High school football: Shifty DaeQwan Snider helps Roy bury Woods Cross, remain in Region 5 race

WOODS CROSS — The Roy Royals went looking for a spark Friday night to keep them in contention for the Region 5 title.

They found it by beating Woods Cross at its own game.

DaeQwan Snider led a group of talented backs with 174 rushing yards, and the Royals used a dominating second-quarter performance in every phase to bury the Wildcats 51-17 to stay tied for second place with just three games remaining in the regular season.

Roy trailed 3-0 after the first quarter when its first two drives ended in turnovers, but the defense recorded a safety and then quarterbacks Joseph Cariaga and Drew Gardner took turns handing the ball to shifty guys like Snider, Robert Young and several others.

Woods Cross had no answer.

The ‘Cats trailed 20-3 by halftime on a chilly evening and the stands got even colder in the second half when the Royals scored on every possession to pull away and turn the outcome into a rout.

“We have a lot of talent at the skill positions, and we’ve had to have them carry us at times,” said Roy coach Chris Solomona. “We were really tested with our nonregion schedule (which consisted of 6A teams like American Fork, Fremont and Weber).”

Solomona said he hasn’t seen much of a dropoff against the 5A opponents, but it was apparent that when Rhett Slater caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Gardner (the Royals’ first completion of the game), it took away the Wildcats’ early momentum.

A short punt after the ‘Cats failed to get a first down to start the second half continued the onslaught. The drive ended at the Woods Cross 30-yard line and Colby Frokjer’s 42 yard field goal didn’t even reach the end zone.

Roy, however, was given a delay of game penalty and Frokjer buried a 47-yarder with room to spare.

The rest of the game was a Royals highlight reel.

Snider had most of his yards in the fourth quarter, breaking countless tackles on scoring runs of 41 and 56 yards.

It was his second-best night of the season, after a near 200-yard effort against Weber.

“I’m shifty. I look for exits in a little fold,” Snider said. “Sometimes I try to bounce off people, but mostly if they look away, I just run past them.

That was clearly what Woods Cross coach Brody Benson noticed.

“They had a good scheme against us and we didn’t wrap up well,” said Benson, whose team dropped to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in region.

The game was particularly frustrating for the home team, which likely saw its region title hopes end.

The ‘Cats came in averaging nearly 40 points per game and had given up just seven points combined in wins over region foes Clearfield and Viewmont the last two weeks — and Viewmont nearly took first-place Box Elder to overtime while this game was occurring.

Roy, however, is now the team on a roll. The Royals improved to 5-2 and 3-1 and have an easier schedule remaining, with Bountiful seemingly its toughest test in two weeks.

“This is a crazy region,” said Solomona. “When we play our A-game, we can turn this team into believers. We have some guys we can put on our backs. We’re in a race. We just to have keep playing one game at a time.”

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