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Manti shutout win attributed to strong running game

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

9-13-2018

 

 

CASTLE DALE—For the second time in four games, the Manti Templars pulled off a shutout, defeating Emery, 28-0, but this time, the Templars used a different offensive strategy than they have before.

Manti played the Spartans on Friday, Sept. 7 in Castle Dale. Last time they met, Manti won, and last week’s game was more of the same.

Instead of the powerful passing game Manti has employed so far this season, every touchdown Manti made was by a run through the offensive line. Four different athletes accounted for four separate touchdowns.

“We went into the game expecting to run the ball,” Manti coach Cole Meacham said. “We felt like we needed to establish our running game more, and then be able to throw off of that.”

Manti’s first score came with 37 seconds left in the first quarter when Jaden Sterner rushed 75 yards to the end zone. Seth Cornelsen kicked the extra point successfully.

Shortly after the third quarter began, Manti’s Dallin Rasmussen rushed 46 yards for another touchdown. Once again, Cornelsen nailed the extra point following the score.

Manti scored again in the third quarter, with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third, when Adam Christensen ran the ball into the end zone. Cornelsen once again tacked on the extra point.

To round out Manti’s four rushing scorers, Jace Miller squeezed in through the Emery defensive line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Cornelsen came through again for the PAT.

Manti now sits at 3-1, while Emery is winless at 0-4. Manti will face Summit Academy tomorrow in the Templar homecoming game, which is also the first conference game of the season.

“We are hoping to clean up a few things, execute better and come out and play a tough game,” Meacham said.

 

Gunnison receiver Brandon Tucker heads up field after catching a pass from quarterback Caden Madsen.

 

Bulldogs end preseason with 42-7 loss to Enterprise

 

By Bob Bahlmann

Guest writer

9-13-2018

 

 

ENTERPRISE—The Gunnison Bulldogs wrapped up preseason play with a 42-7 loss when they visited the Enterprise Wolves Friday.

Bulldog head coach Jack Pay knew the Wolves would be a tough matchup. “They are an excellent team,” he said. “They use a five man front and apply a lot of pressure.”

Pay felt that the Enterprise defense could be exploited. “It’s feast or famine,” he said. “We need to use our athleticism to get into their secondary.”

He added that he was looking for his team to “do what we do better,” and play mistake-free football.

Although the Wolves and Bulldogs each had four turnovers in the game, Gunnison threw an interception on the third play of the game and then they fumbled on the first play of their next possession.

The back-to-back turnovers allowed Enterprise to jump out to an early lead that they never relinquished.

Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs were forced to punt. Brandon Tucker nailed a beauty that had the Enterprise deep man backpedaling, resulting in his mishandling the ball. Gunnison’s Harley Hill recovered the loose ball, giving Gunnison hope as they took over on the Enterprise 36-yard line.

A pair of high snaps prevented the Bulldogs from capitalizing on the turnover, but on the Wolves’ next possession, Tucker read the quarterback’s eyes and was in perfect defensive position to pick off the pass. The interception evened the turnovers up at two each, but the ensuing Bulldog drive stalled out.

A 50-yard Enterprise drive gave them a 21-0 lead. With about a minute left in the first half, Gunnison got the ball back at midfield.

Bulldog QB Madsen hit Tucker, who fought his way out of bounds to stop the clock. Madsen than connected with Avery Anderson for a first down, and then found Tucker open again on the right sideline. Tucker tiptoed down the sideline, was hit at about the five, but battled his way close enough to stretch across the goal line for the only bulldog score of the game.

The Wolves used their running game to dominate time of possession. When they went to the air, the Bulldogs did a good job defending the pass. Enterprise only completed five of their 17 pass attempts.

Gunnison had some bright spots in their running game, but were largely unable to get beyond the Enterprise front line and into the secondary. The Bulldogs only netted about 30 yards on the ground.

Madsen found himself scrambling much of the night, but was still able to complete 20 of his 31 passes for 114 yards and a TD. He mixed it up well, connecting with eight different receivers.

