ST. GEORGE – In what many were calling the biggest regular season game in Southern Utah history, the Hurricane Tigers 5-0 (2-0) showed why they are the No. 1 ranked team in 3A, pounding the Dixie Flyers 4-1(1-1) 51-21.
KSL TV was at the game hosting their game of the week, “Game Night Live,” over some great games going on up north. “Game Night Live” is their version of ESPN’s “College Game Day”. Students from both schools were there three hours early cheering for their schools, singing fight songs, and going crazy. Walt Brooks Stadium was sold out. Athletic Director, Michael Bair, said this is the first sellout he can remember in about eight years.
In a game that had the top two scoring offenses in the Region, one would not have expected the defense to strike first, but that’s what happened. After a Tiger punt pinned Dixie at the 2-yard line, Dixie running back Justin Cummings got hit and lost the ball. The fumble landed in the arms of Hurricane’s Kellen Seely for the touchdown.
After the Tiger kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, Dixie took over at their own 20-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Flyer quarterback Blake Barney hit Justin Cummings over the middle for an 80-yard touchdown, bringing the game to a 7-7 tie. That’s the last time Dixie would feel they were in the game.
The Hurricane Tigers scored 28 unanswered points before halftime, all on the ground. The Tigers led at halftime 35-7.
In all, the Tigers rushed for an unbelievable 453 yards. Running backs Brian Scott (143 yards, two touchdowns), Jared Edwards (122 yards, one touchdown), and Weston Yardley (117 yards and two touchdowns) all rushed for over 100 yards. Adam Thompson ran for 57 yards on only four carries an average of 14.3 yards per carry.
Quarterback Taylor Parker only threw two passes the entire game. When asked how it felt to play with four running backs that can change a game like that, he said, “It’s amazing, they take all the pressure off me. I mean I only had to throw two passes tonight” Parker went on to say “the great thing about having four is we can just rotate them so they stay fresh”
Hurricane coach Chris Homer said, “That was a statement game, we wanted to come out and show them from the start that we were ready to play.” Of his running backs, Homer said, “Our line did an outstanding job, they helped our running backs get to the second and third levels; that’s why we broke such long runs.” Long runs indeed! All four running backs averaged more than 11 yards per carry with longs of: Yardley 61, Scott 55, Edwards 49, and Thompson 42 yards.
Turnovers were the story for the Flyers who turned it over four times.
To start the third quarter, Dixie scored on another long pass play from Barney to Cummings, 69 yards, to bring the score to 14-35. Dixie was now thinking that if they got a defensive stop they would have a chance.
That hope went away not even 45 seconds later as Tiger running back Adam Thompson ripped their hearts out with his 42-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers up 42-14.
After another Flyer turnover caused Hurricane’s Weston Yardley to take a 61-yard run to the house, the game was put way out of reach at 48-14.
Hurricane would add a field goal before the end of the third quarter, making the score 51-14 with one quarter to go.
Dixie’s Blake Barney found the end zone one last time before the game ended on a 14-yard pass to Kyle Hansen. Barney ended the game throwing for 298 yards and three touchdown passes to go along with the two interceptions.
Dixie has no time to hold their heads as they travel to Desert Hills next Friday night at 7 p.m. And the Tigers host Snow Canyon for their Homecoming game Friday night at 7 p,m.
Copyright 2011 St. George News. This material may not be published or rewritten without written consent.