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A romp despite long trip

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ST. GEORGE — The negatives in Mountain Crest's 500-mile trip to St. George Wednesday for a non-region matchup with Snow Canyon heavily outweighed the positives. It may take several weeks before the Class 4A Mustangs reap the benefits of their 56-20 win over the Warriors.

The negatives: taking a very long trip with the chances of possibly losing to a 3A school and getting someone hurt.

The positives: a win and a chance to work out some kinks in their offense.

Quarterback Ryan Zimmerman completed 20-of-33 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns and he also rushed for two more. Nate Jackson rushed for two scores and caught another in the victory.

"It's a positive because we're a young football team and we're able to get kids playing time and work out some things offensively," first year Mustang coach Art Erickson said. "We still have some things to work on before we go back into our region, and hopefully we'll work them out and put ourselves in a position to get into the state tournament."

Using a fast-paced, no-huddle offense, the Mustangs struck early and often in the 26-point victory.

"Snow Canyon doesn't see things offensively like we do," Erickson said. "We were able to take advantage of some defensive miscues they did."

Two plays after Carl Blad's opening kickoff return that put the Mustangs on the Snow Canyon 36, Zimmerman hit Clayton Cook from 19 yards out for the first of Mountain Crest's 35 straight points.

Zimmerman had a two-yard run, Brendan Smith had a 51-yard fumble return, Jackson had a seven-yard run and Blad hauled in a 35-yard strike from Zimmerman in that run.

SC's Louis Lovelady hit Tyler Moore with a 38-yard scoring strike with just under 10 seconds left in the half for the Warriors' first score.

"There's no doubt that Mountain Crest threw an offense at us that we're not used to seeing," Snow Canyon coach Wane Kittrell said. "We didn't execute in any phase of the game in the first half."

Jackson caught a 10-yard touchdown from Zimmerman, and Jackson scored on a four-yard run to start the half, increasing the lead to 49-6.

Lovelady, who threw for 213 yards with two interceptions, had a pair of touchdown passes to Remington Rainey and Ben Hartman.

Zimmerman scored the Mustangs' final touchdown on a four-yard run with 4:30 left in the game.

The Warriors (2-3) outgained the Mustangs (4-3) 434 yard to 337 yards, but Mountain Crest took advantage of four SC turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles).

In a losing effort, Clint Graff rushed 22 times for 122 yards.

GAME NOTES: Mountain Crest defensive/offensive lineman Jake Kuresa didn't play for the second straight game because of a broken right foot. He will most likely miss the next game and possibly two . . . Defensive lineman Nick Eliason missed the game with a bad shoulder . . . With his three touchdown passes, Zimmerman is second in the state with 18 behind Hillcrest's Brad Leggat, who threw two Wednesday, upping his total to 23 . . . The 26-point loss to Mountain Crest tied the Warriors' worst loss in school history dating back to 1994 when they lost 26-0 to Pine View.

E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com