Rough opening night for Region 9 football as Cedar gets lone win

CEDAR CITY — Week 1 of the high school football season was a rough one for Region 9, as the Cedar City Reds were the only one of the region’s eight teams to post an opening-night win.

Following are short recaps of Friday’s non-region contests involving Region 9 teams.

Cedar City 30, Spanish Fork 27 (OT)

Senior Kolbe Meek scored on a three-yard TD run in overtime to give Cedar City a 30-27 road victory over Spanish Fork. 

Cedar had trailed 16-3 at halftime, but came back to score two TDs in the third quarter. Spanish Fork scored another TD early in the fourth, but the Reds got a late score from Jack Cook’s 36-yard TD reception from Jaron Garrett. The ensuing PAT kick by Taz Chamberlain was good, tying the score at 24-24 and sending the game into overtime. 

The Reds were able to hold the Dons to a field goal on their overtime possession, setting up Meek’s game-winning heroics.

“Offensively we didn’t play very well in the first half, but we started to play a little bit better as we got closer to the second half,” Cedar City head coach Josh Bennett told Cedar City News afterward. “Some of the adjustments we made as we got our quarterback to step up in the pocket. He had started to scramble out of the pocket way too early. We just found a formation and some plays that were working for us and challenged our offensive line to step up, and they did. I know they made some blocking adjustments, too.”

“I felt like we executed better when it came into overtime,” Bennett added. “It was a heck of a game. I’m really proud of our kids, and they showed a lot of heart tonight.”

Beaver 60, Canyon View 7

Beaver at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 16, 2019 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. Goerge News / Cedar City News

At Canyon View, Beaver got the jump on the Falcons, scoring eight touchdowns in the first half and posting a 53-0 halftime lead.

During the second half, which was played under a running clock due to the mercy rule, each team scored one TD, as the Beavers finished with a 60-7 victory. Crayton Hollingshead and EJ Allred each scored two TDs apiece for the Beavers.

After the game, Beaver head coach Jon Marshall told Cedar City News he hadn’t expected a blowout. 

“I expected a close, hard-fought game,” he said. “But our kids came ready to play.”

In the first minute of the game, the Beavers intercepted a pass and ran the ball back to the 3-yard line, after which quarterback Ryker Albrecht scored on the next play to give Beaver an early 6-0 lead with 11:35 left in the first quarter. 

“Our defense played outstanding,” Marshall added. “I thought our offense moved the ball, but our defense gave our offense good field position every series. Our defense was the second-ranked defense in 2A last year, and we have nine starters back. So we’re pretty solid on the defensive side and I thought we were really solid tonight.”

Canyon View’s lone score came early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jake Garrett connected with receiver Brealen Poulos for an 8-yard TD, with kicker Gavin Barlow adding the extra point.

Highland 35, Desert Hills 29

At Desert Hills, time ran out on the Thunder as the Highland Rams escaped with a six-point victory.

Desert Hills had jumped out to a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, but Highland scored three unanswered TDs later in the period to lead at halftime, 21-10.

Highland at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Aug. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

Desert Hills scored the first TD of the second half, but was not able to reclaim the lead, as the Rams tacked on two more TDs to pad their advantage to 35-23.

After both teams successively turned the ball over on downs, the Thunder were able to move into scoring position after a penalty, setting up a 5-yard TD run by Lousiale Taufa with less than two minutes remaining. The Thunder missed the PAT attempt, leaving the score at 35-29. That ended up being the final, as Desert Hills was not able to recover a last-ditch onside kick attempt, leaving the Rams to run out the clock for the win.

Desert Hills quarterback Logan Wilstead passed for two TDs and rushed for another.

East 47, Snow Canyon 14

At Snow Canyon, 6A powerhouse East scored the game’s first three TDs to claim an 18-0 lead early in the second quarter (all three conversion attempts failed).

East at Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Aug. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

The Warriors then got on the board as Ryan Bethers made an 83-yard kickoff return for a TD.  

However, the Leopards responded with a kick return TD of their own on the very next play, as  Nicolas Session broke loose for a 91-yard score.

East went on to lead 33-7 at the half and finished the game with a 47-14 advantage.

Manti 27, Crimson Cliffs 14

Playing at Manti, Crimson Cliffs, Region 9’s newest team, managed to take a 7-0 lead at halftime, thanks to a 42-yard pass from Gunnar Orr to Ammon Smith.

Despite being shut out in the first half, the Templars then scored four unanswered TDs in the second half to pull away for good. Smith caught an 80-yard TD pass in the final minutes to give the Mustangs their second TD of the game.

Ridgeline 58, Pine View 56

In a back-and-forth offensive battle at Ridgeline High in Millville, the Pine View Panthers racked up 56 points on eight touchdowns, only to fall short by two points to the Riverhawks.

Pine View’s Daylor Rymer caught five TD passes and teammate Dayson Moore caught two more, with all seven scoring throws coming from senior QB Macloud Crowton.

Ridgeline’s equally impressive offense was paced by Jovesa Damuni, who rushed for five TDs, including the go-ahead score with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were unable to answer after that point.

Springville 21, Dixie 20

At Springville, the Red Devils outlasted Dixie 21-20, with a missed extra point in the fourth period proving costly for the Flyers.

Dixie trailed 14-7 at halftime but CJ Schultz caught a 30-yard pass from Dixie QB Reggie Graff midway through the third to tie the game 14-14.

Dixie then went ahead 20-14 early in the fourth when Graff made a 9-yard scoring run, but the ensuing PAT kick attempt failed. 

Then, with just over five minutes remaining, Springville QB Payton Murphy scored on a 2-yard TD run, after which Zackery Antonio’s successful PAT kick proved to be the game-winner, as neither team scored again.

Juab 41, Hurricane 30

At Hurricane, the Tigers got off to a promising start as Ian Lambert made a 78-yard scoring run in the first quarter to give the home team an early 6-0 lead.

However, Juab scored four unanswered TDs to pull away during the second and third quarters.

Two TD passes in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter from Hurricane QB Brock Starley to Clayton Warr brought the Tigers within 11 points, but time ran out on Hurricane’s late rally.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.