Two unbeaten teams met last Friday to play King of the Hill, like two bull elk in a forest meadow: the long time champion and the upstart challenger. When all was said and done, the old champion had run the young challenger off the hill.
Sandy Valley and Pahranagat Valley had first place in Southern Division IV on the line in the game and the Panthers almost bit the head off the Sidewinders in the first quarter, racing out to a 32-0 lead.
Sidewinder coach Brett Kramer said his team of challengers “were just not ready for Alamo’s physicality They executed really well, really hard to stop on offense and especially defense. We haven’t played a team even close to them up to this point.”
Pahranagat’s Jordan Cryts ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns on five carries as the Panthers took over first place in the league with a 64-14 win over Sandy Valley.
Cryts scored on runs of 88 and 49 yards for Pahranagat (7-0, 5-0), which led 48-6 at halftime.
Tabor Maxwell completed 10 of 17 passes for 215 yards. He had two long TD passes of 66 yards to Shawn Wadsworth and 53 yards to Christian Higbee, both in the first quarter and now has 1,448 yards and 19 touchdowns for the season. Wadsworth had seven receptions for 142 yards. He has 36 catches for 583 yards on the year, and team rushing leader Wade Leavitt has 900 yards on 61 carries and 19 touchdowns.
Lane Eastham, the Sidewinders double threat quarterback, was held way below his normal average, rushing for only rushed for 91 yards and a score on 25 carries to lead the Sidewinders (6-1, 4-1). In passing, he was 4-for-11, 47 yards.
The strong Panther defense limited Sandy Valley, which had been averaging about 374 yards per game to only 217 yards total offense. In the meantime, PVHS racked up 318 yards on the ground and 228 yards receiving for 535 yards total offense, well above their 420.7 yards average.
Alamo coach Ken Higbee said the team had time to prepare a good game plan for this week. “And that’s what you saw tonight, preparation and execution by young men and doing good things.”
He said Crytz had such a good game “because of the kids up front doing well in blocking and opening the lanes. We’ve been going back to work on all those little things that make us look good, the kids blocking down field, or the one coming from the backside and creating that cutback lane for that long run.”
Leavitt scored on a 17-yard run at 9:48 in the first quarter for Pahranagat’s first drive of the game. On their next possession, about two minutes later, Jordan Crytz went up the middle for his 88-yard score. Then at 3:10, Maxwell hit Wadsworth with a 66-yard scoring pass, followed by a 53-yard scoring screen pass to Christian Higbee at 1:19 in the first period.
Cryts had a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Eastham scored for Sandy Valley on a 1-yard rush early in the second quarter, but they wouldn’t score again until midway in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already clear.
Pahranagat Valley’s win secured home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs. They finish the regular season with two road games, next week at Round Mountain, then Oct. 30 at Beaver Dam.