Crimson Cliffs Advances To 4A Title Game With Win Over Ridgeline

Nov 10, 2023, 8:33 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2023, 2:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 2 Crimson Cliffs Mustangs defeated the No. 6 Ridgeline Riverhawks, 31-24, behind a late interception that killed all hopes for a comeback.

Ridgeline vs. Crimson Cliffs

The Riverhawks and Mustangs played in the 4A semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium, home of the Utah Utes, on Friday, November 10.

Crimson Cliffs beat Ridgeline, 31-24.

First Half

On the opening drive of the contest, Ridgeline worked the clock as it worked its way down the field. The Riverhawks capped the drive with a touchdown pass from Nate Dahle to Sam Peterson to get on the scoreboard first. Ridgeline took a 7-0 lead with the score at the 5:32 mark of the first quarter.

Crimson Cliffs responded with a touchdown drive of its own on the Mustangs’ first possession. With 2:53 remaining in the quarter, McCord Christiansen burst up the middle for a game-tying touchdown.

The Riverhawks stalled on their second offensive possession and punted the ball to the Mustangs. The teams took a 7-7 tie in the second quarter.

35 seconds into the second quarter, Christiansen broke free for his second touchdown of the night. The Mustangs took a 14-7 lead with the touchdown run.

Following a punt by the Riverhawks, the Mustangs took over in their own territory and looked to add to their lead.

With 8:06 left in the first half, Mustangs quarterback Steele Barben was picked off by Ridgeline’s Trace Dustin.

The Riverhawks took advantage of the turnover when Dahle found Graham Livingston for a touchdown to knot the scoreboard at 14-14.

Crimson Cliffs’ troubles continued as the Riverhawks blocked a punt by the Mustangs with 4:27 to play until halftime. Ridgeline recovered the ball in Mustang territory.

With 2:55 remaining in the second quarter, the Riverhawks took a 17-14 lead after making a field goal.

However, the Mustangs quickly got things back on track. With 23 seconds to go in the quarter, Barben and Owen Peterson linked up for a go-ahead touchdown. Crimson Cliffs took a 21-17 lead on the score.

With nine seconds left in the half, Dahle was picked off by the Mustangs. Crimson Cliffs moved into scoring territory and made a field goal as the first half game clock expired. The kick extended Crimson Cliffs’ lead to 24-17 as the teams went into the locker rooms.

Second Half

Running back McCord Christiansen had his number called multiple times as Crimson Cliffs slowly made their way down the field to start the third quarter.

The Mustangs capitalized on the drive with a touchdown to increase their lead to two possessions, 31-17.

Ridgeline looked to close the lead on their next drive to make the fourth-quarter comeback a bit easier.

A pass interference call on Crimson Cliffs in the red zone put the Riverhawks on the 5-yard line.

Ridgeline made the most of the situation and freshman Krew Jones punched it into the end zone.

The Riverhawks forced a stop on the Mustangs’ next drive and would get the ball to start the fourth.

Ridgeline began piecing together a quality drive with a balanced passing and rushing offense.

Just as the Riverhawks hit midfield, the Crimson Cliffs defense buckled down. They forced a false start, followed up with a sack on second down, and ended up forcing a turnover on downs.

Ridgeline forced multiple third downs but the Mustangs were able to move the chains each time.

With two minutes left, the Mustangs went for it on 4th down and got stuffed to give Ridgeline one final chance to force overtime.

McKay Wright intercepted the Ridgeline QB to seal the deal in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Crimson Cliffs pull out the win over Ridgeline, 31-24.

Up next for Ridgeline/Crimson Cliffs football

With the win, the Mustangs advanced to the 4A state title game. Crimson Cliffs improved its record to 12-1 with the victory. Ridgeline finished its season with a 10-3 record.

RELATED: No. 8 Green Canyon Dominates No. 4 Park City, Advances To 4A Title Game

The No. 2 Crimson Cliffs Mustangs will play the No. 8 Green Canyon Wolves for the 4A state title. The 4A championship game will take place at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 17 at 11 a.m. The championship game will be broadcast on and the KSL Sports app.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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Crimson Cliffs Advances To 4A Title Game With Win Over Ridgeline