Cedar City • South Summit knew defense would be the key to help them avoid another disappointment in Saturday’s Class 2A state title game.
Jared Dansie scored after his defensive teammates made a fourth-down stop, which allowed the Wildcats to finally hold the big trophy and deny the Beaver a third straight crown.
Dansie scored two touchdowns on the ground, and Keegan Stracher caught two touchdown passes from Kael Atkinson as South Summit rolled to a 38-10 victory over the Beavers at Eccles Coliseum. The Wildcats finished with a perfect 12-0 season and denied the Beavers their third consecutive Class 2A state title.
“We knew we needed to stop them on defense because they couldn’t stop us on offense,” said Dansie, who scored on a 37-yard run with less than five minutes left to give the Wildcats a 31-10 lead. “It was a good confidence booster for us and really got us going.”
Dansie’s big run was set up after the South Summit defense stopped Beaver (10-2) a yard short of the end zone on fourth-and-goal. The Wildcats only needed three plays to go 99 yards, then put their stamp on the win when Braxton Crystal intercepted a Porter Hollingshead pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with 4 minutes, 8 seconds left.
“Our defense was unbelievable,” South Summit coach Mike Grajek said. “When you look at the end of the day, they got a lot of yardage, but we only let them in the end zone one time.”
Even more impressive to Grajek was how his team handled becoming the first in school history to go undefeated.
“We never really talked about it,” Grajek said about the achievement. “The kids just believed week to week. You can overshadow those things, but they just believed in the process, which was awesome.”
Both teams fumbled on their opening possessions, but the Wildcats converted the Beavers’ fumble into the game’s first touchdown. After Parker Grajek completed a 47-yard option pass to Stracher on third-and-15, Dansie scored on a 2-yard run for the 7-0 lead.
The Beavers cut the lead to 14-7 on a 1-yard run by Tyce Raddon with 3:52 to play, but South Summit marched back and scored when Atkinson found Stracher for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds remaining before halftime.
Raddon suffered an injury in the second half and didn’t return.
SOUTH SUMMIT 38, BEAVER 10
• South Summit wins the school’s seventh state championship.
• The Wildcats complete the program’s first undefeated season.
• This game marks the seventh time two teams have played for the state title in three consecutive seasons.