Facebook Twitter

4A high school football Week 5 takeaways: Region title races starting to take shape

Whether it be in Region 9, 10 or 11, title contenders are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

SHARE 4A high school football Week 5 takeaways: Region title races starting to take shape
merlin_2826695.0.jpg

FILE: Snow Canyon’s Landon Frei (9) carries the ball while attempting to break the sack from Cyprus’ Fisi Tuatonga (9) during a high school football game at Cyprus High School in Magna on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.

Yukai Peng, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Just two weeks into region play — one week for Region 11 — it is absurd to suggest that region races are already over. The majority of the season has yet to be played and with the threat of COVID-19 cancelations looming every week, anything is possible still.

As of this weekend, sixteen out of the 22 teams in the 4A classification are only a game away from sitting at the top of their region standings, including the whole of Region 11.

An upset win here, a surprising loss there and region title races could be completely upended.

And yet, as early in the season as it is, a real argument can be made that region title races are already beginning to take shape.

Take Region 9. There might still be five weeks of football left before the postseason, but Snow Canyon, Pine View and Dixie have established themselves as the teams to beat.

A combined 10-4 on the year, 6-0 in region play, the Warriors, Panthers and Flyers have combined to beat all but one team in Region 9, excluding each other. On Friday night, the trio combined to defeat their opponents 112-21.

The Warriors led the way, as they have been wont to do this season, with a dominant 44-0 victory (box score) over Hurricane.

Snow Canyon started slowly, scoring just two first quarter points, but after some needed adjustments erupted for 21 points in both the second and third quarters.

Quarterback Landon Frei was the standout, as he completed 16 of 17 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns.

“We had a crisp week of practice and felt prepared,” Snow Canyon head coach Mike Esplin said. “But Hurricane played hard. They threw some different looks at us early, looks that were different than what we had seen on film, especially defensively. It took some time for us to adjust, but I’m proud of our coaches and student athletes being able to make the needed changes. We were physical and able to go quick on offense at times. That really helped us to be successful.”

Watch replay: Snow Canyon 44, Hurricane 0


Under head coach Ray Hosner, Pine View has been know for its high powered and quick attacking offense, which was on display against Cedar City. The Panthers scored early and often in their 55-21 win (box score) over the Reds, powered by quarterback Brayden Bunnell, who completed 29 of 41 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns.

The Panthers scored in every quarter of the game, and while Cedar City hung close — the Reds were within striking distance through the first three quarters — a 20-point fourth quarter was all Pine View needed to run away with it.

Hosner credited Bunnell — “He is starting to manage the game better,” he said — but the win in his mind was the result of the strong play on the Panthers’ offensive line, as well as that of an opportunistic defense.

“I thought once again our offensive line played well,” said Hosner. “Defensively, we played really well and created five turnovers.”

Watch replay: Pine View 55, Cedar City 21


Unlike Snow Canyon and Pine View, Dixie didn’t produce many offensive fireworks in their 13-0 win (box score) over Desert Hills.

Slugfest is an appropriate descriptor for a game that went three quarters before a team was able to find the end zone, which Dixie did when quarterback Bronson Barben hit Joshua Barney for a 24-yard score in the final period.

After suffering close loses to Springville, Roy and Mountain View during the preseason, the Flyers will take wins any way they can, though, and against the Thunder Friday night they secured the victory in the most fitting of ways — with a goal line stand on their own two-yard line.

“Our defense played well as a unit,” head coach Blaine Monkres said. “We had a great goal line stand that helped seal the win.”

Watch replay: Dixie 13, Desert Hills 0


The only Region 9 team that hasn’t lost to either Snow Canyon, Pine View or Dixie is Crimson Cliffs, and after losing to Cedar City in their region opener last week, the Mustangs got back into the win column with a 40-7 (box score) triumph over Canyon View.

Creed Leonard rushed for four of the Mustangs’ six touchdowns, while quarterback Tyler Brown threw for a score and ran for another.

Crimson Cliffs held Canyon View scoreless through the first half, while scoring a touchdown in every frame.

It was exactly the kind of bounce back win the Mustangs needed, said head coach Jaron Tate.

“It was a great win for our team,” he said. “After a loss like we had last week, where we made a lot of mistakes, it was good for us to execute a game plan and see success. Everyone in the program did their job and that was the difference.”

Watch replay: Crimson Cliffs 40, Canyon View 7


Much like in Region 9, Region 10 has seen a trio of teams step to the forefront as likely contenders for the division crown.

