Utah Falconz clinch perfect season, look toward playoffs

June 17, 2016

By BreAnn Hillhouse
For the Deseret News

The Utah Falconz traveled to Bakersfield, California, June 11 to play the Bakersfield Bombers in the second of a two-game series and walked away with a 54-0 win.

What makes this victory particularly special is it marks the third year in a row the Falconz have finished a perfect undefeated season. Having already secured their spot in the playoffs, this final shutout has ensured the Utah Falconz will have home-field advantage for the playoffs and fans in Utah will be able to cheer them on in person at Cottonwood High.

“This past weekend’s win against the Bakersfield Bombers is a true testament to our amazing group of women and coaches," defensive line coach Deb Bilbao said. "Three straight years of going undefeated in the regular season is a huge feat. We are so proud and honored to be a part of our Falconz family.”

Utah continues to have a strong rushing game, collecting 249 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Keeshya Cox went to work, dominating the competition with three rushing touchdowns. Tasha Aiono, Lyndi Prestgard and Abby Buns each scored once.

Andrea Taylor ignited with the game’s one and only pass. Thrown by Louise Bean, Taylor completed that pass and ran 30 yards and into the end zone. This was the first touchdown for Taylor.

“The game went really well for us," coach Danell Goodwyn said. "Offensively, we were able to move the ball at will, scoring on each possession of the first half. Defensively, we pitched a shutout, which was needed for us to lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. On special teams, we pinned them deep on kickoffs, and were in plus territory on punts, nearly scoring on two. We will spend the next two weeks preparing to take on Carson in the first round of the playoffs, looking forward to seeing you there."

Defensively, the only goal was to pitch a shutout to guarantee that home-field advantage. The Utah Falconz went beyond that goal with an interception by Tina Magnum. Two Bomber passes were batted down by Emmy Raney and Danielle Musick. The quarterback was sacked twice, by Megan Morton and Eliza Salazar. Three times this defense tackled the ball carrier for a loss by Taylor Bolding, Morton and Sam Taylor.

Always proving the depth of this roster, the defense had 12 separate athletes perform solo tackles. Miccaila Minnix led the charge with three powerful solo tackles and assisted in three more.

The Utah Falconz now put the success of their season behind them and look to the future, welcoming the Carson Bobcats to their home field in the first round of playoffs. A game between the Utah Falconz and the Carson Bobcats has been eagerly awaited, as both teams have blown through their regular-season competition with ease. Both teams are currently undefeated and will go head to head to determine who moves forward to fight for the Western Conference title.

Strength and conditioning coach Joe Wesley added, “It felt good to end the regular season undefeated and to carry the momentum going into the playoffs. Now we have a week to recover before playing in a much anticipated matchup against the Carson Bobcats.”

You can attend this playoff game against the Carson Bobcats Saturday, June 25, at 5 p.m. at Cottonwood High in Murray. Tickets are $10 for ages 11 and up, children 10 and under are free. Tickets for seniors and veterans are $8.

To show your support for this team and their run to the championship, the Utah Falconz are holding a golf tournament to raise funds for playoffs. This Falconz on the Fairway event will be held July 16 at Thanksgiving Point. Visit the Falconz Facebook page for more information at www.facebookcom/utahfalconz.

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