Cyprus made sure Taylorsville first had the wind in its face, and then added a shotgun.
Trying to neutralize the bigger, stronger Warriors, the fifth-ranked Cyprus Pirates deployed a passing attack from the shotgun formation. The passing proved to be a difference in Cyprus' 21-0 triumph over Taylorsville in Region 3 action Friday afternoon.Cyprus QB Gene Jarimillo completed 11 of 21 attempts for 168 yards while finding leap-happy receivers like Ev Matagi, Long Nguyen and Jeff Hatch.
With the exception of the Cyprus passing attack, the yards were hard to come by for either team. After having Chris Matagi and Sherwin Pearson both rush for more than 100 yards last week, neither could break the 40-yard mark against Taylorsville. In fact, Cyprus' rushing total peaked out at 60 yards for the game.
Meanwhile, Taylorsville was faring much worse. The Warriors managed just one first down in the first half and three more in the second. Taylorsville didn't complete a pass until three minutes remained in the game - unless you count the two that were picked off by Pirate defenders. In all, the Warriors gained 20 yards on two completions in 16 attempts, while the rushing attack netted less than 60 yards.
All this coming from two teams that were among the Region 3 leaders, with each bringing in a respectable winning streak. Cyprus had won four straight games, while Taylorsville's string was three triumphs.
Cyprus purposely took the wind for the second and fourth quarters, which worked to the Pirates' advantage since the game was scoreless going into the final period. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jarimillo hit Ev Matagi for 15 yards, then added an 18-yard toss to Nguyen to set up Pearson's 9-yard TD run.
After two futile possessions by both teams, Taylorsville looked desparate in trying to spark its offense - but the spark backfired. An Aaron Payne pass from the "duck" formation - all but the center and QB lined up to a far side of the ball - was picked off by Cyprus' Todd Oldham, with Jarimillo passing 11 yards to Hatch three plays later for the Pirates' second TD.
The Warriors attempted an end-around reverse on its next play, with Oldham forcing a fumble and Iloa Vakapuna picking up the ball for a 22-yard TD return. Adam Duersch booting his third PAT kick for the 21-0 final score.
Cyprus is 5-2 overall and 5-0 in the league; Taylorsville is 4-3 and 3-2.