After Friday night’s action, Mountain View, Park City and Stansbury are all 2-0 in region play, all fresh off of convincing victories.

The Bruins trounced the Uintah Utes 49-0 (box score). Quarterback Jackson McCarty, a sophomore who made his first career start, was nearly flawless, throwing three touchdown passes, while the Bruins’ defense forced four game-altering turnovers .

“Our kids played hard tonight,” Mountain View head coach Tyler Anderson said. “Defense was lights out and our offense rallied around our sophomore quarterback that had to start for us this week. It was a good win and we are glad to be 2-0 in region.”


That held true for Park City as well. The Miners defeated Ogden 48-3 (box score) in what can only be described as a complete and dominant performance. The Park City defense refused to give up a single touchdown, allowing only a 47-yard field goal by Ogden kicker Isaac Wilson.

As for offense, quarterback Brayden Beyer threw two touchdown passes and running back Max Alford rushed for two additional scores.

“Great team win tonight,” said Park City head coach Josh Montzingo. “Very proud of the boys and their effort in every phase of the game. Always great to get a win in region play.”


Stansbury, meanwhile, continued its strong start to the season, defeating crosstown rival Tooele 44-21 (box score).

The Stallions started quickly, scoring 20 first quarter points, while shutting out the Buffaloes. When Tooele threatened to make it a game early in the second quarter, following a touchdown reception by Mateaki Helu, Stansbury responded by scoring 17-unanswered points to pull away.

Quarterback Kru Huxford continued his strong play, rushing for a touchdown and throwing for another, and Nate Bushnell added three rushing touchdowns for the the Stallions.

It was the Stansbury defense, though, that was the most impressive, per head coach Eric Alder.

“Defense led the way,” he said, “by creating seven turnovers. A convincing win for the Stallions.”


In other Region 10 action and much like Crimson Cliffs, Cedar Valley bounced back from a loss with a 28-21 win (box score) over Ben Lomond.

Vili Mausia rushed for three touchdowns to lead the way for the Aviators — quarterback Payton Weber connected with receiver KJ Fisher for the other Cedar Valley score.

The play of Cedar Valley’s defense was the difference in game, however, according to head coach Weston Zabriskie.

“Our defense came up big with some huge stops,” he said. “Right when we needed them.”


Thanks to its smaller size when compared to the other regions in 4A, Region 11 kicked off region play Friday night and the action, by and large, went as expected.

Defending state champion Sky View continued its recent dominance with a 42-14 win (box score) over Green Canyon.

The Bobcats struck early and often, thanks to Utah State commit Isaac Larsen. The defensive back/wide receiver caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kason Carlsen to kick off scoring in the game and then later, returned an interception 92-yards for a touchdown.

Running back/linebacker Walter Collins also had a pick-six, his went for 68-yards, while Carlsen finished with three touchdown passes.

“Offensively, we were able to hit some big plays early,” said Sky View head coach Chris Howell. “Then we settled in and were pretty consistent for most of the night. Defensively, we struggled to contain Jake Lundin, but the two pick-sixes became big momentum changers. Isaac and Walter had big games, on both sides of the ball.”


Ridgeline is the only other remaining unbeaten team in Region 11, and at this point is the primary challenger to Sky View.

The RiverHawks had to sweat a bit Friday, as Bear River came out swinging, but Ridgeline ultimately walked away with a 34-27 win (box score).

The Bears took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the RiverHawks weathered the barrage and then scored 17 consecutive points themselves. From then on, it was a slugfest, with Bear River winning the second half.

Four touchdown passes from quarterback Kaden Cox was enough for the RiverHawks, though.

“I was proud of how our kids responded after getting down 14 (points) early,” Ridgeline head coach Travis Cox said. “I thought we did a great job in the pass game and that really helped us gain momentum. Defensively, we gave up too many big plays and have to get that cleaned up.”

Watch replay: Ridgeline 34, Bear River 27


The final game of the night saw Logan look the best it had all season, in a 35-6 win (box score) over Mountain Crest.

The Grizzlies started slow, but erupted for 21 points in the second quarter and took a 28-0 lead into halftime, cruising to victory from there. Quarterback Kody Kirk threw a pair of touchdown passes and Jacob Tegt returned an interception 85 yards for another score.

“The team played great tonight,” Logan head coach Bart Bowen said. “The defense stopped their run and forced them into throwing situations. The offense played really well distributing the ball to our playmakers. That was an all-around team win tonight.”

Watch replay: Logan 35, Mountain Crest 6