The road to a Region 11 title continues to get less bumpy for the Ridgeline football program, which coasted to a 56-20 victory over Mountain Crest last Friday in Millville.
It was a Friday night full of blowouts as Sky View, Green Canyon and West Side all prevailed by at least 31 points. The one exception among local teams that won was Preston, which held on for a big 27-26 triumph at home over perennial 4A state power Blackfoot.
Led by quarterback Kaden Cox and receiver Strat Simmons, Ridgeline (7-0, 3-0 region) put together 511 yards of total offense and seven touchdowns. Cox finished the game 21 of 33 passing for 377 yards and six touchdowns — all in the first three quarters. Meanwhile, Simmons contributed with 208 receiving yards and four TDs.
“Offensively, we were playing pretty well,” Ridgeline head coach Travis Cox said. “I think obviously Strat had an amazing first half, and we don’t see those very often, so that was fun to kind of watch him do his thing.”
The Mustangs (1-6, 0-3 region) finished with 295 yards of total offense, had 10 penalties for 95 yards and stopped the Ridgeline offense on just one of its eight defensive possessions.
Preston Lofthouse threw TD passes to Garrett Austin and Kolton Kirby for Mountain Crest, which got a defensive score from Dan Bindrup. Jackson Olsen found paydirt three times for the Riverhawks — the final time on a 95-yard kickoff return. Star running back Noah White also scored for Ridgeline.
Meanwhile, the Sky View-Logan game was very competitive for a half, but the Bobcats (4-3, 2-1) exploded for 35 points over the final two quarters, while holding the short-handed Grizzlies (5-2, 2-1) scoreless. The end result was a 42-7 Sky View win at Crimson Field.
“I was really proud with the way they responded,” SV head coach Christopher Howell said. “It came down to a couple of kids, especially on the defensive side of the ball, making a couple of plays to get the momentum going. Once we got the momentum going, I thought we got a little bit of our edge back. That’s a big thing, huge.”
Sky View quarterback Garrett Zollinger finished with 56 yards rushing, including a 36-yard score, plus passed for 237 yards on 18 of 23 attempts and had two TDs — one to Kimball Jackson and Jaxson Foster. The Bobcats finished with 414 yards of total offense — 287 of those after halftime.
Truman Moser rushed for a pair of scores for Sky View, which got a special teams touchdown from Brevin Egbert when the visitors blocked a punt.
The Grizzlies, who got 107 yards receiving and a TD from Gage Jenson, were already without starting running back and linebacker Matthew Mason because of an injury. Jaelin Hoth filled in well, carrying the ball 13 times for 92 yards in the first half, but came up gimpy and had just one rush in the second half, finishing with 93 yards on the ground.
Green Canyon (6-1, 2-1) scored points on all four of its possessions in the opening half and coasted to a 38-7 victory over visiting Bear River (0-7, 0-3). The Wolves’ first four wins this season were by a combined 10 points, and they needed a late fourth-quarter TD pass to beat Mountain Crest, 21-14, the previous week.
“Our kids played with relentless effort tonight,” GC head coach Craig Anhder said. “And they learned how to play a more complete game. They also did their job at a higher, more consistent way. It was a fun night of football.”
It was a balanced offensive performance for Green Canyon, which got 216 yards passing from Jack Stephens, and a combined 158 yards on the ground from Stephens (43 yards), Gavin Christiansen (10-54) and Caden Stuart (9-61), who also chipped in with 76 yards receiving. Stephens was very efficient through the air as he completed 14 of 19 passes.
Brody Hamann intercepted a Bear River pass and sprinted 28 yards down the east sideline to paydirt earlier in the third quarter. The final exclamation point was provided by sophomore running back Eric Oates, who scored on an impressive 13-yard run.
In addition to Hamann, Green Canyon’s strong defensive effort was highlighted by Peyton Johnson and Taite White, who teamed up for 27 tackles — 15 by Johnson and 12 by White.
Preston (4-1) stuffed Blackfoot (2-3) on a two-point conversion run with 42.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, recovered the ensuing on-side kick and held on for a 27-26 Homecoming win. Three of Preston’s four wins have been by a single point.
“For Preston, I feel it is a huge win to establish a tradition of being a solid program,” Preston head coach Eric Thorson said. “As exciting as this is for our seniors, I’m looking around at the third- and fourth-graders looking on and cheering, and dreaming of their turn. It is special for Preston.”
Preston quarterback Brecker Knapp threw for 184 yards and three touchdowns — all of them well-executed fade routes to 6-foot-3 wide receiver Tyler Lindhardt. Knapp also found the end zone on a 1-yard keeper to cap off an epic seven-plus-minute third-quarter march for the Indians, winners of three straight.
Emery Thorson led a solid Preston rushing attack with 76 yards, while sophomore Colton Francis chipped in with 55. Lindhardt finished with 103 yards on seven receptions.
Ashton Madsen came up big for the Indians on defense as he intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and made a team-high nine tackles. Emery Thorson contributed with eight tackles for the Indians, who also got an INT from Cord Eavenson.
Visiting Bear Lake (2-3, 0-1) was no match for West Side, which extended its program record winning streak to 26 with a 42-8 drubbing of the Bears. The Pirates (5-0, 1-0) piled up 35 points during the middle two quarters to take complete control.
“It’s always good to be 1-0 in district,” WS head coach Tyson Moser said. “I thought the kids came out ready to play tonight. Bear Lake threw some different things at us than what we had prepared for all week, so they caught us off guard a little bit defensively. But the kids buckled down and adjusted, and did what they needed to do. And offensively, it might be the best we’ve executed this year.”
Once again, the Pirates controlled the clock with their potent rushing game. West Side amassed 261 yards on 34 attempts and scored all six of its touchdown via the run — two apiece from Cage Brokens, Parker Henderson and Parker Moser.
It was another stellar defensive performance for the Pirates, whose first-stringers haven’t given up any points for four straight games. Brokens came through with 11 tackles for West Side, which got five tackles and two passes broken up from Carson Chugg, plus an INT from Cristian Plancarte.
Shawn Harrison and Jacob Nielson contributed to this story.