Composite photo of Crimson Cliffs player and Desert Hills player warming up before the 4A State Championship game, St. George, Utah, November 11, 2022 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News
ST. GEORGE- The three-month high school football season ends Friday night, as No. 1 seed Crimson Cliffs takes on No. 2 Desert Hills for the 4A State Championship game, which is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Greater Zion from Utah Tech University. Stadium.
Stay tuned later tonight for a full summary, video and analysis at stgeorgenews.com.
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Tonight marks the second time this season the Mustangs and Thunder face off on the field. Crimson Cliffs (now 10-2 overall) defeated Desert Hills (9-3) at the start of the regular season on Sept. 2 in Desert Hills, with the Mustangs winning that fight, 21-14.
Historically, Desert Hills is 2-1 in state championship football games, with the Thunder losing in 2011 but winning in 2013 and 2016. Meanwhile, this is Crimson Cliffs’ first trip to the game for the title since the school opened four seasons ago. , in the fall of 2019.
This story is intended to provide brief but timely updates on the scores. Check back later on St. George News for more in-depth coverage, including a full history of the game, video highlights and a photo gallery.
Final score: Desert Hills 30, Crimson Cliffs 14
Crimson Cliffs approached the 27-yard Desert Hills line before time ran out. The Thunder win the 4A State Title, 30-14.
The Thunder’s punt goes to the Crimson 5-yard line. The Mustangs take over with just over 2 minutes to play.
Crimson comes out for the last time. Desert Hills face fourth-and-4 at the Crimson 30-yard line with 2:26 to go.
Desert Hills collected the ensuing onside kick attempt and has the ball in midfield and the Thunder are now trying to run the few minutes remaining on the clock.
9:21 Desert Hills, 30, Crimson Cliffs 14
Crimson caps off a successful 80-yard drive with a TD pass from Steele Barben to Boston Adamson in the back corner of the end zone. The 2-point conversion attempt was also successful, a pass from Barben to Jordan Eaton. The Mustangs are shooting within 16 points with 4:38 left in the game.
Desert Hills clears midfield in fourth-and-12. Touchback gives the Mustangs the ball by themselves 20 with 6:56 to go.
Lincoln Holmes makes yet another interception for Desert Hills, his third of the game. The Thunder takes over in Crimson territory with just under 9 minutes left.
9:08 p.m. Desert Hills 30, Crimson Cliffs 6
After another Lincoln Holmes interception, the Thunder struck again, Tyden Morris running it down the middle for a 3-yard score with 9:12 left.
9:02 p.m. Desert Hills 23, Crimson Cliffs 6
Cyrus Polu ran the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, giving Desert Hills a 23-6 lead with 10:43 to go.
9:00 p.m. Desert Hills 16, Crimson Cliffs 6
Crimson’s Christiansen advanced a pass reception just inside the 20-yard line, after which Mason Topalian caught a pass and took it to the 10. Topalian then slid down the middle for a TD run of 10 meters with 10:58 to go in the fourth. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, as Cyrus Polu tackled the runner for a loss.
8:50 p.m. Desert Hills 16, Crimson Cliffs 0
Desert Hills went for fourth and short, with quarterback Beau Wall guarding it for a 25-yard gain. A few plays later, Wall pushes him the last yard into the end zone for a TD with 29 seconds left in the third. Xander Jones’ PAT kick is good, putting the Thunder up 16-0.
Crimson throws the ball to the 48-yard line at Desert Hills, where the Thunder will take over with about 5 minutes left in the third.
Desert Hills advanced to his own 47 but ended up pushing it back. Crimson takes over on his own 10-yard line with 6:52 remaining in 3Q.
Crimson advanced the ball 18 yards before having to kick the Mustangs fourth-and-5 on 36. Desert Hills takes over by itself 30 with 10:21 to go in 3Q.
The second half begins with Desert Hills kicking off. The Mustangs will start at their own 18.
Quarterback Steele Barben raced in for a great run to bring the Mustangs within yards of midfield, but back-to-back penalties backed Crimson from around 25 yards out. Main receiver Jordan Eaton appeared to hurt his ankle after making a catch with 9 seconds remaining. Barben’s “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone when time expired became incomplete. Halftime score Desert Hills 9, Crimson Cliffs 0.
Desert Hills went for the fourth-and-7 from Crimson’s 33-yard line, but the pass was incomplete, so Crimson will take over with just under a minute before halftime.
Desert Hills pitched with 2:49 left in 2Q, with Crimson taking over on his own 30-yard line. Crimson went three times on their ensuing possession, but went for a fake punt on fourth-and-10 and didn’t get the first down.
Crimson won some fine first downs as the Mustangs headed into midfield. However, quarterback Steele Barben’s long pass intended for a goal-line receiver was intercepted in the end zone by Lincoln Holmes of the Thunder. Desert Hills takes over with just under 6:00 remaining in Q2.
Desert Hills punts for the first time in the game. Crimson takes control of the ball on his own 35 with 7:36 to go before halftime.
Crimson Cliffs starts the second quarter by driving into midfield before shooting. Desert Hills will take over on their own 14-yard line with about 9 minutes left in the second quarter.
Desert Hills misses a 38-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the first quarter. Still 9-0 in favor of Desert Hills.
7:32 p.m. Desert Hills 9, Crimson Cliffs 0
Desert Hills’ Xander Jones throws a 34-yard field goal to give the Thunder a 9-0 lead.
Crimson Cliffs is forced to throw on his first possession, the ball returning to Desert Hills at the Mustangs 48-yard line.
7:24 p.m. Desert Hills 6, Crimson Cliffs 0
Desert Hills scored on their opening drive, capping a 65-yard drive with a TD pass from Noah Fuialetolo to Lincoln Holmes. The subsequent PAT attempt failed (the slam went beyond the range of the kick bracket). Thunder led 6-0 with 9:02 left in the first quarter.
There have been three more league matches at this same ground earlier today, so the kick-off time for Crimson Cliffs vs. Desert Hills will be slightly delayed, by approximately 15 minutes at 7:15 p.m. In today’s opener, Layton Christian defeated Kanab 55-19 to capture the 1A title. This was followed by San Juan defeating Beaver 41-21 to win the 2A title for the second year in a row. Then, later in the afternoon, in the 3A Championship Game featuring two teams that were 12-0 going into the game, Morgan defeated Juab, 55-3.
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