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NORTH LOGAN — “The magic ran out” for Green Canyon Friday night in the words of head football coach Craig Anhder.

The Wolves lost in a 4A quarterfinal matchup with Crimson Cliffs, 31-10.

The visiting Mustangs (8-4) shut out the Wolves in the first half, though it’d be more apt to say Green Canyon (7-3) shut itself out. Green Canyon’s four first-half drives ended with an interception, a blocked field goal, a lost fumble, and a turnover on downs — the failed fourth down attempt being a botched snap that resulted in no play.

It didn’t matter that three of those first-half drives made it inside the Crimson Cliffs 35-yard line, or that Green Canyon gained 126 yards in the opening half. Turnovers nullified it all.

“Turnovers and penalties got us tonight,” Anhder said. “We had too many penalties. We’d make a play and then have to bring it back for holding. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot and couldn’t get the job done.”

The visitors had no such struggles in finishing drives in the first half. They channeled their offensive might through running back Easton Droubay. In the first half alone, the senior ran the ball 15 times for 116 yards and two rushing scores — one in the first quarter and one in the second.

Crimson Cliffs added a field goal just before halftime to take a 17-0 lead.

Green Canyon didn’t give up the fight at halftime. Fighting through a cold spell both metaphorically and literally, the Wolves came back from the brink to make it a one-score game, 17-10.

Gavin Christiansen scored on an 11-yard run midway through the third and nearly added a second touchdown from six yards out with 2:38 left in the quarter. However, that rush was nullified by a holding penalty. The Wolves had to settle for a 25-yard Caleb Naegle field goal.

Unfortunately for the home team, settling for three points was far from the worst thing in store during the second half. The downward spiral began immediately. As in, on the kickoff immediately.

Mustang returner Jayton Tanibe returned the kickoff following the field goal 64 yards, setting the visitors up just outside of field goal position. The third quarter ended with Crimson Cliffs facing a fourth-and-6 on the Green Canyon 8-yard line. The Mustangs trotted out their field goal unit, but confusion on the Wolves’ side resulted in an illegal substitution.

In a moment, the down and distance went from a less manageable fourth-and-6 to a very make-able fourth-and-1.

The Mustangs agreed with that logic and sent their offense back onto the field. Two plays later, Droubay punched in his third touchdown of the day.

“We were right there in striking distance. We had a lot of momentum,” Anhder said. “We were keeping them bottled up but we let that happen and with that you give up too much and lose momentum and then we couldn’t hold on.”

The final nail in the coffin came along soon after, fittingly, as the result of another Green Canyon turnover. Crimson Cliffs managed to strip quarterback Jack Stephens in the backfield, recovering the ball deep in Green Canyon territory. Three plays later, Droubay ran for his fourth and final TD of the night.

In the span of four minutes and 33 seconds, Green Canyon went from having real hopes of a comeback to a team pretty much dead in the water.

Anhder said: “It’s a sad feeling” to see a team he says has “so many times overachieved” this season. The Wolves end the season having finished third in Region 11.

“It’s a young group and a group that’s worked very hard,” Anhder said. “I’m just proud of them.”


Friday at North Logan

Green Canyon 0 0 10 0 — 10

Crimson Cliffs 7 10 0 14 — 31

First Quarter

CC — Easton Droubay 31 run (Ryan Wooley kick), 4:49

Second Quarter

CC — Droubay 23 run (Wooley kick), 4:32

CC — FG 24 Wooley, 1:51

Third Quarter

GC — Gavin Christiansen 11 run (Caleb Naegle kick), 7:28

GC — FG 25 Naegle, 2:33

Fourth Quarter

CC — Droubay 1 run (Wooley kick), 11:46

CC — Droubay 1 run (Wooley kick), 9:57

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