The Cyprus Pirates got what they wanted - another Region 3 prep football victory and their first 1990 triumph by a double-digit margin. And the Hunter Wolverines got what they needed - another game's experience for the underclass-laden team representing the first-year high school.
Final score in Friday afternoon's affair: Cyprus 34, Hunter 6.Ah, what we have here is a rivalry in the making, if not immediately competitive. Besides the geographical proximity between Magna (Cyprus) and west West Valley City (Hunter), the latter school drew heavily upon the Cyprus population - Kearns and Granger, also - for its first-year student body.
But, alas, the student body is young, with seniors and juniors allowed to choose if they wanted to continue going to the schools where they had been the previous years or if they wanted to become part of Hunter High.
Most athletes chose to stay the current course - and that's why the Wolverine football roster shows fewer than a dozen senior players (only a handful start) and some 20-plus juniors, with the rest being sophomores. "Have you ever tried to coach 50 15-year-olds?" wondered Hunter Coach Mike Fraser, bemoaning the numerous mistakes that he labeled as "young, dumb things."
Let's see - "young, dumb things" include six fumbles lost on at least a dozen bobbled balls by Wolverine players, porous pass protection and some untimely, unthinking penalites.
While Hunter remains winless for 1990, Cyprus finds itself 4-1 overall. "Three-and-oh where it counts," reminded Cyprus Coach Jerry Simonson of the Pirates' Region 3 record. "Last year we were 0-3 at this time."
That was when Simonson was worried that he might wake up some morning and find "for sale" signs on his front lawn. But the Pirates righted their ship, finishing the season strong enough to advance to the 4A quarterfinals. But its so much better to be in control early - to be out in front early.
In control and out in front early describes how Cyprus downed Hunter, with the Pirates in Wolverine territory on all but one of their six first-half possessions. The first one ended on downs at the Hunter 25-yard line, followed by a 27-yard TD run by Sherwin Pearson. After having to punt from its own 14, Cyprus spent its final three drives near the Hunter goal line - a fumble at the Wolverine 4, a 33-yard scoring pass from Gene Jarimillo to Jeff Hatch, and a 41-yard field goal by Adam Duersch.
Meanwhile, Hunter was being held to three fumbles and three punts - one going high into the wind and taking a big backward bounce for 0 net yards.
Cyprus upped its 17-0 halftime lead to 27-0 on a 31-yard FG by Duersch and 12-yard darting-in-different-directions run by Chris Matagi. The TD run was set up by a 40-yard fumble return by Hatch.
Hunter countered for its only TD drive of the day. All-purpose back Auono Laumua (36 carries for 145 yards) carried nine straight times for 60 yards. Then QB Nate Savage turned one of those frequent miscues - a fumbled snap - into a score by scooping up the ball and tossing a 20-yard TD pass to Scott Halowell. A failed conversion pass left the score at 27-6.
Hunter held Cyprus twice, with a blocked punt giving the Wolverines possession at the Pirate 27. However, Savage was hit four plays later at the 13 and coughed up Hunter's third fumble of the half and sixth of the game, with Doug Wren rambling 74 yards with the ball to set up Cyprus' final score - a 6-yard run by Pearson, with Duersch booting his fourth PAT kick.