Region 9 Big Picture: Warriors, Thunder make statements

The Warriors made a statement (and broke a losing streak) with Friday's win over Pine View, Snow Canyon vs. Pine View, Football, St. George, Utah, Sep. 15, 2017 | Photo by Kevin Luthy, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Rewinding back to the Region 9 football Media Day, some eight weeks ago, most folks, both media and coaches alike, picked Dixie, Desert Hills or Pine View to win the region.

Certainly, no one was real high on Snow Canyon winning the region, or even being a contender. After all, it has been years since the Warriors were truly relevant when it came to talking championship material.

But the page may have turned Friday night. Snow Canyon, which was picked to finish fourth in the preseason, beat Pine View with a late touchdown. The win comes on the heels of an ultra-competitive three-point loss to defending region champ Dixie a week ago.

The Warriors, it seems, are back.

And though a region title seems unlikely with that loss to Dixie, Snow Canyon’s physical brand of play has installed them as a state contender. The Warriors didn’t outgain Pine View in total offense, but they did a lot of other important things. SC won the turnover battle (3-1). The Warriors made big plays (two long TD passes). And Snow Canyon scored with its defense (Brock Nowatzke’s scoop-and-score in the first quarter).

All those things together make the Warriors a tough nut to crack, and added up to SC’s first win over Pine View in nearly a decade.

Desert Hills, meanwhile, gave up an uncharacteristic 33 points a game in the preseason. But since region has begun, the defense has turned itself into a fierce fighting machine. In fact, the Thunder have given up less than 100 yards of offense to opponents in two straight games.

Against Cedar Friday night, the D-Hills D was nearly immovable. The Thunder allowed just one yard in the first half (and no first downs) and finished with a stellar 99 yards allowed in the 24-point win over the Redmen.

There was a lot of defense played Friday up at Canyon View as well. Hurricane came away with a 16-3 win, using the Tiger grind-it-out mentality against the Falcons. It was one of those games that leaves fans from both teams wanting a little more (offense? points? big plays?). The only touchdowns of the night came on short runs by Hurricane.

Dixie had the region bye this week, but didn’t rest on its laurels. The Flyers took a big road trip to the San Diego area to battle California 2-AA defending state champ Madison High School. It was a monumental task for Dixie that proved too much to handle in the Warhawks’ 10-point win. But perhaps the biggest win of the night was this: Dixie competed well against a big-time foe, came away with no injuries and even had a chance to rest some key players for the region’s stretch run.

Penalties continue to be a bugaboo for several region teams. Desert Hills and Cedar combined for 28 of them, and Pine View and Snow Canyon teamed up for 18 flagged plays. Dixie had a touchdown and a field goal negated by penalties. Those are issues that somewhere down the road will cost a team a game. Or perhaps, they already have.

Week 5 is in the books. The big picture: Snow Canyon is good. So is Pine View. Desert Hills has a smothering defense. Hurricane and Cedar have hopes for a strong finish and a playoff spot. And Dixie, well, the Flyers showed they can compete on a national stage.

Bring on Week 6!

Friday’s results
Snow Canyon 27, Pine View 20
Desert Hills 37, Cedar 13
Hurricane 16, Canyon View 3
Madison (Calif.) 24, Dixie 14

Next Week’s Games
Canyon View @ Desert Hills
Cedar @ Hurricane
Dixie @ Pine View
Snow Canyon (bye)

Region 9 Standings (Region, overall)
Desert Hills 2-0, 3-2
Dixie 1-0, 4-0
Snow Canyon 1-1, 4-1
Cedar 1-1, 2-3
Hurricane 1-1, 2-3
Pine View 0-1, 3-2
Canyon View 0-2, 0-5

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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