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4A high school football Week 6 takeaways: It was all about the last second thrillers, with 7 games decided by a touchdown or less

SHARE 4A high school football Week 6 takeaways: It was all about the last second thrillers, with 7 games decided by a touchdown or less

Stansbury hosts Park City in a high school football game in Stansbury Park on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. 

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Three, three, three, four, five, five and seven.

Those numbers — point totals in this case — were the difference between victory and defeat for 14 of the 4A classification’s teams this week.

Going back to Sky View’s victory over Ridgeline on Thursday night and ending with Park City’s triumph over Stansbury late Friday night, seven of the classification’s 11 games in Week 6 were decided by a touchdown or less.

There were game-winning touchdown catches, last second field goals, clutch fourth down conversions and multiple goal line stands.

Basically, everything a football fan could want.

Sky View and Ridgeline got it all started in a clash between the top two ranked teams in 4A. Entering the game, both the Bobcats and RiverHawks were undefeated, but Sky View got the better of the Ridgeline by a score of 17-14 (box score).

It wasn’t at all easy. Sky View struggled offensively, especially in the first half, while the RiverHawks controlled play for most of the third and fourth quarters.

In the end, it took a forced fumble with under a minute to play, as well as a clutch 28-yard field goal by kicker Kasen Erickson with nine seconds left, for the Bobcats to remain unbeaten.

“The thing about Kasen Erickson is he kicks all day every day,” Sky View head coach Chris Howell told the Deseret News. “There is not another kicker in the state that I’d rather have in that situation. He executed and he did a great job.”

Speaking of kickers, Ryan Wooley joined Erickson with a game-winning field goal of his own in Crimson Cliffs’ 10-7 win (box score) over Hurricane. The Mustangs trailed most of the game, until Creed Leonard tied things up at 7-7, with a one-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

Then, with 11 seconds remaining, Wooley drilled a 30-yard field goal to give Crimson Cliffs the come-from-behind victory.

“Ryan, a junior, came in clutch to get us the win,” Crimson Cliffs head coach Jaron Tate said. “We struggled in the first half offensively, but ran the ball well in the second half. Our defense continues to play well. Coach Wayne (Alofipo) has that group prepared.”

Watch replay: Crimson Cliffs 10, Hurricane 7

Great defensive play helped Green Canyon eke out a win over Mountain Crest.

The Wolves defeated the Mustangs 10-6 (box score), and while quarterback Jake Lundin and Jacob Regen combined for a 23-yard touchdown and Carson Gerber added a 23-yard field goal, it was all about the defense, said Green Canyon head coach Craig Anhder.

“It was all about defense,” he said. “Our defense was tough and had a great goal line stand at the end of the game. That was the game.”

Specifically, that stand came at the end of a time-consuming 11-play Mountain Crest drive. With just under six seconds remaining and the ball at the Wolves’ 11 yard line, the Mustangs went to the air, only to have wide receiver Terrell Lee stopped short at the one yard line.

Defense played a key role in Dixie’s latest victory as well, a 24-19 win (box score) over Cedar City. The Flyers rallied from a first half deficit, thanks in part to a 17-point third quarter, aided by a defense that held the Reds to only six second half points.

Offensively, Shea Anderson registered a pair or scores, one through the air, the other on the ground, while Avery Anderson had an 87-yard touchdown run and kicker Rene Bernal had a clutch 36-yard field goal.

“We had a couple of big plays on offense,” said Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres. “Defense came up big getting some great stops when they had to. A couple of big field goals by Rene. It was a great team effort in all three phases of the game.”

Watch replay: Dixie 24, Cedar City 19

Logan defeated Bear River 21-18 (box score), holding off a determined Bears team. The Grizzlies played lights out in the first half and held a 14-3 lead at the break.

“We were hitting on all cylinders,” Logan head coach Bart Bowen said.

Bear River adjusted in the second half, however, and pulled within four points following a touchdown reception by Cael Wilcox in the third quarter.

With the game on the line, Logan converted multiple fourth downs, including one that went to Jaylen Sargent for a 27-yard touchdown reception. The other, a conversion by junior receiver Gage Jenson, sealed the win.

“The 4th downs we converted were huge,” said Bowen. “Our kids gritted it out. It feels great to get the Homecoming win for the kids and community.”

Watch replay: Logan 21, Bear River 18

One of the most thrilling wins of the night belonged to Snow Canyon. The Warriors defeated Desert Hills 28-21 (box score), thanks to a last minute — 1:41 remaining to be exact — 32-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Landon Frei to running back Bretton Stone.

Stone was the player of the game and finished with 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns, along with 49 receiving yards and the game-winning score.

