ST. GEORGE – For only the second time in 11 years, the Dixie Flyers beat the Pine View Panthers 35-33.
Dixie was in control much of the second half, but with 48 seconds left and the Flyers up 35-26, Blake Barney threw a pass that was intercepted by defensive end Wes Moeai and taken 98 yards to the end zone. That set up the most exciting play in football, the onside kick. Both teams had a chance at the ball, but in the end, running back Justin Cummings came up with it.
After the game there was still speculation on why Barney threw a pass with under one minute remaining.
“The play we called was 33, a run, but Blake thought he heard pass,” Cummings said.
One of the Flyers defensive coaches was screaming at coach Monkers, “let’s just take a knee,” but coach Monkers said, “this is Pine View!”
Monkers said after the game, “I definitely called a run; we wanted to put seven more points on the board. That one is my fault; we should have just taken a knee.”
Dixie dealt with lots of adversity; on their first offensive possession Tadd Challis, the states second leading receiver and Barney’s favorite target, went down with a leg injury. Early in the second half, receiver/kick returner Chris Whetton went down with a concussion. But all that did not stop Barney and company. The highest scoring offense in the Region did not let anyone down scoring on 35 points against their cross-town rival.
Barney threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns, two of them were to sophomore Lukas Hillebrandt. Hillebrandt caught seven passes for 157 yards to go along with the two receiving touchdowns; he also scored on a four yard run early in the second half.
Injured Chris Whetton caught the other touchdown pass before he got hurt on a kickoff return. Cummings scored the last Flyer touchdown of the game with just under 10 minutes remaining. Cumming rushed for 118 yards on 23 carries along with the score. Cummings also led the team in tackles with seven and had an interception.
Pine View came out running the ball early on with quarterback Braxton Peterson and running back Prentiss Miller. On the first drive of the game, Pine View drove 80 yards on all running plays to find the end zone. On the Panthers second offense drive of the game it was more of the same.
The Panthers did not throw a pass in the first quarter. All that changed once the Flyer defense stopped the Panthers on back-to-back drives. That brought on freshman Kody Wilstead.
Wilstead picked the Flyer defense apart, throwing two touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter, both to wide receiver Jake Arslanian. Wilstead threw for just under 200 yards; he could have had two more touchdowns but the Panthers had them called back on holding penalties.
Penalties were a problem all game for the Panthers who really looked undisciplined. The Panthers were called for three 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties to go along with the two holding calls that took the touchdowns off the board. In all, the Panthers had over 60 yards in penalties, something the Panther coaching staff did not expect.
On the injury front for the Flyers, it does not look good for Challis. Coaches are saying they were told it could be an ACL and he would most likely be out for the season. Whetton still needed help to stand up after the game; the Flyer staff is calling it a concussion and he is doubtful for next week’s matchup.
Next Friday, Dixie will again have the game of the week as the 4-0 Dixie Flyers take on the 4-0 Hurricane Tigers at Dixie on Friday September 16, at 7 p.m. The game matches the last two undefeated teams in Region 9.
The Pine View Panthers will host the Desert HIlls Thunder the same night at 7 p.m.
Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.