Crimson Cliffs Get Revenge Against Desert Hills In State Title Rematch

Sep 8, 2023, 9:24 PM | Updated: Sep 11, 2023, 2:11 pm


Crimson Cliffs High School in St. George is pictured on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Crimson Cliffs Mustangs blew out the Desert Hills Thunder, 49-7, at home in week five of the high school football season.

Last season, the Thunder and Mustangs met up in the 4A state championship game.

Desert Hills opened the contest with a 9-0 lead after a touchdown and field goal was scored in the first quarter. They took that lead into the halftime break and added another touchdown during the third quarter.

Both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, the 16-0 deficit proved to be too much for the Mustangs to come back from. Desert Hills won the game, 30-14, and captured the 4A title.

First Half

The Crimson Cliffs Mustangs started the game with the ball and a highlight.

Ty West caught the kickoff and took it all the way inside the 25-yard line. The Thunder’s defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs.

Desert Hills began putting a good drive together but one mistake killed any momentum they built.

A snap on first down sailed past the quarterback which resulted in a 2nd & 38. The Thunder were forced to punt on fourth down.

Crimson Cliff would strike gold on their next offensive possession. QB Steele Barben found Malakai Alofipo who went the distance and dove into the end zone.

The Thunder couldn’t get much going on their next possession and punted the ball back to the Mustangs.

Crimson Cliffs put together another excellent return on the punt. McCord Christiansen took it into the red zone before being tackled near the five-yard line.

Mason Topalian ran in a touchdown for Crimson Cliffs to make the score 14-0.

Things continued to go south for Desert Hills.

The Mustangs got the ball back and almost immediately added to their lead.

Steele found Ty West who maneuvered through the defense and ran it in for a 48-yard touchdown.

After Desert Hills couldn’t get anything going on offense, Crimson Cliffs took over once again.

This time, Barben connected with McCord Christiansen who took it 33-yards for another Mustang touchdown.

Desert Hills came out aggressive on their next possession and found some success. They made back-to-back big plays to make it into the red zone.

Near the 10-yard line, Crimson Cliffs’ Brayden Smith laid the hammer down on the ballcarrier and forced a fumble. The Mustangs were able to grab it and regain possession.

After a big gain by Ty West, the Mustangs scored their fifth touchdown. Boston Adamson caught the pass from Barben.

With just a minute left in the half, Desert Hills took one more shot at getting on the scoreboard.

The Thunder made it all the way into Crimson Cliffs territory but the Mustang’s defense continued to swarm Desert Hills.

Desert Hills trailed Crimson Cliffs at the half, 35-0.

Second Half

The Crimson Cliff’s defense suffocated the Thunder on their first possession of the second half.

After getting the ball back, the Mustangs were able to get a couple of first downs. The Thunder defense forced a 4th & 3 near midfield but the Mustangs were able to move the chains and keep the possession alive.

Crimson Cliffs first touchdown of the second half was one to be remembered.

The Mustangs pulled off a double flea-flicker before eventually looking down the field for the score.

Desert Hills got on the board with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Backup QB Gerritt Grondel found Javiyen Cummings who crossed the plane into the end zone.

Crimson Cliffs led 42-7 following the score.

The Mustangs scored again in the final minutes.

Darius Strickland added a touchdown to make the Crimson Cliffs lead 49-7.

The Mustangs stomped the Thunder at home to get revenge for last years title game.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports. 

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Crimson Cliffs Get Revenge Against Desert Hills In State Title Rematch