ST. GEORGE — Dixie continued its dominant push through most of Region 9 with a 47-28 victory over visiting Cedar Friday night.
Of course, Barney couldn’t do it without his receiving corps, most especially Drew Batchelor, who finished the night with two touchdowns and 82 total yards.
“People always talk about those kids that stay after practice and work a little harder,” Barney said. “But that’s us. Me and Drew work hard on the little things – we throw a few more catches, run a few more plays.”
The duo’s chemistry was evident late in the first half when Barney, immediately after Cedar gave up the ball on a botched fourth down attempt, tossed a short pass to Batchelor who ran up the left sideline, then cut towards mid-field and broke through four defenders for a 49-yard touchdown completion.
That score put Dixie up 20-7 with three minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Reds responded in kind on the next possession. Ryan Armstrong recovered a loose ball on the 50-yard line, but then lost possession amidst a mad scrum. The ball bounced in front of Kolton Harris, who scooped it up and sprinted 40 yards into the end zone.
Barney quickly marched the Flyers down field on the ensuing possession and set his team up at the 50. He saw Mitch Wilkinson streaking down the sideline and quickly threw a straight shot into the receiver’s hands. Wilkinson ran the ball into the end zone with two minutes left on the clock, giving Dixie a 27-14 advantage.
But the Reds wanted to make this a game.
Brendon Williams, who finished with two touchdowns on the night, dragged his team to Dixie’s 27-yard line as the seconds ticked away. Then, quarterback Easton Weaver threw a line drive to Mike Hourigan, who caught the ball at the 1-yard line with 10 seconds left. After a brief interlude, Weaver launched himself into the end zone for the score, making 27-21 at intermission.
With that, the Cedar crowd erupted into a flurry of cheers while the home crowd nervously awaited what was sure to be an intense second half.
It was not to be.
The Flyers outscored Cedar 13-0 in the third quarter, then pushed the game dangerously close to blowout territory on a sensational 82-yard touchdown reception sent by Barney to receiver Dakota Bair early in the fourth quarter. That made it 47-21 with 8:40 left in the game.
“That’s a play we have drawn up in our book,” Dixie coach Blaine Monkres said. “Dakota saw he had man-to-man coverage and Barney managed to catch him in the open. Our offensive line did a terrific job giving Barney enough time to complete that play.”
Additional victors of the night include the Flyers defense, which held Cedar on two crucial fourth downs in the second half that could’ve spun the game in another direction upon completion.
“Our defense was great tonight,” Batchelor said. “We stopped them when we needed to most.”
Cedar has yet to win a game on the season, while the Flyers have averaged a ridiculous 40 points per game in their four region victories.
“You never want to say you’re the best,” Batchelor said. “But when everyone does their assignments and does what they’re supposed to do, it’s hard to match-up with us.”
Dixie, 7-1 overall and 4-1 in region will play its final game at Snow Canyon (5-3, 2-2) next week.
Cedar, 0-7 and 0-4, had 395 yards of offense, but also had two interceptions and turned the ball over on downs three times in the game. The Redmen were led by Brendon Williams’s 173 rushing yards.
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