PREVIEW: Pine View returns to action with home clash vs. Crimson Cliffs
By Keric Seegmiller
(ST. GEORGE, Utah – Sept. 30, 2022) After taking its region-schedule bye last week, Pine View football returns to the field on Friday with a home clash against Region 10-leader Crimson Cliffs at Panther Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., with live radio coverage on 890 KDXU and live video streaming available on SportsRadio977.com. Andy Griffin will provide play-by-play with Keric Seegmiller offering analysis and color commentary.
BOOKEND MATCHUP: Pine View and Crimson Cliffs enter Friday’s contest as Region 10’s bookends, as the Mustangs hold a 6-1 overall mark and a 3-0 record in region play to remain the only undefeated team in Region 10. Meanwhile, the Panthers are on a quest for their first win of the year with an 0-5 overall record and an 0-3 record in Region 10 play.
LAST TIME OUT: Crimson Cliffs overcame a slow start and an early deficit versus Hurricane to claim a 48-17 Homecoming victory last week. The Mustangs turned a 17-7 deficit into a 21-17 lead over the final two minutes before halftime, then shut out the Tigers in the second half. Steele Barben completed 15-of-25 passes for 215 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Mustangs offense, with Jordan Eaton snagging four of those touchdown passes.
Pine View and Cedar played one of Region 10’s most exciting games of the year two weeks ago, as the squads traded scores throughout the game and into overtime. The Panthers erased an early 14-0 deficit and took a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Reds rallied to force the extra session and earned a 31-28 win with a 38-yard field goal. Tyler Brown turned in one of his best performances of the year for the Panthers, completing 27-of-37 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Quincy Jones snagged 10 of those passes for a game-high 106 yards and a touchdown.
SERIES HISTORY: Friday’s matchup marks the fifth matchup between Pine View and Crimson Cliffs on the gridiron. The Panthers won the first three matchups, including a victory in the second round of the 4A playoffs in 2020 to build a 3-0 lead in the series. The Mustangs claimed their first win over Pine View last year with a 28-14 win at home, and will look for their first road win over the Panthers. The teams have met twice at Pine View, with the Panthers claiming both contests.
SCOUTING PINE VIEW: Through five games, Pine View is averaging 17.4 points (No. 6 in Region 10) and 287.6 yards of total offense (192.2 pass/95.4 rush) per contest. The Panthers rank second in Region 10 with 192.2 passing yards per game. Seniors Tyler Brown (61-89, 805 YDS, 6 TD, 3 INT) and Abe Rosenlund (25-60, 296 yards, 2 TD, 6 INT) have both seen time at quarterback. Junior Quincy Jones ranks second in Region 10 in receptions (29 rec, 342 YDS, 2 TD), while freshman Brock Harris (15 rec, 298 YDS, 3 TD), and juniors Blake Stucki (14 rec, 203 YDS, TD) and Matthew Costa (12 rec, 185 YDS, 2 TD) have also been targeted as primary receivers. Additionally, Brown has led the rushing attack with 192 yards and two touchdowns from the quarterback position, while junior Alex Sanchez leads all running backs with 150 yards on 47 carries.
Defensively, the Panthers have allowed an average of 42.6 points (No. 7 in Region 10) and 392.0 yards of total offense (184.0 pass/208.0 rush) per game. Senior linebacker Jacob Sersansie leads Pine View with 33 tackles, while junior Teancum Jensen has added 26 tackles, and senior Tyson Dinsmore has tallied 20 tackles. Junior defensive lineman Caden Nelson leads the team with four sacks, while Sersansie has Pine View’s only interception. As a team, the Panthers have recovered three fumbles for a total of four turnovers.
Junior Kimball Swift has connected on 9-of-11 point-after attempts to lead the special teams, while Pine View has not yet attempted a field goal.
SCOUTING CRIMSON CLIFFS: Since dropping an out-of-region game to Timpview in late August, the Mustangs have won their last four games, including region victories over Desert Hills, Snow Canyon, and Hurricane. Crimson Cliffs sits atop the Region 10 standings and in the top half of nearly every statistical category.
Through seven games, the Mustangs are averaging 28.0 points (No. 2 in Region 10) and 339.1 yards of total offense (215.7 pass/123.4 rush) per game. Crimson leads the region in passing with 1,510 passing yards and 215.7 passing yards per game. Junior quarterback Steele Barben leads the attack and has completed 107-of-168 passes for 1,507 yards and 18 touchdowns. Three Mustang receivers have tallied 15 or more catches, including senior Jordan Eaton (24 rec, 434 YDS, 8 TD) and juniors Konner Kell (21 rec, 243 YDS, TD) and Luke Childs (16 rec, 332 YDS, TD). Juniors Boston Adamson and Tyler West have each logged 14 catches, including three touchdown grabs apiece. Crimson boasts two running backs with over 300 yards rushing, including junior Mason Topalian (59 carries, 398 YDS, 4 TD) and sophomore McCord Christiansen (53 carries, 348 YDS, 2 TD).
The Mustangs rank second in scoring defense, allowing 17.5 points to go with 371.4 yards of total offense (199.6 pass/171.8 rush) per game. Six Crimson players have tallied at least 40 tackles, including McKay Wright (59), Brayson Phillips (49), Rowen Williams (45), Parker Andrus (45), Scott Nisson (43), and Fatafehi Faoneleua (41). The Mustangs lead Region 10 with 19 sacks, led by Nisson with nine sacks, and rank second with eight interceptions, including three by Jace Sweeten.
Junior Ty Ottenshot has connected on 26-of-28 point-after attempts, and one field goal, to lead the special teams, while West returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown vs. Spanish Fork on Aug. 19.
STATE LEADERS: Barben leads all of Utah 4A in completions (107), passing yards (1,507), passing touchdowns (18), and total yards (1,537), while Eaton leads 4A in receiving touchdowns (8) and is tied for 4A best in total touchdowns (8). Defensively, Nisson’s nine sacks is best in 4A, while Ottenshot leads 4A in successful PAT attempts.
WHAT TO EXPECT: After spotting Hurricane a 10-point lead last week, look for Crimson Cliffs to get off to a fast start vs. Pine View on Friday. Coach Wayne Alofipo will have the Mustangs dialed in and ready to go. The captain-obvious statement is to watch out for Crimson’s potent air attack, as the Mustangs lead the region in passing yards. However, expect Topalian and Christiansen to hit the ground game early and often as the Panthers have allowed over 200 yards rushing per game. Defensively, Nisson and company will look to pressure the PV quarterbacks, who will have to make decisions and throws on the move with one of the best secondaries in the region and state lurking.
On the other side of the field, it’s no secret that Pine View is going to throw the football. While the ratio of pass to run has been closer to 50-50 throughout the year, the Panthers have established the passing game as their most effective method of moving the football. Coming off his best game of the season (27-of-37, 302 YDS, 3 TD), vs. Cedar, expect Brown to pick up where he left off. And with a multitude of talented receivers, the Panthers will keep the Crimson secondary busy. On the ground, the Panthers will depend on Sanchez and Sersansie, with some quarterback keepers in the mix as well. Defensively, Pine View will face its toughest challenge since Stansbury in week one. Look for the Panthers to try to contain the Mustangs’ ground game and take their chances with Crimson’s air attack.
UP NEXT: Pine View will host Snow Canyon, while Crimson Cliffs travels to Dixie as Region 10 play continues next Friday, Oct. 7.