Wildcats, Harry swat Bees

Nov 2 2013 - 4:19pm

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WOODS CROSS -- Woods Cross senior Xequille Harry was close to a one-man show in the Wildcats' state 4-A first-round playoff game on Friday.

Harry finished the game with six catches for 143 yards, two receiving touchdowns, a passing touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown as Woods Cross (10-1) cruised to a 42-14 victory over visiting Box Elder (6-5).

"Xequille's awesome," Woods Cross coach Justin Spencer said. "Why he doesn't have a scholarship offer I don't understand. We don't have a single scholarship offer on our team and I hope people take a look at him because he is a playmaker. He's a special kid."

Box Elder, looking to make an early statement, took a gamble on a fourth-and-1 from its own 34 on its first possession. The conversion was successful as quarterback Shad Watson powered for three yards, but then facing a crucial third-and-6, Harry picked off Watson's first pass attempt of the game and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown.

"We have a goal to get out of the gates quickly and we just kind of have a method of what we're trying to do and our kids respond really well," Spencer said. "Our defense is pretty dang good and we rely on them and that's two weeks in a row where we've started out 7-0 without taking an offensive snap. That's good. That's really good."

After a quick three-and-out, Woods Cross used some trickery as Harry took the ball and found a wide-open Sean Gallagher for a 71-yard score.

The Wildcats defense forced another quick punt and almost just as quick, the offense was back in the end zone as quarterback Clay Kidman found Harry wide open for an 80-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

Woods Cross led 21-0 despite less than 30 seconds of offense.

Spencer attributed the large chunk plays to the aggressiveness of the Box Elder safeties, which he had noticed from film study.

"We knew how aggressive Box Elder was playing and their safeties come downhill," Spencer said. "They're a physical team and so we thought, 'Well, let's take a shot,' and it paid off."

The Wildcats made the lead 28-0 just before the end of the first quarter with sophomore Braxton Gunther taking a handoff in from 30 yards out. Gunther broke into the second level, put a slick spin move on a Box Elder defender and scampered into the end zone.

With Woods Cross ahead 34-0 in the closing seconds of the first half, Box Elder finally managed its way on the scoreboard thanks to a 58-yard pass from Watson to Jayk Brooks. But any thoughts of a second-half comeback were quickly extinguished when Woods Cross put together a bruising touchdown drive that took up nearly half of the entire third quarter and culminated with Harry's second touchdown reception of the game, this time a 17-yard score.

Just for good measure, Kidman connected with Harry for the two-point conversion.

Watson found Teagan Hubbard for a 5-yard score midway through the fourth quarter to make it 42-14 and close out the scoring.

Woods Cross will host Salem Hills (8-3) in the 4-A quarterfinals next week. Salem Hills defeated Orem, Region 7's No. 1 seed, 35-14 on Friday.

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