Survive and advance. That's what Cottonwood did in its 19-14 victory over Pine View in the 4A semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium this morning.
The Colts built a 19-0 lead before having to hold off a valiant effort by the Panthers. Pine View scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and had a realistic shot at taking the lead late in the game. But quarterback Justin Ence was stopped short on a fourth-and-2 run at Cottonwood's 5-yard line with less than three minutes remaining, and the Colts were then able to run out the clock.
Isi Sofele scored three touchdowns and rushed for 139 yards. His third score of the game, which occurred with 7:21 left in the third quarter, seemed to seal the win for the Colts.
The Panthers quickly responded, as Ence scored on touchdown runs of 12 and 39 yards. He ran for 144 yards on 25 carries, and also threw for 112 yards.
Cottonwood, 13-0, advances to play the winner of the Timpview-Mountain Crest game in the 4A championship game next Friday. Pine View finishes the season with an 10-2 record.