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JR Robinson
Canyon View held on for the 42-41 victory over Cedar.

When Robbie Robinson was hired as Canyon View football coach three years ago, he stopped short of guaranteeing a turnaround, but considering his long history coaching out of state he never doubted he’d right the ship at the other high school in Cedar City.

Three years later success has arrived.

Overcoming its own mistakes on Friday night — including a fumble in the final minute that nearly cost it the game — Canyon View held on for the 42-41 victory over Cedar. In Robinson’s previous two games against neighboring Cedar, the Falcons lost 63-2 and 56-19.

“Main thing is we’ve got seniors in the program that have been in the program for three years, they’ve lifted, done all the offseason work, they know the offense now,” said Robinson.

It translated to a 3-0 start for Canyon View, its first since 1998.

In many ways, even though beating Cedar was huge for his program, Robinson believes the 44-28 victory over Beaver in Week 1 was the springboard victory his program needed.

The Beavers rallied to beat Canyon View in last year’s opener, but this year the outcome was never in doubt as the Falcons dominated from start to finish.

Beating a 2A team — no matter how good — is one thing. Beating a 3AA rival that’s owned you is entirely different. Canyon View hadn’t beaten Cedar since 2005 and prior to Friday had only beaten its rivals twice since the school opened in 1997.

On Friday, it dominated physically en route to the victory.

Four turnovers, however, and huge-yardage plays kept the game close. Three of those turnovers came deep in Cedar territory, otherwise Robinson said his team might’ve scored three or four more touchdowns.

The last turnover came with about a minute remaining, and Canyon View in position to take a knee and run out the clock. The fumble gave Cedar a glimmer of hope.

With 37 seconds remaining, Cedar quarterback Mason Fakahua hit Berick Englestead on a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut Canyon View’s lead to 42-41. Instead of kicking the extra point and sending the game into overtime, Cedar opted to go for two and the win.

Robinson wasn’t surprised at all by the decision.

“At that point we had really sort of punished them physically on the ground, and I don’t know if they wanted to go to an overtime,” said Robinson.

Canyon View got the stop, and in the process earned rare bragging rights over its southern rivals.

Quarterback Michael Musto and running backs Payton Higgins and Vasi Jackson have spearheaded the strong start offensively for Canyon View, accounting for all six touchdowns on Friday.

Next up for Canyon View is defending 3AA champion Dixie, which rolled to a 55-30 win last September.

High school football rankings

Class 5A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Bingham 2-1 1

2. Brighton 3-0 2

3. Jordan 3-0 3

4. Davis 3-0 4

5. Lone Peak 3-0 5

Class 4A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Timpview 2-1 1

2. East 2-1 2

3. Springville 3-0 4

4. Maple Mountain 3-0 —

5. Bountiful 2-1 —

Class 3AA

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Pine View 3-0 1

2. Dixie 2-1 4

3. Stansbury 3-0 —

4. Desert Hills 1-2 3

5. Tooele 2-1 5

Class 3A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Juan Diego 3-0 1

2. Juab 3-0 2

3. Canyon View 3-0 5

4. Morgan 2-1 4

5. Union 1-2 —

Class 2A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. South Summit 3-0 1

2. Beaver 2-1 2

3. Summit Academy 2-1 4

4. San Juan 1-2 5

5. Enterprise 2-1 —

Class 1A

Team Rec. Pv.

1. Diamond Ranch 2-0 4

2. Duchesne 1-2 2

3. Rich 0-2 1

4. Kanab 2-1 3

5. Monticello 2-1 5

James Edward is the Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer.