The visiting Panthers, who were in an unexpected non-playoff situation, were coming off a bye week and wanted to end their disappointing 2011 campaign on a win, as did the host Warriors who were motivated by the extra-special senior night environment.
In the end, Pine View topped the Warriors 28-22 on a night that saw much emotion let loose after the game mostly by outgoing senior football players confronted with the reality of a last prep game ever.
Pine View Coach Ray Hosner said the week of practice, though stung without a playoff date, was special for him.
“Usually you never know when the finality is coming because you’re in the playoffs,” Hosner said. “I took time to reflect and appreciate the kids everyday this week at practice.
“This was the first time where we had a week of practice, on the last game of the regular season, and we knew this game was it for us. I let the young men know that I loved them.”
Actually, Pine View missed the playoffs in 2006 and in 2002, but coaches can be forgiven for their memory lapses.
Hosner's Panthers appeared to be more than suited to go out with a decisive victory. They jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and built a 28-0 lead halfway through the third quarter based on the power of their running game. At halftime, the Panthers had amassed 234 yards of ground game and quarterback Braxton Peterson was leading the charge with his 150 yards and two touchdowns. Peterson also had a 51-yard passing touchdown by the half. The senior captain admitted to having mixed feelings leading up to the game.
“I felt a little sad about this being my last high school game,” Peterson said.
However, he did not let emotion distract from taking advantage of his team’s strengths.
“We’re always confident about our run game," He added. “Our o-line does an awesome job and so there are never concerns about not being able to run the ball.”
Peterson finished with 290 rushing yards on 25 carries, two touchdowns, and passed for another 79 yards on 2-of-5 passing, including two throwing touchdowns. His running comrade, running back Prentiss Miller, complemented with 112 yards on 18 carries.
The Warriors had trouble multiple times in the red zone turning the ball over twice and getting a field goal blocked. But they made the game interesting and tight in the second half.
Warriors’ quarterback Brayden Linde (17-of-35 for 255 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions), powered into the end zone behind his center to get the first Snow Canyon score with 2:25 left in the third quarter. The Warriors capped the 13-play 51-yard drive with a successful two-point play to make the score 28-8.
On the ensuing possession, Warriors’ defensive back Gabe Jensen intercepted a Pine View pass at the Panthers’ 35; in addition, a personal foul was called on the Panthers that ultimately gave the Warriors the ball on the Panthers’ 19-yard line with one second on the third quarter clock. Warriors’ running back Mitch Phillips ran wide of his right tackle and into the end zone for the touchdown and the Warriors made the score 28-15 entering the fourth quarter.
Pine View answered the Warrior comeback threat demonstratively. Pine View’s Miller was inserted on the back line of the kickoff return squad, and made his coaches look brilliant. Miller returned the ball 75 yards to silence the Snow Canyon crowd.
“That’s my first time being on as a kick returner,” Miller said. “It was a lot of fun, I liked it. I would love to do kick returns.”
The Panthers could not cash in on Miller’s return though when Snow Canyon stopped them on a fourth down attempt on the 24-yard line.
The two teams traded unsuccessful possessions until Snow Canyon recovered a Peterson fumble on the Warriors’ 43 with 6:12 remaining on the clock. Peterson was at the end of a 25-yard rush when he was held up and stripped by a host of Warriors’ defenders. It was the classic trying to make something special effort, only to have disaster result play.
“I should have had the ball high and tight right there,” Peterson said. “I was mad at myself, that could have swung the whole game, but I had to get back on defense and help my team.”
Snow Canyon made good on the opportunity three plays later when Linde threw a perfect strike to Daniel Schumacher in the end zone from 37 yards out making the score 28-22 with 5:00 left in the game.
Pine View started the next drive from their 15 and it would be another power exhibition. They marched down the field on nine rushes to the Snow Canyon two-yard line with one minute on the clock. Then on a fourth down Pine View attempted a field goal to no avail, the Warriors had a little life remaining.
As if Miller was some kind of closer for the Panthers, he was inserted into the defensive backfield to help the Panthers’ defense fend off the onslaught of passes that were coming on the desperation Snow Canyon one-minute drill.
Four plays into the Warriors’ possession, Miller intercepted a Linde pass to end the threat and seal the Pine View win.
“I’ve played some spot duty back there in a couple of games,” Miller said. “I was ready for that action.”
The Panthers’ offense gained 407 yards on the ground and totaled 494 in all. Jake Arslanian caught four passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Ty Matavao (15 tackles and two sacks), Austin Gibbs (14 tackles and an interception), Wesley Moeai (12 tackles, and three sacks), and Tyker Olds (one interception) led the Panthers' defensive attack.
The Warriors gained 416 yards and were 8-of-17 on third down attempts, and 2-of-5 on fourth downs. Snow Canyon rushed for 161 yards on 35 rushes. Leading the rush game for the Warriors was Mitch Phillips with 99 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Kallan Webster (four receptions, 55 yards), Daniel Schumacher (three rec. 62 yards, 1 td), and Cooper Robinson (three rec. 53 yards) led the way for Snow Canyon’s vast receiving corps. Seven different Warriors caught passes. Robinson also had a 60-yard kickoff return.
Ben Gottfredson (eight tackles), Taylor Johanson and Trevor Nelson (seven tackles apiece) led the way on defense for Snow Canyon.
Pine View 7 – 14 – 7 – 0 < 28
Snow Canyon 0 – 0 – 15 – 7 < 22
PV < Peterson 60 run (Frieden kick) 2:50
PV < Arslanian 51 pass from Peterson (Frieden kick) 7:12
PV < Peterson 57 run (Frieden kick) 1:09
PV < Arslanian 28 pass from Peterson (Frieden kick) 7:30
SC < Linde 1 run (two-point good) 2:25
SC < Phillips 19 run (Benavides run) 0:02
SC < Schumacher 37 pass from Linde (Benavides kick) 5:01
REGION 9 STANDINGS:
Hurricane 6-0 (9-0 overall)
Desert Hills 4-2 (6-3)
Cedar 4-2 (4-5)
Dixie 4-2 (7-2)
Pine View 2-4 (4-5)
Snow Canyon 1-5 (2-7)
Canyon View 0-6 (2-7)
PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR REGION 9:
Wasatch (5-5) at Hurricane (9-0)October 28 5:00PM
Park City (3-7) at Desert Hills (6-3)TBD
Cedar (4-5) at Judge Memorial (7-3)October 28 5:00PM
Dixie (7-2) at Juan Diego (9-1) October 28 4:00PM
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