Tucker had five catches for 42 yards, Creed Mogle also caught five for 50 yards. Anderson caught four for 26 yards.

After the game, Pay said negative plays and timely dropped balls really hurt the Bulldogs, preventing sustained drives and keeping the Bulldogs out of scoring position.

Next up for Gunnison will be the regular season opener when they host North Summit. The Braves are 0-4 on the year and earlier lost to Enterprise 42-0. This should be a great opportunity for the Bulldogs to enter league play with a 1-0 record. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Lady Badger volleyball team wins four more

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

9-13-2019

 

TWIN FALLS, Idaho—The Snow College volleyball team continued its hot streak by  winning four straight at the Starr Corp. Invitational last weekend.

The Badgers defeated Northwestern College (Wyo.) 3-1, Southwestern Oregon 3-0, Casper College 3-0 and Treasure Valley 3-0. With four victories last weekend, the Badgers’ overall record is 13-1.

Nonetheless, Coach Jeff Reynolds is looking for improvement from his team. “We had a nice weekend in Twin Falls,” he said. “We came together as a team and started to play to our ability. We still have a few things to work on, but we are pleased with how things turned out.”

With the weekend sweep, the Badgers rose in the national junior college rankings to No. 8. They also set a school record for the most wins through the first 14 games of a season.

Following last week’s action, the Scenic West Athletic Conference named freshman Savannah Tanner as co-defensive player of the week. This season, she is averaging 23 digs per match.

This coming weekend, the Badgers travel again, this time to New Rochelle, N.Y. In a four-match tournament, the Badgers will take on Monroe College (N.Y.), Catawba College (N.C.), Hillsborough College (Fla.) and Wallace State College (Ala.).

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Manti’s Travis Thompson, No. 12, hops over a tumbling Cowboy on his way to the end zone. Thompson and Manti QB Kyle King proved to be an effective team in the game against Grantsville, but not effective enough. Despite big plays like a 74-yard touchdown pass from King to Thompson, Grantsville came out with a 28-14 win.

 

Grantsville pulls away during second half in hard-fought game against Templars

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

9-6-2018

 

Manti’s Adam Huff leaps for a pass that would end up out-of-bounds during the team’s loss against Grantsville on Friday, Aug. 31.

MANTI—On paper, the Manti Templar contest with Grantsville last Friday appeared to be a two-man passing threat against a one-man rushing attack, with the Cowboys coming out ahead after three quarters of tied football to win, 28-14.

Of course, anyone who understands team sports knows that is not the case, but you could make that mistake if you were looking only at statistics. Because in a game where two teams battled neck-and-neck toward a tie that lasted halfway into the fourth quarter, the game was a showdown between the Templar combo of QB Kyle King and his teammate Travis Thompson, versus Grantsville’s seemingly unstoppable junior ball-runner, Parker Thomas.

In fact, throughout the whole game, special teams excluded, King, Thompson and Thomas were the only players putting points on the board.

Manti coach Cole Meacham said King and Thompson have been clicking together well in the games so far, and support from other players on the receiving end, such as Adam Huff, have helped the team continue to improve their passing.

Four minutes into the first quarter, Thomas ran in the first touchdown, followed up by a successful kick by Dayne Linton.

Barely more than a minute later, Manti answered back when Thompson scored after catching a 74-yard rocket launch from King. Seth Cornelsen kicked the extra point.

But the Templars were in for more trouble from Thomas in short order. Less than a minute after Thompson’s touchdown, the Cowboy galloped 67 yards in to score again. The first quarter wrapped up with Grantsville leading 14-7.

Not to be unseated from their 2-0 record so easily, with a little more than 9 minutes into the second half, Manti worked its way up the field, and King threw the ball again into the waiting arms of Thompson, followed immediately by another extra point from Cornelsen.

That is when it all ground to a screeching halt. For nearly a third of the entire game, the teams maintained a scoreless stalemate.

Meacham says the defensive plays during the stalemate were from adjusting their own defensive strategy, and a strong defense coming from Grantsville as well.

The tie would only last so long, however. Grantsville once again had Thomas to thank when he ran in another touchdown with nearly 5 minutes left in the fourth. Linton tacked on the extra point for the Cowboys.

The Templars where still hitting a brick wall offensively. They would not score again during the game, but Thomas would score one last time.

With 15 seconds to go before the game was over, Thomas pushed his way through to his fourth touchdown of the game, Linton added the final point of the night, and the Cowboys walked away the undisputed winners.

“We learned some things from this game,” Meacham said. “Grantsville’s Parker Thomas was a fantastic player with a strong offensive line to back him up. Our kids played great and with some fine tuning I think we are going to do well into the rest of the season.”

Now sitting at 2-1, the Templars will face the Emery Spartans (0-3) on Friday in an away game.

 

Templars accelerate through second half, beat North Sanpete decisively

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

9-6-2018

 

Manti High’s Ashton Wood gathers possession of the ball during the game between Manti and North Sanpete last Thursday. Manti came out on top, 5-0.

MANTI—A second half explosion put a tight game out of reach, as the Manti Lady Templars defeated the North Sanpete Lady Hawks 5-0 last Thursday in a girls soccer match at Manti High School.

Although Manti took a 1-0 lead in the first half, the Lady Templars struggled to maintain possession through to scoring opportunities. “It took us a little bit to get our groove, but we found it,” said Manti Head Coach Elishia Steinfeldt. “We came out sluggish, but we worked through it.”

In the second half, the “groove” came around for Manti. In the space of about ten minutes, the Lady Templars blew open the game, scoring four goals in quick succession. Steinfeldt said the explosion was a result of hard work by the team to keep possession as a team. “We’ve been working really hard to play possession ball, and not just force the ball down the field. We want to stay connected, and move forward as a team.”

North Sanpete Head Coach Mickel Holder admitted her team may have run out of gas in the second half, but they were also dealing with some adversity as well. “It was both physical and mental. We’ve been working on our physical training, and we’re not quite there yet. But we had four injured varsity players today, three of them starters. I was really proud of our first half effort.”

Kassidy Alder and Ally Squire both had two goals for the Lady Templars, while Jayci Jolley added on another. Goalkeeper Jentry Young maintained a clean sheet by shutting out the Lady Hawks.

Both teams have begun their region schedules. North Sanpete travels to Grand County today, and plays South Sevier and Richfield next week. Manti travels to Richfield today, and plays Grand County and Emery next week.

Gunnison Valley quarterback Caden Madsen looks for a completion against South Sevier last Friday night. The Bulldogs fell to South Sevier, 28-63.

 

So. Sevier runs off 23 points straight,

Bulldogs too far behind to catch up

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

9-6-2018

GUNNISON—The Gunnison Bulldogs could not overcome a horrible start against the South Sevier Rams in which the Bulldogs gave up 23 unanswered points in the first quarter on the way to a 28-63 defeat.

Center-quarterback exchange woes continued for the Bulldogs in the game last Friday, Aug. 31, as two early snaps sailed over quarterback Caden Madsen’s head, leading to a South Sevier touchdown and a safety. The Rams scored on their next two possessions and had a 0-23 lead before the first quarter was half over.

The injury bug made its appearance, too. Senior starters Thomas Yardley and Ty Hill were both sidelined before the game began, which took out two key linemen for the Bulldogs.

Gunnison Coach Jack Pay made a switch at center after the first three series in the game and had junior Brandon Tucker take over for the duration. The move settled down the offense, eliminated the bad snaps and enabled Gunnison to start putting some possessions together.

However, the Bulldogs could not find an answer for big Rams running back Tyson Chisholm. Chisholm wound up scoring six touchdowns and was a primary force for the Rams.

