ST. GEORGE There is no truth to the rumor that Pine View's Riley Dias drives the team bus and prepares team meals, but the senior did just about everything else for the Panthers in a 37-16 playoff victory over Cyprus Saturday afternoon in Panther Stadium.
Dias had 150 return yards, 91 receiving yards, 6 rushing yards, a handful of tackles and tipped balls defensively and the all-purpose back threw his first career touchdown pass to help Pine View pull away from the Pirates.
"Isn't he something?" Pine View head coach Ray Hosner said. "Besides all the things you notice on offense and defense, we didn't have to deal with bad field position once in this game because of his amazing kick and punt returns."
It was a see-saw game for most of three quarters. Cyprus shocked the home crowd late in the third by taking a 16-14 lead. But the Panthers went 66 yards in just five plays, with Dias scoring on a 41-yard catch-and-run TD, to regain the lead with 2:41 left in the third quarter.
The rest of the game was owned by Pine View. Cyprus managed just two first downs and 23 yards the rest of the way.
On the Pirates' next possession, Pine View's defense forced a punt. Four plays later, Marinko tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game this one an 8-yard fade pass in the corner of the end zone to Dan Christenson making it 30-16.
"Nick was solid all game passing the ball," Pine View assistant coach Dale Stott said. "I have to give credit to my big hogs up front, too, for giving him time to pass and for opening holes for Travis Tait."
With the score 30-16 midway through the fourth quarter, Cyprus started to move the ball. But on a first down from the 26-yard line, Cyprus running back Dexter Fisher took a handoff up the middle and was immediately rocked by Pine View linebacker Jared Worthington. The ball popped in the air and was recovered by Pine View.
On the next play, Dias took an end-around handoff and tossed a perfect spiral to Robert Evans, who scored untouched with the game-clincher. "We saw on film that Cyprus tended to tire and fade a little late in games," Hosner said. "We just felt like if we came out and played four quarters we would be able to pull away."
Tait finished with 108 yards on 19 carries for the undefeated Panthers (11-0), who play host to Bountiful in the 4A quarterfinals next weekend.