We’re going to have to tackle them as a team. We can’t just put one guy on them; it’s going to be one of those team efforts on defense. Our team desire on defense needs to be better. —Bucky Orton, Kanab football head coach
CEDAR CITY — Four weeks removed from their lopsided meeting in Week 7, the Kanab Cowboys (6-5) and the Rich Rebels (8-2) still sit in each other’s way of a state championship.
In their first match up, the Rebels ran all over the Cowboys, as Cache Sabey racked up 249 yards and three TDs on just 17 touches out of the backfield to spoil Kanab’s homecoming night.
“We don’t have the pressure on us,” said Kanab head coach Bucky Orton. “We got beat 41-13 on our homecoming night; we are the big underdogs here. So let’s go out, have some fun, make some noise and see what we can do.”
The Rebels have been led by their powerful running game, sparked by quarterback McKay Jarman and running back Sabey.
Jarman has rushed for 773 yards and 11 TDs, while also throwing for 368 yards and four more touchdowns to power the Rebels. Sabey has also added 767 yards on the ground with an impressive 13 scores.
“We’re going to have to tackle them as a team. We can’t just put one guy on them; it’s going to be one of those team efforts on defense,” Orton added. “Our team desire on defense needs to be better. We need to force them into some long-yardage situations, instead of allowing third-and-two and third-and-three throughout the game. We’ve got to get them jammed up early.”
Skyler Argyle, who has caught half of Jarman’s TD passes this season, ranks second on the team in both receptions and yards, while also leading the Rebels with a pair of TD catches.
Argyle caught a late touchdown from Jarman last week (against Monticello), while Jarman ran for a couple more to help the Rebels advance to the second round of the 1A tournament.
The Cowboys are led by its dual-threat quarterback, Merill Terry, who leads the team in both passing and rushing yards. Terry has thrown for 1,521 yards, 20 TDs and 11 interceptions on the year, while adding 1,037 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground for Kanab. Terry’s three interceptions on defense also lead the Cowboys.
“We go as Merrill goes. That’s the way it has been all year, and I don’t see it changing at this point in the year,” said Orton of his quarterback. “Merrill is our guy. We are going to put our faith in him to lead us and I think he will do a great job. Hopefully, we will rally behind him and we can give ourselves an opportunity late in the game to have a chance to win.
One of Terry’s favorite targets, Hadin Jones, is extremely explosive on the sidelines and leads the team with 40 receptions for 621 yards and 14 TDs. He also has recorded 41 tackles and one pick on the defensive end. In the Week 7 match up, Hadin was held to just two catches for 35 yards, but did find the end zone to spark the Cowboys in the loss.
“Hayden dislocated his shoulder last week in our game against Milford. He is kind of a game-time decision,” Orton admitted. “He is going to try to play on guts alone, but I don’t see him playing any defense this week.
“We’ve just got to go out, rally around each other, have a good time, enjoy the moment and just play Kanab football the way it’s supposed to be played,” said Orton. “I told my kids all week, ‘Do not let this opportunity pass you up without having some fun and enjoying the moment.”
The Cowboys and Rebels kick off Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Southern Utah University.
Kanab statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 28.9 ppg (3rd in 1A)
Scoring defense: 21.5 ppg (5th in 1A)
Passing leader: Merrill Terry (106-192, 55.2%, 1,521 yards, 20 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Merrill Terry (122 carries, 1,037 yards, 12 TDs), Aaron Foster (56 carries, 421 yards, 3 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Hadin Jones (40 catches, 621 yards, 14 TDs), Luke Foster (25 catches, 312 yards, 2 TDs)
Tackles leaders: Aaron Foster (55 tackles), Alex Foster (53 tackles)
Sack leaders: Not provided
Interception leaders: Merrill Terry (3 INTs)
Rich statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 31.6 ppg (2nd in 1A)
Scoring defense: 18.3 ppg (2nd in 1A)
Passing leader: McKay Jarman (18-46, 39.1%, 328 yards, 4 TDs)
Rushing leaders: Cache Sabey (72 carries, 767 yards, 13 TDs), McKay Jarman (97 carries, 773 yards, 11 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Jayden Wallentine (5 catches, 141 yards)
Tackles leaders: Not provided
Sack leaders: Not provided
Interception leaders: Not provided
Felt’s Facts for Kanab High School
All-time record: 390-223-7 (64 years)
Region championships: 21 (1963, 1964, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 co, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 co, 1994 co, 2002 co, 2004 co, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 co)
Playoff appearances: 44
All-time playoff record: 51-34 (including 2013)
State championships: 9 (1974, 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 2005, 2007)
State championship record: 9-6
Felt’s Factoid(s): Kanab was the last team to shut out every playoff opponent. The Cowboys whitewashed all three opponents in capturing the 1986 Class 1A title. ... Cowboy Bob Ramsey returned six punts for touchdowns during the 1971 season to set a state record.
Felt’s Facts for Rich High School
All-time record: 189-118 (28 years)
Region championships: 4 (1991 co, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Playoff appearances: 29
All-time playoff record: 33-23 (including 2013)
State championships: 5 (1994, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2009)
State championship record: 5-6
Felt’s Factoid(s): Rich has competed in the state playoffs every season in its 28 years of existence.