Ballgame in the Boonies: Beaver stampedes over Kanab in battle of undefeated teams

by Matt Harris | The term “running back corps” would apply to any team with a solid depth of capable ball-carriers. With that in mind, Beaver head coach Jon Marshall proved last night that he does not have a running back corps.

He has a running back army.

Beaver piled up 517 total rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns as the Beavers massacred the previously undefeated Kanab Cowboys, 56-7. The Beavers moved to 8-0 on the season and extended their total winning streak to 21 games.

Beaver’s linemen physically dominated Kanab all four quarters.

“What’s kind of setting us apart from a lot of teams right now is our offensive line,” Beaver Coach Jon Marshall said. “Our backs, the skill guys, y’know, they get their names in the paper and they get the stats. Of course we were missing our top two running backs tonight. But really, the key to our success is our offensive line, tight ends, and wingback receivers that block for them. They just do a fantastic job. They’re as good a line as we’ve ever had on our team.”

Seniors Turner Williams and EJ Allred, who both lead the team in rushing and total touchdowns were both out for the game for Beaver. Senior Crayton Hollingshead erupted for the best game of his high school career, rushing eight times for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Treyson Hunter completed only 3-6 passes for 18 yards and an interception, but he rushed eight times for 86 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers had ten different ball carriers in the game and averaged nearly ten yards per carry.

Though the Cowboys put up a solid defensive stand for the first 12 minutes of the game, the Cowboys were quickly and visibly out of sorts by the midpoint of the second quarter, in which they gave up 29 points. Beaver held the Cowboys to a paltry 95 total yards on offense.

“I don’t have a lot of positives,” Kanab head coach JR Quarnberg said. “That was a rough game. They are a good team, they’re a solid team on both sides of the ball. We’re not ready to compete with that team.”

Beaver took all of three plays in the first quarter to get into the endzone as Hunter faked a handoff and dashed through the left side for a 51-yard touchdown scamper.

On Kanab’s first offensive drive, the Cowboys got up to midfield before a fourth-and-inches attempt fell short. Beaver and Kanab traded possessions offensively until the end of the first quarter, making it only the third time this season Beaver was held to a touchdown or less in the first quarter this season.

Despite that, Beaver made up for lost time in the second quarter with a four-touchdown explosion as the Beavers’ defense swallowed Kanab whole, only allowing a single first down the entire quarter. So offensively frustrated were the Cowboys that they began to unravel.

With Beaver leading 20-0, Kanab attempted to punt from their own endzone, but they snapped too high, and the fumble was scooped by senior Bryton Langston in the endzone. On Beaver’s next offensive possession, Hollingshead rushed on the right end and sped through the entire Kanab secondary en route to a 68-yard touchdown and a 35-0 lead that Beaver took into halftime.

Beaver stopped Kanab on their first possession as the second half began a running clock.. Beaver’s first play of the half was to Hollingshead again for a 43-yard touchdown run. On the next possession, senior Hunter Carter scored his first touchdown of the season on a 14-yard run.

In the fourth quarter, Marshall pulled Hunter from the game and put in sophomore quarterback Tyten Fails. Fails immediately took his turn running through the Cowboys defense, but the drive ended with a controversial fumble call when Beaver was stopped on a run play, but refs did not blow the play dead before senior linebacker Wyatt Kennedy stripped the ball out of freshman Tate Gale’s hands. He took it all the way back for Kanab’s only touchdown of the game.

Beaver junior Jayton Jessup wrapped up the scoring with a nine yard run in with four minutes remaining for his third touchdown of the year.

Despite being clearly impressed with how his team handled business, Marshall reiterated the same things he had been talking about almost every week since the season began.

“We can’t get all high on ourselves,” Marshall said. “There’s still a lot of good teams. My biggest worry is just getting complacent.”

For Quarnberg and the Cowboys, there’s nothing else to do but get right back to work.

“We’ve gotta be able to execute at a higher level,” Quarnberg said. “We’ve gotta be able to play faster. We’re just a ways off from where we want to be, but we’ll be back to work Monday.”

Having easily dispatched the toughest team in the region besides themselves, the Beavers will likely have an easy time winning their two remaining games against the Millard Eagles and a struggling Parowan team.

Kanab will be looking to get through Enterprise next week before another exciting matchup against 2A North contender North Summit.

Featured image via Southern Utah News.


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