Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
AROUND THE BEEHIVE — Every time Ridgeline found any momentum, Crimson Cliffs answered.
Eventually, the Riverhawks pulled away for good.
Ridgeline running back Noah White scored three touchdowns, including on a 29-yard pass from Kaden Cox, to help the undefeated Riverhawks hold off the Mustangs 49-34 in a Class 4A state semifinal in Millville.
Cox threw four touchdown passes as Ridgeline (11-0) jostled with the visiting Mustangs for position in a back-and-forth first half. The 6-foot senior heaved a 20-yarder to Stratford Simmons for a 7-0 lead, only to watch Gunner Orr tie it up with a 15-yard strike to Kona Crowell.
Back and forth they continued, including Easton Droubay's second touchdown run of the game that pulled Crimson Cliffs (8-5) within one, 21-20 with 4:10 to go in the second quarter. But Jackson Olsen added a 95-yard kick return for Ridgeline just 13 seconds later.
Orr hit Konner Kell with a 15-yard touchdown with 1:40 left in the half, but Cox found Olsen for another score at the halftime buzzer as the host Riverhawks clung to a 35-27 advantage at the break.
White opened the second-half scoring with an 11-yard touchdown run, and Ridgeline's defense held the Mustangs to one second-half score — a 5-yard run by Droubay to complete the hat trick — to hold on for the victory.
The Riverhawks advanced to face Dixie in the 4A state championship next Friday, Nov. 12 at 11 a.m.
Dixie 42, Pine View 20
Seth Takau scored three touchdowns, and Shea Anderson ran for two more as the Flyers overpowered the Panthers in the other 4A semifinal in St. George.
Takau completed the hat trick with a 7-yard scoring run with 2 minutes to go before half-time as Dixie jumped to the 28-17 edge at the break. The Flyers (8-3) put the game away with a 14-3 third quarter, capped by Anderson's second touchdown from 11 yards out.
Dixie's Jeffrey Christian put away Pine View (7-4) for good with a 3-yard run midway through the third quarter.
1A state semifinals
Layton Christian 14, Kanab 13
Zoram Petelo connected with Malik Johnson on a 60-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to help Layton Christian rally by Kanab in a 1A semifinal at Eccles Coliseum at Southern Utah University.
Ilai Jared Tagidugu and the Eagles (9-4) exchanged touchdowns with Kasen Janes and Kanab in the first quarter, but Parker Franklin's 4-yard scoring run gave the Cowboys a 13-7 lead after the third quarter.
But Layton Christian shut out the second-seeded Cowboys the rest of the way, and Johnson's 60-yard score with 6:36 remaining gave the Eagles just enough to advance to next week's state championship at Weber State.
LCA will faced top-seeded Duchesne next Saturday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. MT at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.
Duchesne 32, Milford 18
Parker Crum threw two touchdown passes and converted four 2-point conversions, and Branon Torgerson's 42-yard fumble recovery gave the Eagles a 24-10 lead at the break end route to the win.
Garrett Fabrizio, who caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Crum in the first quarter, returned the opening kickoff of the second half 91 yards for a 32-10 lead.
Blake Barnes ran for two touchdowns for the Tigers (7-5).
Morgan, Grantsville set up 3A championship
Will Korth ran for three touchdowns as Morgan blew past defending state champion Juab, 54-38 in a Class 3A state semifinal Saturday at Southern Utah University.
Nick Despain added two touchdowns for the Trojans (9-3), who outgunned the Wasps 28-17 in the second half after jumping out to a 26-21 halftime edge.
Alex Jackson threw four touchdown passes for Juab (10-2), including three to Wesley Nielsen.
The Trojans will face Grantsville in the 3A state championship next Saturday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. MT at Weber State.
Gabe Mouritsen, Blake Thomas and Caleb Sullivan each ran for a touchdown to help the Cowboys pull away from Juan Diego, 28-14 in the other 3A semifinal Saturday.
The trio of rushers posted 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to help Grantsville (9-3) pull away from a 7-7 stalemate before Tyler Easter pulls done back with 14 seconds left for the Soaring Eagle (8-3).
San Juan rolls to 2A title game; Beaver, not so much
Jace Palmer ran for four more as San Juan blitzed Summit Academy, 60-35 Saturday to advance to the 1A title game.
Jensen Grover ran for three touchdowns, and Collin Baker added a 68-yard pick six for the Broncos (11-1), who advanced to face Beaver in the 1A title game next Saturday at 2 p.m. at Weber State.
Devin Watson threw touchdown passes to five different receivers for Summit Academy (7-5).
In the other semifinal, Ayden Bradshaw scored the game-winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 9:22 remaining and Beaver's defense shut out South Summit for the 21-14 victory.
The Wildcats (11-1) took a 14-7 halftime lead on Treyton Sargent's 1-yard plunge midway through the second quarter. But Come Carter tied the game through Cobe Carter's 1-yard run with 4 minutes left in the third, and Beaver (11-1) did the rest with defense.