By Tom Zulewski
It would have been easy for the skeptics to write off Canyon View’s football win over Cedar as a one-time stroke of luck. The fates may have conspired and the stars aligned just right to help them pull off an impressive win.
That was then. Another week meant serious potential for a letdown and a crash back down to earth, or what’s been perceived as normal through the Falcons’ tenure in Region 9 football – a whole lot of losing.
After what happened at Hurricane, that’s not the case anymore.
It was far from easy for Canyon View as they faced the winless Tigers and former head coach Skyler Miller. A 13-0 first-quarter lead disappeared in the second, and things were looking worse when quarterback Colten Shumway threw an interception that gave Huricane a chance to score again in the waning moments before intermission.
Shumway put a stop to the nightmare with one big-time run. His 69-yard dash to the end zone with 30 seconds left gave the Falcons the lead back.
Even after the Tigers put together a touchdown drive to start the second half, CV wouldn’t lose the lead again. Final: Falcons 41, Hurricane 27.
For the first time since the 2000 season, the Falcons have two wins in Region 9 play. Not only that, the P word that once made an NFL coach cringe is starting to creep into the conversation.
Yeah, the 4A state playoffs are a real possibility now.
As the teams went through the post-game greeting line, Miller made sure to hug every CV player and coach in appreciation. Brady Lowry knows Miller made plenty of impact even though he stayed for a single season.
“This was a special game for us, and we were prepared,” Lowry said. “He’s still special and I still have so much respect for him with the discipline he taught us. We’re the team we are this year because he helped us out last year.”
Canyon View is one win away from likely securing no worse than a play-in game for the fourth and final seed from Region 9. They get the next two at home, starting with Desert Hills on Friday, then travel to Snow Canyon – who hasn’t won in region at 0-3 – on Oct. 10.
Some media will have you believe the matchup with the Warriors is the only chance CV has to pick up a win. Desert Hills showed a fragile side to its psyche last week when they lost a 14-point halftime lead and looked beaten when Cedar scored with 13 seconds left.
It took one big run by Thunder backup quarterback Gage Baird to save the day. When Logan Callister hit a 35-yard field goal on the final play, it gave DH a 26-24 win.
That’s why we play the games. That’s why Region 9 is the most competitive in the state.
-The money totals haven’t been updated as of this writing, but there’s a strong possibility five members of the Wright family will qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. With one weekend remaining in the season, Spencer Wright is the cowboy on the bubble in saddle bronc. The 2014 world champion had the 15th and final spot before last week’s money was counted with $72,161, and his lead over Chase Brooks was $1,052.
Going up the line in the standings, Jake Wright is 12th ($81,902), CoBurn Bradshaw 11th ($88,462), Rusty Wright sits fourth ($116,647) and defending champion Ryder Wright is second at $158,318, trailing only Jacobs Crawley, who has $159.933.
When the WNFR begins at the Thomas & Mack Center on Dec. 6, the Wright family will provide several intriguing storylines.
-Jake Wright could become the fifth family member to win a gold buckle. So can Rusty Wright, and he didn’t qualify for the WNFR last year.
-If he can get in the field, Spencer Wright could be the second two-time champion in the family.
And most of all, all eyes will likely be on Ryder Wright as one of the favorites. In two trips to Las Vegas, the 20-year-old has won nine of a possible 20 rounds, and he could be the first to repeat as a world champion since Billy Etbauer went back-to-back in 1999 and 2000.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email email@example.com.