Canyon View Falcons to open 3A football playoffs at home vs. Richfield; other 2A/1A action

Canyon View's BoDee Burrows recovers a Richfield fumble in the final minute of the game, allowing the Falcons to secure a 12-7 win, Richfield, Utah, Oct. 15, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Larry Stanger, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Canyon View High School football team will play its first home playoff game in more than two decades Friday night when the Falcons host the Richfield Wildcats in the 3A classification’s first round.

The Falcons, who are 4-5 overall, finished their regular season by winning their last two games, including a 12-7 decision at Richfield last Friday.

Canyon View head coach Patrick Achord told Cedar City News that he expects this Friday’s rematch with Richfield to also be decided in the trenches.

“Last week’s game was a back-and-forth defensive battle,” Achord said. “The best game we’ve probably ever played this year was last week. If you look at the numbers, Richfield statistically has one of the best defenses, if not the best defense in the region. So this week, I think it’s going to be more of the same.”

On Oct. 8, the week before their win at Richfield, the Falcons outlasted the North Sanpete Hawks in a thriller that came down to the wire. At the end of that game, North Sanpete’s kicker missed what would have been the winning field goal, allowing Canyon View to escape with a 28-27 victory at home.

Canyon View quarterback Andrew Barnes hands off to Adrian Ward vs. North Sanpete, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 8, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Larry Stanger, St. George News / Cedar City News

Achord said the Falcons have been making a shift from their previous spread offense to a more ground-oriented attack.

“We’ve kind of changed from a 50-50 pass and run balance to a real run-heavy team,” he said.

“Adrian Ward is the No. 2 back in 3A, and he’s pretty much been our main weapon,” Achord said, adding that quarterback Andrew Barnes and running back Nick Macias are also among the team’s top rushing threats.

Kickoff on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The winner of the Canyon View vs. Richfield game will advance to face No. 2 seed Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper on Oct. 29. To see the full 3A playoff bracket, click here.

The last time Canyon View hosted a football playoff game was on Oct. 28, 2000, when the Falcons defeated North Sanpete 7-0. The following week, Canyon View lost to Morgan in the 3A quarterfinals, but that game was played at Morgan, not at Canyon View, UHSAA records confirm.

2A football playoffs

Two-time defending state champion Beaver saw its 34-game winning streak snapped on Oct. 8 when the Beavers lost a low-scoring contest at home to San Juan, 8-0. Nevertheless, Beaver finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and drew the No. 3 seed in the 2A state playoffs.

After a bye in the first round, the Beavers will host a quarterfinal game Oct. 29 versus the winner of Friday’s game between Delta and American Leadership Academy. To see the full 2A bracket, click here.

1A football playoffs

This year, joining the handful of 1A football-playing schools in the state are several schools that are 2A in all sports except football, including Enterprise, Parowan and Kanab. Five of the 11 teams in the newly created 1A football division have first-round byes.

The only opening-round playoff game to feature a Southern Utah team will be at Parowan, when the eighth-seeded Rams host the ninth-seeded Gunnison Valley Bulldogs on Friday at 6 p.m. The same two teams met during the regular season at Gunnison on Sept. 17, with Parowan winning 32-20.

To see the full 1A football bracket, which has Kanab seeded No. 2 and Enterprise at No. 3, click here.

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