ST. GEORGE — There’s only one game in town on Friday night, and there’s a lot on the line.

Crimson Cliffs’ quarterback Steele Barben, here in a win over Dixie, will lead the Mustangs against Desert Hills on Friday night, St. George, Utah, Nov. 4, 2023 | Photo by Aaron Crane, St. George News

Nearly a year ago, Desert Hills and Crimson Cliffs met for the 4A state football championship at Greater Zion Stadium. The Thunder rumbled to a 30-14 win.

Then on Sept. 8, Crimson Cliffs got a small measure of payback when the Mustangs galloped to a 49-7 victory over their backyard rivals.

And this Friday night, it will be an all-Region 9 affair as the Thunder and Mustangs line up against each other one more time. The winner advances to the 4A semifinals Nov. 10 at Rice Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah.

The Thunder (7-4) is coming off a convincing 49-33 win over Snow Canyon that saw Desert Hills running back Tytan Mason run for four scores and catch two more. 

Crimson Cliffs (10-1) is fresh off a 56-0 dismantling of Cedar. The Mustangs average 47.8 points per game. Senior quarterback Steele Barben has thrown for 2,587 yards and 38 touchdowns this season.

The Game of the Week will be streamed and broadcast live at The Fan Sports Network. Kickoff is Friday at 6 p.m. in Washington Fields. Devin Dixon will have the call, with Paul Ratcliff on color commentary and Kaden Foremaster on the sidelines.

Canyon View runs the ball against Pine View in a non-region football game, Cedar City, Utah, Aug. 19, 2023 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Meanwhile, in the 3A playoffs, No. 4 Canyon View (9-2) will go on the road against No. 1 seed Richfield (11-0) at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m.

The Falcons previously played the Wildcats during the regular season, losing at Richfield 28-14 on Oct. 6. Manti (9-2) and Morgan (8-3) are playing the other semifinal, with the championship game slated for 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11.

In 1A action, No. 1 Beaver (10-1) hosts No. 4 Kanab (7-4) at 4 p.m. Friday, while No. 2 Duchesne (10-1) takes on No. 3 Enterprise (10-1) at 7 p.m. The winners will play for the state title at 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11.

And in the 1A 8-man tournament, No. 4 Water Canyon (5-4) travels to No. 1 Rich (6-4), while No. 3 Altamount (7-2) hits the road to face No. 2 Monticello (6-4). The championship is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.

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