kelly to Esplin to pull to within 27-25. Needing a 2-point conversion to tie the game, Kelly fired to Teagan Hugh, but the pass fell incomplete, and the Mustangs held on for the win.
Crimson Cliffs Game Ball: McKay Wright. Wright finished as the team’s leading tackler, plus one sack. His interception in the first quarter prevented Snow Canyon from taking a three-score lead.
Snow Canyon Game Ball: Jake Hill and Bo Hickman. Hill ran circles around the Crimson secondary, making a game-high seven catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Hickman reigned supreme on defense, preventing Mustang scores with an interception and a forced fumble.
DIXIE 51, PINE VIEW 13
The Flyers headed into region play in search of their first real offensive breakthrough of the season, and they found it in their Region 10 opener against Pine View at Walt Brooks Stadium.
Dixie wasted no time putting points on the board, marching 80 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. The Flyers ran the ball on the five consecutive plays, picking up first downs on their first three plays, to set up a 15-yard touchdown pass across the middle from Jalen Schultz to Seth Takau.
Pine View answered on the ensuing possession with a 14-play, 80-yard drive to pull even at 7-7. Abe Rosenlund completed three passes to Quincy Jones on the drive, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
The Flyers tacked on touchdowns on their next three possessions to push the lead to 27-7 with five minutes until halftime. Jeffrey Christian scored Dixie’s second touchdown on a 1-yard run after Jaxon Barben hauled in a 63-yard pass at the 1-yard line. Takau added a 3-yard touchdown run, followed by Christian’s second touchdown run of the half, this time from 18 yards out, to build the three-touchdown advantage.
The Panthers looked to cut into the lead before the break, but Takau had other plans, picking off a Rosenlund pass on the left sideline and racing 45-yards for a pick-six to extend the lead to 34-7 at halftime.
Schultz tossed two touchdown passes to David Bartschi in the third quarter, a 51-yard dart, followed by a 30-yard strike to push the lead to 48-7. Jonathan Bibiano Vargas capped the Flyers’ scoring with a 23-yard field goal late in the frame to extend the advantage to 51-7.
Pine View added a touchdown on the final play of the game when Tyler Brown found Matthew Costa across the middle for a 55-yard catch-and-run score to push the final score to 51-13.
Dixie Game Ball: Seth Takau. Takau scored a touchdown on a pass, a run, and pick-six to vault the Flyers to the victory.
Pine View Game Ball: Matthew Costa. Costa caught six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown to lead the Panthers offense.
CEDAR 38, HURRICANE 0
On paper, the Hurricane at Cedar matchup looked to be one of the most competitive games on the region schedule last week. The Tigers had just locked up their first region win since 2019, and the Reds were ready to put a tough loss to Snow Canyon in the rearview mirror. And put it in the rearview mirror they did.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cedar rattled off 24 points in the second quarter on a 20-yard field goal from Parker Kucifer and three Koden Lunt touchdown passes. Lunt connected with Tredyn Elliott for a 48-yard score, and tosses to Conner Hardman for a 15-yard touchdown and a 5-yard score to take a 24-0 lead at halftime.
Lunt tacked on two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, a 10-yard strike to Devin Crenshaw and a 6-yard toss to Ammon York to push the score to the final tally of 38-0.
Cedar Game Ball: Koden Lunt. Lunt displayed pinpoint accuracy, completing 10-of-15 passes for 209 yards and five touchdowns.
Hurricane Game Ball: Ethan Staples. Staples picked up 56 yards rushing on 14 carries on a night where the Hurricane offense struggled to find its rhythm.
DESERT HILLS 44, NORTH SANPETE 0
The Thunder made the most of its region bye, opting to host 3A North Sanpete rather than take a true bye week.
The Hawks quickly fell victim to a Desert Hills squad ridding itself of the sour taste of its close loss to Crimson Cliffs the week before, as the Thunder tallied three first-quarter touchdowns to take a 20-0 lead. Tyden Morris led the attack with touchdown runs of 14 yards and 15 yards in the frame, while Beau Wall ran for a 21-yard touchdown.
Wall connected with Javiyen Cummings for a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter, while Xander Jones connected on a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter to extend the lead to 30-0.
The Thunder scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter when Zach Ford broke free for a 45-yard score and Topper Pattison tossed a 45-yard dart to Austin Wintle to extend the score to the final tally of 44-0.
Desert Hills Game Ball: Tyden Morris. Morris set the tone for the Thunder shutout, rushing for 101 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries.
REGION 10 STANDINGS
CRIMSON CLIFFS 2-0 4-1
DIXIE 1-0 3-1
CEDAR 1-1 2-3
SNOW CANYON 1-1 2-3
HURRICANE 1-1 1-4
DESERT HILLS 0-1 3-2
PINE VIEW 0-2 0-4
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Cedar at Pine View, 7 p.m.
Hurricane at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.
Desert Hills at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Crimson Cliffs at Cyprus, 7 p.m.