On Monday, Cedar coach Josh Bennett challenged his team to start fast. Cedar was coming off a loss to Dixie, where it didn’t get on the scoreboard until the second half. He knew that needed to change.
“I told them this would be a really good football team if we could play four quarters,” Bennett said. “Not just play a quarter, not just play a half, but play all four quarters.”
Cedar did just that against Snow Canyon Friday night en route to a 41-13 victory.
Fueled by a homecoming crowd, Cedar (3-3, 1-1) went right down the on its first possession, and Drake Lewis pounded it into the end zone from 4-yards out.
“The last couple of games we started off slow,” Bennett said. “Our focus was to start fast.”
And Cedar wasn’t done. Once the home team got the ball back, quarterback Mason Fakahua found Bracken Yardley for a 51-yard touchdown to give Cedar a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Cedar didn’t slow down there, either. Lewis intercepted Snow Canyon’s Jackson Nowatzke and ran it into the end zone, and later Fakahua busted up the middle for a 62-yard touchdown run to make it 27-0.
“We worked hard this week,” Fakahua said. “We weren’t satisfied with what we did last week, so we came back and played are best.”
Snow Canyon (3-3, 0-2) did find some fight, though. Nowatzke found some room on a quarterback keeper, and ran 34 yards for a touchdown to pull the Warriors to 27-6 going into halftime. Snow Canyon then struck first in the second half.
After a successful fake punt pushed the Warriors into Cedar territory, Snow Canyon’s Dylan Parry ran it in from two yards out to cut the Cedar lead to 27-13. But that’s as close as the Warriors would get.
Lewis added to his big day with a 65-yard run down to the Snow Canyon one yard line, before Fakahua finished off the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game.
Then the Cedar defense left no doubt, scoring its second touchdown of the game when Berick Englestead ripped the ball from a Snow Canyon runner and strolled into the end zone.
“Our defense has been solid with us all year.” Bennett said. “I think we have more takeaways now than we’ve had in quite a while, it’s really helping our team. One thing that we have really stressed is 11 guys to the football and guys have really bought into that.”
Based off Friday’s game, it looks the team has bought into playing all four quarters, too.
Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter, @millerjryan.