Southern Utah sports fans traveled hundreds of miles Friday to Rice-Eccles Stadium to watch two local teams battle for prep football’s ultimate prize. For the Hurricane Tigers’ players and fans, it was no strange trip, as the team took on Juan Diego three straight years with the same outcome–second place. This year, though, had all the makings to be different. On the other sideline, the Desert Hills Thunder made a surprise entrance into the state finals for the first time in team history.
With snow starting to fly shortly before game time, both teams had a surprisingly bad first quarter. The teams got deep into the other’s territory, but were unsuccessful in converting those drives into scores. In the second quarter, the Tigers’ Brian Scott pounded in the first points on the board. A blocked point after left the score at 6-0 going into the break.
An explosive third quarter from the Tigers left the impression that 2011 is their year. Ethan Straton put a 45-yard field goal in to give the Tigers a 9-0 lead. The Thunder were unable to make anything of the rest of the third.
With under 10 minutes to go, and the snow piling up on the field, Hurricane erupted down the field with a great passing game. At the end of the drive, Brian Scott punched in another touchdown, bringing the score to 15-0. After a two-point attempt was taken back, and a kick blocked, the Thunder still had hope. But the Tiger army in the stands and on the field were too much. Brian Scott put the final icing on the cake by running into the endzone and bringing the score to 21-0 with 4:14 left in the game. That’s where the score would stay.
With chants from the crowd such as “Undefeated!” and “State Champs!” the fans erupted as the seconds clicked to zero and the Hurricane Tigers were crowned the 3A state football champions. Coach Chris Homer was overwhelmed with joy as his soon-to-be graduating players lifted him on their shoulders. This was their year.
The state championship monkey is off Hurricane High School’s back in perfect fashion.
The Tigers finished the game with 316 total offensive yards. Scott had 108 yards and all three touchdowns. Adam Thompson had 74 yards, Weston Yardley had 64 yards.
The Tiger defense only gave up 117 yards.