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3A high school semifinals: Bigger, better Tigers beat Rabbits

By Matt Payne

Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Nov. 11 2010 11:49 p.m. MST

Delta quarterback Colin Christensen is sacked for a loss by Hurricane's McCrae Viafanua in 3A football semifinals.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — Bigger and better.

With those two words, Delta coach Russell Henrie summarized just how Hurricane was able to run over, around and through his defense en route to 38 straight points Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

"We threw everything we had at them—we had kids in different positions and tried all sorts of blitzes," Henrie said. "The bottom line is that when you have 11 kids who are bigger and better than your 11 kids then you're going to get beat, no matter how much heart you've got. That's all there is to it in this game."

In reality, Hurricane put the game out of reach early, scoring twice on its first three offensive plays and holding Delta's offense to little or no yardage. Despite the underwhelming start, the Rabbits didn't quit—something that was a theme of sorts for their season.

After losing the first four games of the year—including a 20-8 loss to Hurricane—Delta's hopes of making a run deep into the playoffs looked grim.

Then came eight straight wins, which set up a rematch with the Tigers.

But just like the first game, Delta was no match for Hurricane's strength, size and speed.

"I give coach Homer all the credit in the world," Henrie said. "He's a tremendous coach and he has his kids playing better than I've ever seen them play. Hurricane is a high-quality football team. I just wish we could have given them a better game."

There was no silver lining for Delta after the loss, and Henrie recalled a popular Biblical story—complete with his own uninspiring twist—to aptly describe the night's events.

"We came in here and tried to pull off a miracle upset and just couldn't do it," he said. "Man for man, they just lined up and blew us off the ball—it was like a David and Goliath thing. Once in a while David is going to hit him in the head with a rock, but most of the time Goliath is going to come after you."

Delta's lone bright spot was Hadley Myers, who led the Rabbits with 110 yards on 16 carries. He was also responsible for the team's only score, a 10-yard TD scamper with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Myers finished his senior season with 1,081 yards and 15 scores in his first year as the team's featured back.

"I'm proud of Hadley," Henrie said. "He ran hard tonight, just like he has all year. It didn't look that way tonight, but nobody gave up. We'll be back next year and we'll be swinging as hard as we can."

e-mail: mpayne@desnews.com

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