CEDAR CITY — A highly anticipated rematch of 1A heavyweights was just that as the Rich Rebels dramatically came from behind in the final minute of the game to defeat Kanab, 19-14.
Rich jumped out on top first as quarterback McKay Jarman hit junior Jayden Wallentine in the second quarter for a 73-yard strike. Kanab then found the end zone with 3:26 remaining in the first half as Aaron Foster scored from two yards out.
Rich opened the second half by halting the Cowboy opening drive, but the ensuing punt was fumbled by Rich and was recovered by Kanab's Monte Glover. The Rebel defense again stopped Kanab, but with fourth down at the Rich 15, a pass interference gave the Cowboys new life as Devin Houston hit paydirt, giving Kanab a 13-6 lead.
Rich then went on a 10-play drive that culminated in a one-yard plunge by Joseph Leifson to pull the Rebels within one.
Quarterback Merrill Terry led the Cowboys with 107 yards rushing and connected with Hadin Jones seven times for 97 yards. Rich was again led by its three-headed rushing attack of Jarman, Cache Sabey and Leifson as it controlled the ball and the clock with 30 rushes for 178 yards.
Kanab led 14-13 with 6:30 remaining in the game and started a drive from its own 15-yard line. Terry completed a 26-yard pass and a 19-yard pass, both to Jones, giving the Cowboys possession at the Rebel 35-yard line.
After two straight short runs led to a third down, two straight penalties by the Cowboys pushed them back to the Rich 45-yard line, which led to a Cowboy punt that was downed at the Rebel 8-yard line with 2:00 remaining in the game.
The Rebels used their two-minute offense perfectly as Jarman found Leifson down the sideline for a 41-yard gain. Two plays later, Sabey ran to the Cowboy 40 and was hit out of bounds. The penalty gave Rich the ball at the Kanab 25-yard line.
Two plays later, Jarman rolled to his right, stopped and threw back to his left as Wallentine leaped over two defenders and caught the ball for a touchdown with one minute remaining.
"Our receivers worked nonstop all game long," Jarman said. "Our offensive line did a great job blocking to give me time to make the final pass."
Rich will look to avenge a one-point loss to Duchesne earlier in the year as it battles the Eagles in the championship game next week.
High school football: Kanab vs. Rich
Highlights of Rich vs Kanab 1A semi-final game played Nov 8, 2013
Jerad Ciarus graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications from Southern Utah University.
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