Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Utah Tech’s Malaki Malaki comes near blocking a punt by Southern Utah’s Jake Gerardi as Marcus Phillips defends in the course of the third quarter of Utah Tech’s 48-36 win at Higher Zion Stadium, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

ST. GEORGE — The halftime pyrotechnics had been minor in contrast with how Utah Tech and Southern Utah lit up the scoreboard Saturday evening.

Utah Tech followers rejoice in the course of the Trailblazers’ 48-36 homecoming soccer win over Southern Utah, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

And Chapter 2 of the Battle of the Ax went to the host Trailblazers, whose 48-36 homecoming victory stat sheet reads like a Fourth of July fireworks blueprint.

Freshman quarterback Victor Gabalis was 24-of36 passing for 477 yards and 5 touchdowns, each program bests. And as Utah Tech college students rushed the sector at Higher Zion Stadium, he stepped to the facet to mirror on the win.

“Oh yeah, revenge was an element,” stated Gabalis, referring to Southern Utah’s 31-17 Western Athletic Convention win at Eccles Coliseum on Sept. 25. “We needed to present them who was boss.”

Vast receiver Rickey Johnson caught 9 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns — the yards and scores each Utah Tech single-game data and the second-highest single-game receiving yard complete in each FBS and FCS Division I, Utah Tech Athletics Director Steve Johnson stated.

“I simply go on the market and have enjoyable … and play my recreation,” Johnson stated. “I belief my receivers’ blocking. And every time I see inexperienced grass, I am going.”

Within the Battle of the Ax, Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Higher Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Southern Utah put up spectacular numbers within the loss. on the file e book. Place-kicker Connor Brooksby booted a career-best school-record 54-yard discipline purpose, and working again Quali Conley rushed for 155 yards on 22 carries

“We’re taking part in with some confidence,”  Utah Tech coach Paul Peterson stated. “Early within the season we had a few of these identical issues open and we missed them, however we’re making them work now.”

 Quarterback Justin Miller was 23-of34 passing for 273 yards, finishing passes to 9 totally different receivers. But it surely was Isaiah Wood’s kick return efficiency that put the Thunderbirds in place to attain two of their touchdowns. He amassed 203 yards on 5 returns, together with a 72-yarder.

It was a back-and-forth affair for the primary half. Utah Tech struck first when Gabalis accomplished passes of  33 yards to Johnson and 30 yards to Joey Hobert to focus on a 9-play, 73-yard drive that spanned 4:07. Brooksby break up the uprights on the 11:58 mark to start out the scoring.

Southern Utah quarterback Justin Miller takes a breather in the course of the third quarter of the Thunderbirds’48-36 soccer loss to Utah Tech, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

However Southern Utah answered, going 54 yards in 12 performs, culminating with a Micah Pettit 43-yard discipline purpose to make it 3-3.

And the battle was on.

The Blazers went proper to work from their very own 33-yard line when Gabalis discovered Johnson for 9 yards. Then on second-and-one, Conley took the ball on a sweep and scampered 43 yards to the Thunderbird 15. Two gamers later, Gabalis discovered Hobert from six yards out, and Utah Tech was up 10-3 with 3:56 left within the first quarter.

Utah Tech’s protection pressured a three-and-out with Malaki Malaki tallying a sort out for loss and Justin Kirkland stuffing the center on a pivotal third down, which pressured Southern Utah to punt.

After which got here extra fireworks from the Trailblazers. Conley gained 5 yards on first all the way down to take the ball as much as the Utah Tech 21, and after a Gabalis incompletion, he discovered Johnson on a 79-yard catch-and-run. The 84-yard, 3-play drive took 57 seconds, and the Blazers had been up 17-3.

Extra fireworks went off within the second quarter as Southern Utah battled again, spearheaded by Wood’s 66-yard kickoff return to the Utah Tech 33-yard line. And on the second play of the second quarter, Isaiah Williams discovered paydirt from three yards out. Pettit’s PAT pulled the T-birds inside 17-10.

The 2 groups traded punts on their subsequent possessions. However Southern Utah grabbed the momentum when Julian Sanderlin knocked the ball from Gabalis’ palms ultimately zone. The protection made it 17-12, and the Thunderbird sideline was ignited once more when Wood returned the following free kick to the Southern Utah 48.

Six performs later, Elijah Burns discovered the tip zone on a six-yard run, and the Thunderbirds led 19-17  with 3:35 to play within the first half. The groups traded discipline targets to make it 22-20, however the Trailblazers grabbed the lead – a lead they’d by no means relinquish – with 6 seconds left within the first half when Johnson snared a 6-yard move from Gabalis.

The second-half air present continued with Roberts and Gabalis connecting from 39 yards out to place Utah Tech up 34-22. The play got here on fourth down and appeared to tip the momentum again within the Trailblazers’ favor.

Southern Utah, nonetheless, saved fanning the flames as Miller scored on a 4-yard rush, closing the hole to 34-29. However that’s as shut because the Thunderbirds would get. Johnson scored with 1:07 left within the third quarter to place the hosts forward 41-29. And Conley added a 27-yard TD run after Williams had scored on a 2-yard landing run for Southern Utah.

As the sport neared its finish, a number of Utah Tech gamers dashed towards the coveted ax, which was mounted on a spherical desk close to the south finish zone. However a timing snafu pressured them to return the ax till the ultimate 10 seconds ticked off the clock.

When it did, they grabbed their reward and ran onto the sector, becoming a member of the coed physique, coaches and members of the family in a frenzied post-game celebration.

Afterward within the press field, Peterson merely stated: “The ax is again.”

Utah Tech (3-6 total, 1-2 within the WAC), subsequent hosts Tarleton State Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. for Senior Day.

Southern Utah (3-6,  1-3) subsequent hosts Lincoln College of California Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m.

Photograph Gallery

Utah Tech followers rejoice in the course of the Trailblazers’ 48-36 homecoming soccer win over Southern Utah, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Southern Utah quarterback Justin Miller takes a breather in the course of the third quarter of the Thunderbirds’48-36 soccer loss to Utah Tech, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Within the Battle of the Ax, Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Utah Tech soccer defeated Southern Utah 48-36 within the homecoming recreation at Nice Zion Stadium Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 | Photograph by Vin Cappiello, St. George Information

Copyright St. George Information, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

Vin Cappiello has been concerned in journalism in numerous capacities since age 16, when his first story was revealed within the Rockland County Journal-Information in suburban New York CIty. He has labored at newspapers in Ohio, Idaho and Wyoming and now serves as night editor of St. George Information. Vin and his spouse Lisa have been married 33 years and have three grown kids: Gabriella, 25; Sara 22; and Maggie, 19. Vin and Maggie are Third-degree and Lisa is a 2nd-degree black belt in taekwondo. Vin is also the writer of the younger grownup novel A Quarter Mile From House. He enjoys climbing, tenting, fly-fishing and working, ideally with Lisa.

By Admin

Leave a Reply