It was a rebounding week for the Crimson Cliff Broncos, who crushed Desert Hill 21-14 after 274 yards, Steele Barben’s two points and a defense caused all three errors.
Desert Hill started with less than 30 seconds left and Jace Sweeten intercepted sophomore quarterback Bowall in the fourth and first quarters to secure the Broncos victory.
It was Crimson Cliffs’ second straight key save after tucking Wall on fourth and 2 on the previous possession.
“We did a lot at the back,” Mustangs head coach Wayne Alofipo said. “We tried several covers, trying to draw them into something. We had a feeling they were going to shoot because of the timing, so we covered it for deep protection, and we guessed it right.
On Friday, the Broncos defense gave up 49 points to Timpview after scoring just 10 points in its first two games. Second ranked team statewide with over 650 personnel Offensive yards against the Broncos.
“We just couldn’t get them to be physically good,” Alofipo said. “I am delighted that the children are recovering physically, mentally and emotionally, and tonight it shows the mental strength they have overall.”
The Alofipo club responded massively and almost halved that number in the District 10 opener, keeping the Thunder to 357 yards.
“It was a big physical offense. From the O-Line with Stewart (Taufa) up front, then to those running backs and receivers, they were big and physical. Yeah, they missed theirs. The quarterback- star fullback, it’s bad for them, and it’s obviously good for us because they have to put a young man there.
Noah Fuaiettolo is out for the third game in a row after suffering a knee injury in the season-opening win over Brighton.
Barben’s ability to create something from scratch was on full display all night, especially on the first Crimson Cliffs ride.
Facing fourth and tenth on Desert Mountain 23, Alofipo decided to roll the dice early and paid the dividend.
Babon went into the pocket and hit Jordan Eaton inside the 5-yard line, and the 6-4 receiver did the rest, putting Crimson Cliffs on the plate first.
The junior quarterback completed 18/31 passes.
The Crimson Cliffs defense allowed Desert Hills to start the night with two 3-pointers as Babon separated the Thunder defense.
Teden Morris gave the Thunder a shot from the bench on a 48-yard touchdown, passing two Mustangs in the process.
“A big game in the first half hurt us and that put them on the shelf,” Alofipo said. “It’s just four or five missed tackles. We just have to improve and make sure we bring back good defenders like this, contain them and let them win every yard.
Desert Hills scored in the Crimson Cliffs red zone late in the first half after Mason Topalian’s 5-yard touchdown.
Sophomore quarterback Bowall knocked down Lincoln Holmes and Brock Baker held the touchdown lead with an interception with 30 seconds left in the half.
Baker had a great game in the third quarter, getting caught off guard by a turnover from Morris.
Six games later, Babon teamed up with Tyler West for a 65-yard drive.
Morris ran for one yard to cut the lead to seven. Morris had 139 yards on 19 carries.
Crimson Bluffs topped Division 10 with a win over pre-season Division 10 favorites.
“I don’t know how we became favourites. It was a win in the first game in the region,” Alofipo said. “You can’t put too much stock right now. It’s just a win. Every week, in this area, people’s favorites change.
The victory was also the first in the history of the Crimson Cliffs program on the desert mountain.
“Don’t get me wrong, we beat this team tonight because of all the teams before us,” Alofipo said. “Our previous team, every year you see improvement, we’ve built this program. From one win in the first season, four wins in the second season, from last year’s state game to this year , this is an improvement.
Crimson Cliffs will take on Snow Canyon next week. The Warriors ended a two-game slide with a 20-17 win over the Cedars on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Hunter Johnson had 191 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Will Warner brought a key six for the Warriors in the third quarter.
Next, Desert Mountain will host North Sampit.
Sean Ellertson is a sports reporter for St. George Spectrum & Daily News. To continue supporting his work, subscribe to The Spectrum. Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanEllertson.