Turnovers turn the trick for Canyon View to wreck Manti season opener
MANTI—The Canyon View Falcons took advantage Manti turnovers, including three fumbles, and intercepted two passes to defeat the Templars, 38-10, in the opening game of 3A South Region play last Friday, Sept. 16.
In a pre-game interview, Manti coach Cole Meacham said the Falcons would be a challenge. “They haven’t won a game, but they’ve played some good teams,” he said. “They run the ball really good.”
While Canyon View executed its running game, it was Templar turnovers that doomed Manti. Canyon View took advantage of three Manti fumbles and two interceptions on its route to the win.
The Falcons took the opening kickoff and marched 65-yards for the first score of the game and a 6-0 lead.
Manti got a pair of nice punt returns from Austin Robinson to start drives with good field position, but couldn’t maintain the drives.
Manti moved into Falcon territory, but the first fumble of the game stopped the drive and set up the second score of the game for Canyon View.
The Templars got into field-goal range late in the second quarter, and Ivan Garcia booted it through to make the score 14-3 at the half.
Manti turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the second half, and the Falcons scored all three times.
Late in the third quarter, the Templar defense held on the fourth Canyon View possession, and a high snap on a Falcon punt was covered on the Canyon View 2-yard line. Lance Fowles punched it in from there.
The fourth quarter was scoreless and the Templars came up short by 28 points.
Special teams play had been a concern early in the year for the Templars. Going into last Friday’s game, coach Meacham felt like things were improving. “We’re getting there,” he said. Robinson’s returns were a bright spot in the game. Unofficially, he returned six kicks for nearly 150 yards, an average of about 25 yards per return.
Playing on a short field because of Templar turnovers, the Falcons had 191 yards rushing and 43 passing for 234 yards in total offense. The Templars rushed for 181 yards and had 11 passing yards.
Mac Stevens carried 16 times for 57 yards. Fowles ran 11 times for 46 yards, Nate Lee ran for 23 yards and Robinson carried for 22 yards.
This week Manti will host the much-improved North Sanpete Hawks on Friday Sept. 23. The Hawks are 2-2 on the year with losses to Tooele (34-13), and Delta (32-12). They have beaten Timpanogos (36-28) and Maple Mountain (15-12).
Every region game is critical for playoff positioning in the tough 3A South. “In the past it’s been a little lop-sided,” Meacham said. “Now it’s much tougher. There’s a lot of parity this year.”