Cedar City • Jerry Parker challenged his defense on the most important fourth-and-10 play of the season.
South Summit, clinging to a 14-7 lead in the waning moments of the Class 2A semifinal against Beaver, allowed the opposition to march down the field sans any timeouts.
"We just couldn't get enough pressure on the quarterback," Parker said. "We couldn't find the receivers. It was tough."
But as the Beavers were knocking on the door at the Wildcat 13-yard line, the challenge Parker sent to his guys was met by Carson Freestone. The senior linebacker broke up the 4th-and-10 pass play, cementing South Summit's 14-7 win over Beaver on Saturday afternoon at Southern Utah University, a win that sends the Wildcats to the 2A title game next weekend against Grand County.
"We just really tried to convince the kids to play to win," Parker said. "Carson took it to heart."
A week after blasting the perennial thorn-in-its side San Juan 43-0, South Summit, one of the more potent offenses in 2A, struggled against a Beaver team it beat 37-6 on Sept. 13.
"We have work to do," Parker said. "Defensively, [Beaver] loaded up the box, was bringing everyone and we struggled with it a little bit at times."
Quarterback Ty Jones gave South Summit a 7-0 lead in the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run and hooked up with Jordan McNair for a 25-yard touchdown play later in the quarter.
The defense held strong, despite a touchdown pass from Beaver's Brennon Hutchings to Matthew Roberts in the third quarter.
The Wildcats now face the Red Devils for the title next week at Weber State.
Parker said before the season that he figured South Summit (10-1) and Grand (10-1) were among the top three teams in 2A.
South Summit 14, Beaver 7
O Carson Freestone breaks up a fourth-and-10 play with Beaver threatening to score at the 13-yard line to preserve the Wildcats' win.