Phoenix’s playoff run ends with semifinals lossDec 01, 2022 11:30AM ● By Josh McFadden
Farmington’s Dayton Runyan (84) struggles with the loss to No. 1 Seed Corner Canyon Nov. 10 at the U of U Rice-Eccles Stadium. It was the Semi-Final Round of the State 6A Football Tournament where the Phoenix lost 45-28.
The Farmington Phoenix football team had its best postseason showing in the program’s young history, reaching the Class 6A semifinals.
And for a brief moment, it looked as though Farmington might be poised for an upset and a trip to the state finals.
The Phoenix fell to top-seeded and perennial state power Corner Canyon, 45-28, on Nov. 10 at Rice Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah. Farmington’s season ended at 10-3 overall.
The powerful Corner Canyon team had its share of struggles with Farmington, however, the Phoenix didn’t make things easy. In fact, late in the third quarter, Farmington was up 28-24.
A key special teams play turned the tide.
Dante Coats hauled in an 8-yard pass from Easton Wight with 3:21 to play in the third to give the Phoenix their first lead of the game. But Corner Canyon returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown to regain the lead at 41-28. Corner Canyon seized momentum too. Farmington wouldn’t score again, while the Chargers added two more scores.
The Phoenix fell in an early hole but managed to stay close. Corner Canyon scored the game’s first 14 points within the first quarter and a half of play. The Phoenix scored two touchdowns in an eventful second quarter that saw the two squads combine for 31 points. Travis Hoopes had a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7. Ben Stucki then had a 29-yard TD reception from Wight with 58 seconds in the half to get the Phoenix to within 21-14. Corner Canyon then connected on a field goal as time ran out in the half.
In the third quarter, Stucki’s 3-yard touchdown grab made it 24-21. Then, the TD by Coats put Farmington in front. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, the lead only lasted 14 seconds.
Wight had 272 yards passing on 20 completions in 34 attempts. He also had three touchdowns and out-dueled Corner Canyon’s Isaac Wilson, a Division I college prospect. Stucki led all receivers with six catches for 134 yards and two scores. Mitch Nielsen added three catches for 56 yards.
Defensively, Farmington intercepted Wilson four times. Dayton Runyan had two interceptions for the Phoenix, while Jaxson Eastman and Cole Noble-Wight had one. Zach Quinton paced the team with seven tackles.
The successful season saw Farmington set a school record for victories. Wight finished the season with 3,159 yards passing and 41 touchdowns. Nielsen and Quinton each had more than 40 catches, with 45 and 42, respectively. Nielsen had 863 receiving yards and a team-high 13 touchdowns. Ten of Stucki’s 29 catches (613 yards) were for touchdowns. On the ground, Hoopes led the way with 624 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, Luke Hansen had 100 tackles and 10 sacks on the year. Jed Judkins had 68 tackles and a team-leading 12 sacks.
The Phoenix do lose some firepower for next season but also return key playmakers. Wight will be back as a senior next season for head coach Daniel Coats’ team.
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