High school football: Hurricane stays perfect, dismantles Desert Hills for Region 9 title
Samantha Clemens, The Spectrum
ST. GEORGE — No one can blame Desert Hills for their game plan Thursday night.
The Thunder, facing one of the state's premier running backs in Hurricane's Brian Scott, were determined to slow the bruising back, make someone else beat them.
Mission accomplished, sort of. Scott, who averages 144 yards a game rushing, was held to 75 yards, but Hurricane's wingbacks in their vaunted Wing-T went crazy and the Tigers quieted the Thunder 35-8 on senior night at Desert Hills.
Weston Yardley sprinted the sidelines for a 58-yard score on Hurricane's first possession, and Adam Thompson put the game away early in the fourth quarter on a 65-yard dash as Hurricane showed real diversity.
Thompson had 111 rushing yards, Yardley ran for 85 and had 74 receiving and quarterback Taylor Parker completed all eight of his pass attempts (for 164 yards) as the Tigers continued their perfect season, improving to 8-0 overall and clinching the Region 9 top seed with a 5-0 region record.
"Our line played the biggest game they could have played," Thompson said. "They really came out and did it for us. And speed is a big part of the football game and I was lucky to be given that gift."
There was high tension in the air to start the game and both teams came out with hard hits. But Hurricane grabbed the momentum early. The Tigers stopped Desert Hills on fourth down in Hurricane territory on the game's first drive.
Hurricane's offense then swaggered onto the field. A fake handoff to Scott sucked in the defense and Yardley took the pitch around the left side. The senior back made one cut then sprinted for the sidelines. Desert Hills was left helpless as the speedster rallied down the sideline untouched.
"Everything went good for us tonight,"Yardley said. "We had a good game plan. We wanted to be physical and do what we do."
After forcing a Thunder punt, Hurricane struck again. Scott, who averages a basketball-like 17 points a game, notched his first TD of the night on a 3-yard dive that capped a more methodical 11-play, 69-yard drive.
Perhaps the biggest moment of the game came just before halftime. Desert Hills looked like it would make a game of things with a second quarter drive. The Thunder drove inside the Hurricane 30-yard line with under two minutes until the break.
But the Tigers used a pair of sacks and a well-used time out to get the ball back with 1:24 left. Parker then found Yardley on a quick button-hook to the right side. The speedy back broke the defensive backs arm tackle and sprinted all the way to the Desert Hills 7-yard line.
Scott scored his second TD of the game on the next play and a potential close game became 21-0 at the half.
"It was one of those nights," Desert Hills head coach Jake Nelson said. "Hurricane's a great team. There was real hitting going on. We're really banged up and we didn't do ourselves any favors either."
Yardley scored on a fake field goal pass from Zach Prince in the third quarter and Thompson added his TD that made it 35-0 on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The win clinches a fourth straight region title for 8-0 Hurricane, while Desert Hills (6-2) will battle to capture second place in Region 9 when it plays at Cedar next Thursday. The Tigers out-gained Desert Hills 468-200 in total offense.
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