By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
HURRICANE – Despite its best efforts, the Cedar Redmen were seeing a chance at a win slipping away. Multiple penalties at the worst possible times weren’t helping as the clock ticked down.
When Ethan Boettcher picked off an Adam Heyrend pass, order was finally restored.
Boettcher came up with the interception with 20 seconds remaining to secure Cedar’s 14-8 road victory over the Hurricane, spoiling the Tigers’ Homecoming game Sept. 22.
Cedar improved to 2-1 in Region 9 and 3-3 overall, but it wasn’t easy thanks largely to a sea of yellow penalty flags that littered the turf throughout. One call wiped out a Redmen touchdown in the second half, and another took away a big gain that put them inside the Hurricane 10-yard line.
“It’s just a matter of us being more disciplined,” Cedar head coach Josh Bennett said. “I’m proud of how our kids fought, and the defensive effort was outstanding. Offensively, our execution was much better, but we’ve just got to cut out the penalties.”
Hurricane (1-2, 2-4) broke up Cedar’s shutout bid when Jaron Cordova scored on an 11-yard touchdown run and added the two-point conversion with 2 minutes, 56 seconds left in the game. The Redmen would recover the Tigers’ onside kick and drove inside the 20, but two penalties pushed them out of field-goal range and gave the home team one more chance starting from its own 15 with 1:15 left.
Even with the end zone 85 yards away, another pair of 15-yard penalties called on Cedar gave Hurricane life. After the Tigers were whistled for a holding call later in the drive, Boettcher’s pick extinguished their last hopes.
“Both receivers were coming out and one went in. I had faith my corner was going to pick that up and the other one tried to hide behind him” Boettcher said. “I knew right away that’s exactly where they were going to pass (the ball) to. I just waited, it was a little short, and an easy pick.”
The Cedar defense forced four turnovers, and a Tayvien Brown interception with 2:42 to play in the first half led directly to a key touchdown. Brown caught a 26-yard pass from quarterback Jaxon Garrett on third-and-20 to keep the 70-yard drive alive, then Garrett connected with Luke Maggio from 9 yards out with 10 seconds left to give the Redmen a 14-0 lead heading to the break.
After a punt backed Hurricane up to its own 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Cedar came up with its second fumble recovery of the game at the Tiger 30. A personal foul stopped the momentum and Zane Montgomery missed a 40-yard field goal with 5:53 left.
Trenton Maurer helped Cedar strike first in the second quarter when he found the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown. Maurer had 37 yards on three carries in the 77-yard drive as the Redmen took a 6-0 lead.
CEDAR 14, HURRICANE 8
Cedar 0 14 0 0 — 14
Hurricane 0 0 0 8 — 8
C – Maurer 9 run (kick blocked)
C – Maggio 9 pass from Garrett (Maurer run)
H – Cordova 11 run (Cordova run)
Region 9 Standings
Desert Hills 3-0 4-2
Dixie 2-0 5-1
Cedar 2-1 3-3
Snow Canyon 1-1 4-3
Hurricane 1-2 2-4
Pine View 0-2 3-3
Canyon View 0-2 0-6