GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie (8-2, 4-2) at Stansbury (11-0, 6-0), tonight, 5 p.m.
Previous Meeting – First meeting
Classification: 3A, Region 9
Coach: Blaine Monkres (23rd year, 165-88 overall)
Last week: Beat North Sanpete 35-6
Players to watch: DL Jesse Lambert has an amazing 92 tackles this season, despite being moved to the line from his spot at linebacker last season. LB Tyson Graff leads the team with 123 tackles. QB Blake Barney’s TD/interception ratio is 8-1. Generally, 3-1 is a good number for a QB. Barney has also rushed for 12 scores.
Team stats: http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football/dixie-stats
Trend: Dixie has won four of its last five, a run that began with a close win over eventual region champ Desert Hills. In the last four games, Dixie has allowed just 18 points a game, including just six in a road win at North Sanpete.
Classification: 3A, Region 11
Coach: Clint Christiansen (fourth year, 70-66 overall)
Last week: Beat Union 60-26
Players to watch: QB (and coach’s son) Chase Christiansen is the trigger man in the Stallions triple option and has rushed for 854 yards and 17 touchdowns. But Stansbury is not a one man show. Six different players have rushed for at least 275 yards this season, including RBs Jackson Clausing (668 yards, 9.7 ypc) and Jesse Horowitz (517 yards, 8.3 ypc). But the strength of this team is its defense, anchored by LB Colton May (112 tackles) and DL Spencer Wihongi (61 tackles, 7 sacks).
Trend: The Stallions are undefeated. Now that’s a trend. Mid-season, Stansbury had back-to-back close games, beating Morgan 29-28 in overtime by going for two after a score and holding off Desert Hills 12-7. One telling game, though, is a 14-13 nailbiter against a mediocre Grantsville team. The Cowboys missed two field goals at the end of the game that would have beaten Stansbury.
The feeling around the state is that Stansbury is good, but not great. On the one hand, the Stallions have beaten all comers. On the other hand, they got manhandled in the playoffs last season and were very fortunate to be undefeated in a weak region. For Dixie, they have played toe to toe with some of the best in the state, losing a two-pointer to Hurricane and beating Desert Hills by three. Undoubtedly, it will be a close game. Maybe it comes down to kicking. Stansbury’s Darius Johnson has six field goals this season. Dixie’s Miles Barker has one.
Andy Griffin (40-8) — Stansbury
JA/Keric Seegmiller (40-8) — Dixie
Region 9 standings: http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football-standings
Region 9 leaders: http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football-leaders