After starting the half behind 6-43 at half, Pay was able to make some adjustments, and his team came out with a little more fire. The Bulldogs took the opening possession and scored, and the crowd felt a little excitement. However, Gunnison was not able to stop the Ram running attack and could only keep pace with South Sevier the rest of the game.

Gunnison will travel to Enterprise this Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

North Sanpete’s Cesar Lemus digs for more yardage in the Hawks’ game against Cedar last Friday night. North Sanpete fell to Cedar, 6-14.

 

Hawk defense OK, but offense not on track in time

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

9-6-2018

 

CEDAR CITY—North Sanpete has made a point of “grinding” out its games this year, and last Friday was no different.

The Hawks limited the Cedar Redmen to only two touchdowns, but could not get their own offense on track until late in the game and ended up falling to Cedar 6-14.

“We played right with them the entire game, and moved the ball down the field like we wanted to but didn’t execute when we got into the Red Zone,” said North Sanpete Head Coach Rhett Bird.

Brock Justesen led the Hawks with 30 yards rushing, although three other Hawks had significant yards as the Hawks went with running back by committee.

The Hawks had a chance to even up the game up to the last horn, but fell just a little short. “The last drive was one that we look back on and ask ourselves if we got a little greedy. We found a rhythm there in the fourth quarter and got away from it on the last drive trying to score. We had drawn up a reverse for this game and thought it would be great to call it on fourth down to either put us in the Red Zone or score. Things weren’t executed the way they were supposed to, and it didn’t go our way. I’m proud of the way our kids competed all the way down the stretch.”

This week, North Sanpete hosts the Judge Memorial Bulldogs at North Sanpete High School, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

Badger football fights to 56-43

victory over tough Trinity Cardinals

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

ATHENS, TEXAS—The Snow College Badgers traveled to East Texas for the first game of the 2018 football season, and came away with the victory, albeit a somewhat closer win than they would have liked with the final score 56-43.

In Head Coach Paul Peterson’s second year, he has quickly established an explosive offense as one of Snow’s trademarks. And this game was no different.

Early on, the Badgers dominated play, taking a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter. The Cardinals finally managed a drive in the late second quarter to put up their first points and then were able to recover a Badger fumble on Snow’s 2-yard line.

That made the score 24-14 with only 52 seconds left in the quarter. Snow was able to drive the length of the field to tack on a field goal and go in at half up 27-14.

The third quarter started out much like the first, with Snow dominating the early scoring, going up 43-22 by the end of the quarter. However, by this point, both defenses had played many snaps and were getting gassed.

Both teams traded touchdowns to push the score to 50-29, and then Trinity scored again to narrow the lead to 50-36. However, a missed receiver assignment led to a Snow interception that gave Trinity another short field, and the Cardinals were able to get within a touchdown, 50-43.

The Badgers calmly went back on the field, and marched to another score, taking nearly 7 minutes off the clock, to go up two scores, 56-43. Snow’s Leon Morgan intercepted Trinity’s last drive, and sealed the victory.

Coach Peterson praised Trinity’s talent, while noting how well the Badgers responded to adversity. “They had some really good players, and made some big plays,” he said. “We gave them some short fields by some miscues, but you have to adjust to the adversity. I think we responded well. It is easy to panic in situations like we faced, but our guys stuck together and finished strong.”

Quarterback Braxton Kerr, making his first start for the Badgers, went 25-38 for 367 yards. “He did a great job managing the offense. He played smart and didn’t force the ball. He made good decisions for our team,” said Coach Peterson.

Running back Jaylen Warren picked up where he left off last year, gaining 237 yards on 31 rushes. His stable mate, D’Armon Notoa, did not play, after breaking his foot in practice earlier in the week. Coach Peterson estimate he will miss 4-6 weeks.

The Badgers will open their 2018 home schedule by hosting the semi-pro team USA Revolution from Las Vegas, Nev. The game is on Saturday Sept. 1, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Bulldogs lose game to Wolves,

but gain valuable experience

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

GUNNISON—Another week, another top-ranked team.

