WOODS CROSS — Fans were treated to a dandy Wednesday night when Woods Cross and No. 5 Highland butted heads.
On a night filled with several great plays, the end result was a 31-23 victory for the Wildcats, which leaves the Region 6 playoff picture full of possibilities heading into the final weekend.
For Woods Cross, that final weekend will be spent at home with a bye week, leaving its season up in the air and in the hands of others. But the Wildcats know they did everything they could to extend their season.
"We just kept chanting 'last play, last play' because we knew we had to win to keep our season alive," said Anthony Kendrick. "We did not let ourselves get down after falling behind at the half. It was important for us to keep going, knowing our playoff hopes rested on a win."
Woods Cross scored first, but watched its early lead fade quickly as Highland tacked on three scores in the second quarter to go up 17-7 at the half. The highlight was a 21-yard toss from Anthony Smithson to Nate Fakahafua.
"They (Highland) are a very good team. I was little bit concerned going in at halftime with them having the lead on us," said Woods Cross coach Fred Fernandes. "But we came out and changed the tempo of the game, and it got us going."
The Wildcats used the hurry-up offense to throw Highland off-guard in the second half, and the plan worked. Wood Cross scored on its first possession on a 3-yard run by Kendrick and then tacked on another score on the next drive when Adam Hales picked off Smithson. Hales crossed from sideline to sideline before running it in from 35 yards out. Highland came within a point after a 42-yard field goal by kicker Hayes Hicken, but couldn't climb any closer.
Kendrick scored again in the fourth quarter to extend the lead, and Carson Elliott converted a 32-yard field goal to put Woods Cross up by two scores and seal the victory.
"They came and they brought it up front — hats off to them," said Highland coach Brody Benson. "I didn't see them doing too many different things (in the second half), I think they just wore us down. We looked tired. They looked fresh."5 comments on this story
"They were switching strong side, weak side, so we figured we've got to change the momentum somehow, and that's what we ended up doing," Fernandes said of the hurry-up offense. "The kids did a great job executing."
Kendrick led the Wildcats with two scores and 74 yards rushing. Tyler Parsons threw for 202 yards, including an 81-yard score to Darchon Taggart. Smithson had two touchdowns for Highland, one in the air and one on the ground. Hicken was a highlight on the night, hit field goals from 39, 42 and 45 yards for the Rams.