The victory held special meaning for the Warriors, given the many battles with Desert Hills over the years.

“Winning at Desert Hills in a region game is great for us,” Snow Canyon head coach Mike Esplin said. “We have battled them in many tight games, but hadn’t won at their place, I believe, since their first year in existence. They (the Thunder) played very tough, as expected. Proud of our team for digging in and gutting it out.

“We made some defensive adjustments that helped stop some deep pass plays. Kids had to learn quick lessons and move on to play better. That’s what we are teaching. Learn fast, adjust as needed and play to the best of your ability at every opportunity. I feel we did that.”

Watch replay: Snow Canyon 28, Desert Hills 21

Closing out the thrillers, in electric fashion, were the Park City Miners. The Miners topped Stansbury 33-28 (box score), in a showdown between two of the best teams in Region 10.

Park City trailed late, really late, but drove 65 yards in the final 20 seconds, a drive that ended with a game-winning 29-yard touchdown reception by sophomore receiver Riley Finlayson.

“Chase (Beyer) dropped it in there, I just caught it,” Finlayson told the Deseret News. “That was one of the best feelings ever, honestly.”

The catch capped off what could only be described as a battle between heavyweights, Park City head coach Josh Montzingo said.

“That was a heavyweight fight tonight,” he said. “We each took each other’s punches. You’ve got to play to the whistle, that final whistle, and we managed to make a play right at the end.”

Watch replay: Park City 33, Stansbury 28

As close and as thrilling as the majority of games were, not every contest was storybook. In some cases, three to be specific, the better team emerged in dominant fashion.

Cedar Valley, Mountain View and Pine View all won by at least 29 points, having controlled play from start to finish.

The Aviators defeated the Uintah Utes 42-13 (box score), picking up their third win this season in the process.

It was a great game in all three phases, Cedar Valley head coach Weston Zabriskie said.

“It was a great all-around game, on offense, defense and special teams,” he said. “Our coordinators did a great job game planning and the boys executed it very well.”

None more so than quarterback Payton Weber. Weber threw five touchdown passes, three to Lucas Peck and two to EJ Larsen. Vili Mausia also rushed for a score for Cedar Valley, in what was the Aviators best performance to date.

The same could be said about Mountain View, although earlier wins over Timpanogos and Uintah make that claim debatable.

Either way, the Bruins handled the Ben Lomond Scots 49-10 (box score), and improved to 5-1 on the year, 3-0 in region.

Mountain View started strong against the Scots, particularly on defense, forcing repeated 3-and-outs by Ben Lomond’s offense. Those stops led to scoring drives, by the end quite a few of them as Mountain View scored 35 points in the first quarter alone. The Bruins also forced multiple turnovers in the game, all without coughing up the ball even once.

“We came out ready to play,” Mountain View head coach Tyler Anderson said. “We had a great first quarter and just a great overall game. Happy to be 3-0 in region.”

After losing their season opener against Ridgeline in heartbreaking fashion, the Pine View Panthers have been a tear, with wins over Highland, Park City, Desert Hills and Cedar City in recent weeks.

You can add Canyon View to the list of the fallen, as Pine View handily took down the Falcons 67-27 (box score).

Pine View actually trailed 7-0 early on, but then proceeded to reel off 56 consecutive points. Quarterback Brayden Bunnell threw four touchdown passes, while Dominque Mckenzie had touchdown receptions of 50 and 30 yards and a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown. In the end, five different Panthers found the end zone, many multiple times.

For the third straight week, though, the greatest praise was reserved for the Panthers’ offensive line, a unit that at this point has to be considered among the team’s best.

“Once again I feel our offensive line did a tremendous job,” Pine View head coach Ray Hosner said, before adding that Bunnell “really managed the game well.”

Watch replay: Pine View 67, Canyon View 27

The final game of the weekend, Ogden versus Tooele, wasn’t exactly a blowout or a thriller, as the Tigers defeated the Buffaloes 21-7 (box score).

It was a vital bounce back win for Ogden, as the team had dropped back-to-back games against Mountain View and Park City after starting the season a perfect 3-0.

Running back Logan Shobe continued his strong play — he rushed for over 250 yards, with three touchdowns — but it was the Tigers’ defense that proved the difference. That group made three key goal line stands, stops that in essence won the game.

“Very big game for the Tigers and our defense led the charge,” Ogden head coach Erik Thompson said. “We knew it would be a hard fought battle. Both teams were coming off disappointing losses. It was going to be a battle of who could show some grit, play with passion and be mentally tough. Offensively, it was a sloppy game, a lot of penalties. What our defense did, those three goal line stands, and a clutch offensive drive to end the game was enough.”

Watch replay: Ogden 21, Tooele 7