The Gunnison Valley Bulldogs hosted the North Sevier Wolves, ranked No. 5 in 2-A, last Friday Aug. 24 and lost 14-53.

Bulldog Head Coach Jake Pay sees a silver lining to facing top-ranked competition to start the season.

“Both Milford and North Sevier are going to make noise in the post season,” he said. “This will help us down the road, because we see the things we need to work on to be successful.”

One of the things the Bulldogs will need to improve on is incurring costly penalties. In their game against the Wolves, Gunnison racked up 11 penalties for a total of 111 yards lost. This contributed to their inability to finish drives, going 3-13 on a third-down conversion, and 0-2 on a fourth down.

This coming week, Coach Pay said the team will focus on eliminating mistakes. “The big thing moving into this week is playing mistake-free. We did some really great things; we just could not sustain it like we needed to because of the mistakes.”

With the offense unable to sustain drives, the defense stayed on the field too long, and wound up giving up a lot of yards through the air for the second week in a row.

It doesn’t help that North Sevier’s quarterback Taylor Crane is one of the top passers in 2A. He went 20-31 for 282 yards passing against the Bulldogs.

There was a point in the second quarter where the Bulldogs had scored two consecutive touchdowns and were behind by only one touchdown, 14-21. However, North Sevier ripped off five straight touchdown drives that the Bulldogs could not match.

Quarterback Caden Madsen led the Bulldogs with 61 yards passing and 42 yards rushing. Linebacker Brandon Tucker led the team in tackles with six unassisted and three assists.

This week, the Bulldogs host the South Sevier Rams on Friday Aug. 31, with kick-off scheduled at 7 p.m.

North Sanpete’s Connor Jorgensen, No. 34 above, runs through the Union line to score the game’s first touchdown last Friday night in the Hawks’ matchup against the Union Cougars. North Sanpete won 16-3.

 

Hawks Grind out 16-3 win

at home over Union Cougars

 

By James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete Hawks, whose motto has been “Grind,” did exactly that last Friday night in a gritty win over the Union Cougars, 16-3.

Describing the Hawk’s winning strategy in its home opener Friday, Aug. 24, Coach Rhett Bird said, “Our philosophy is exactly that we chew up time and keep our defense off the field. We believe we can play with anyone in our classification if we can control the ball.”

The Hawks started the scoring early when they recovered a Cougar fumble at mid-field and drove for a touchdown, which made the score 6-0. (The extra-point attempt was blocked.)

Union countered later in the half and drove the length of the field, but came up with only a field goal. The score stayed at 6-3 for the rest of the half, as both teams struggled to get any consistent offense going.

After the half, the Hawks put their adjustments into play and started moving the ball. Running back Maison Burgess and quarterback Chance Clawson kept the ball on the ground and in the first drive of the second half scored the second touchdown of the night to make the score 13-3.

“It all started with our offensive line,” Coach Bird said. “We have a mutual trust with them and have told them if they see gaps in the game to let us know and we will exploit them, and that is exactly what happened.

“During halftime, they felt like we could run an inside blast. That was our very first play [after halftime] which went for 17 yards. All the credit goes to our guys up front.”

After exchanging possessions, North Sanpete took over at the end of the third quarter and starting driving. And driving. And still driving. The Hawks wound up driving the length of the field, using all of the rest of the third quarter and all but 3:04 of the fourth quarter, to kick a field goal and put the game out of reach for the final score 16-3.

Burgess ran for 78 yards in the game, and Clawson chipped in for 60. The Hawks concentrated on their running game, and passed infrequently (5-11 for 37 yards), although Clawson left some points on the field when he overthrew a couple of open receivers early in the game. But the name of the game for the Hawks was efficiency, as they went 7-14 on 3rd down conversions, and 1-2 on 4th down.

The Hawk defense was also very effective containing the Cougar spread offense. The Cougars would often line up with four and five split receivers. But the Hawks countered by dropping five linebackers into zone coverage with the defensive backs, frustrating the Cougars’ quarterback with very few openings. “We have exceptional linebackers, and the 3-4 allows us to use those guys,” Coach Bird said. “They are more athletic, but are still able to stop the run.”

The Hawks travel to Cedar City this week to take on the Cedar Redmen on Friday Aug. 31 with kick-off scheduled at 7 p.m.

Snow’s Ashlen Bell, No. 14, and Bridgett Triplett, No. 15, go up for a block against Eastern Arizona in their match Monday night at the Horne Center on the Snow College campus. Snow won the match 3-1.

 

Lady Badgers volleyball team wins again, now 5-0

 

By  James Tilson

Sports writer

8-30-2018

 

EPHRAIM— The No. 13 ranked Snow College women’s volleyball team has jumped out to a great start of their 2018 season, after going 4-0 at the Snow College Invitational at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield last weekend and then defeating Eastern Arizona 3-1 Monday night at the Horne Activities Center.

Eastern Arizona took the first set, 23-25, in a closely contested set. But Snow re-grouped and came back to win three sets in a row, 25-22, 25-18, and 25-23.

“I was pleased with the way our team came back after dropping that first set,” said Head Coach Jeff Reynolds. “We made some mistakes that really cost us, so it was nice to see our team respond, make the necessary adjustments, and come out and take care of business over the next three sets.

“Eastern Arizona is a very good team. They won the Region I title last year and earned a trip to the NJCAA National Championship. To beat them on Saturday down in Richfield, and then turn around and beat them again on Monday is a nice way for our program to start the season.”

Ashlen Bell led the Badgers with 11 kills on 32 attempts, for an overall percentage of .313. Autumn Spafford had 10 kills, hitting .216 for the match. Bridgett Triplett led the team with six blocks.

During the invitational tournament on Friday, the Badgers faced Western Wyoming, winning 3-2, and then Eastern Wyoming, defeating them 3-0. And then on Saturday the Badgers defeated Eastern Arizona 3-1 and Central Wyoming 3-0.

“We had the opportunity to get a good look at our team,” Coach Reynolds said. “We were able to work through a bunch of different lineups in an effort to see what worked and what didn’t. I am pleased with how we managed to come together at the right moments and put points on the board when we needed to them the most.”

Snow is getting ready for a long road trip, starting with a trip to Prescott, Ariz., to compete in the Dalton Overstreet Invitational at Yavapai College on Aug. 31 – Sept. 1. Then on Sept. 3 the Badgers travel to Phoenix College.

“Our next 13 games will be on the road,” said Coach Reynolds. “This will be a big test for our team. We’re looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can continue to build off of our early success.”

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Manti little league

team takes state

 

Katelyn Allred

Staff writer

7/26/2018

Back row (L-R): Head coach Kyle Bailey, Kayson Bailey, Kort Cox, Bo Stevens, Sutton Sorensen, Kelan Layton, Coach Shaun Layton. Front row (L-R): Kane Christiansen, Lane Cox, Chase Keisel, Kyan Mickelson, Brayden Thomas

            MANTI—The Manti Astros won the Utah Boys Baseball Association state championship last week.

            The championship took place in Springville on Wednesday, July 11 and included teams from all over the state. The Astros played teams such as the Springville Nationals, the Lehi Mariners and the Salem Dodgers before defeating the Salem Indians in a tense championship game.

            The team was undefeated during the season, but faced a challenge in Springville. They were down six points during their last game before they managed to score the runs needed to take state.

The Astros ride the fire engine down Manti Main Street to celebrate winning state.

 

“They loved it,” says Manti City Recreation Director Josh Jensen. “It was a great experience for the kids.”

            The Astros are made up of 12 boys in fifth and sixth grades, and they played in

the pool A Division. To celebrate their victory, they rode the fire truck down Manti Main Street the next day. “They enjoyed it,” Jensen said.

The other Manti team, the Angels, took third place in the tournament.