Championship Game Preview Capsule: Dixie vs. Spanish Fork

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie (10-2, 4-2) vs. Spanish Fork (12-1, 5-0), today, 11 a.m.
Previous Meeting – Spanish Fork 43, Dixie 6 (Sept. 6, 1996)

FLYERS
Classification: 3A, Region 9
Coach: Blaine Monkres (23rd year, 167-88 overall)
Offense: Spread
Last week: Beat Juan Diego 14-13
Players to watch: DL Jesse Lambert and LB Taylor Berry are two of the many seniors on a defense that has improved leaps and bounds since 2010. QB Blake Barney is now seventh all-time in Utah history in career total offense (8,685 yards) and passing yards (6.937). The senior has accounted for 83 touchdowns in his three-year career.
PPG: 34.9
PAPG: 18.0
Team stats: http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/high-school-sports/mens-football/dixie-stats
Trend: Dixie held an option team (Stansbury) to 13 points and a wing-t team (Juan Diego) to 13 points the last two weeks. If the Flyers can do something similar against a spread team this week, they should be hoisting the state championship trophy and shaking hands with Rob Cuff.

DONS
Classification: 3A, Region 12
Coach: Kirk Chambers (First year, 12-1 overall)
Offense: Spread
Last week: Beat Desert Hills 35-28
Players to watch: Sophomore QB Jason Money looks like a well-seasoned senior and shredded Desert Hills for 22 of 29 passing and 264 yards. Again and again, Money found Colton Olsen, who caught 12 passes for 108 yards. He’s a big target (6-foot-3) and has a knack for getting open. Cameron Money, Jason’s cousin, is also a favorite target and had seven catches last week.
PPG: 34.8
PAPG: 14.1
Trend: Spanish Fork has won nine straight, including the nailbiter over Region 9 champ Desert Hills last week. Most of the Salt Lake City media members were surprised by the results of the two semifinals last week. Many had predicted it was going to be Juan Diego vs. Desert Hills. But the Dons were the first to crash the party and seem destined to be good for a long time, with a large portion of the team being underclassmen.

Common Opponents
vs. Springville — Dixie won 28-13; SF won 28-14
vs. Pine View — Dixie won 34-24; SF won 26-21
vs. Desert Hills — Dixie won 30-27; SF won 35-28
vs. North Sanpete — Dixie won 35-6; SF won 28-6

Game Outlook
It’s finally come to 3A. The spread offense, which has permeated pretty much all levels of football, never completely arrived at 3A with old-school teams like Juan Diego and Hurricane defending the traditions of yore. But just because Dixie and Spanish Fork run the spread, it does not mean they don’t run the ball. Barney is more of a runner than Money, but Money has a legitimate threat at RB in Braxton Argyle. Dixie will pass more this week, with the weather expected to be cool, but dry. Look for someone like Drew Batchelor or Lukas Hildebrandt to have a big day.

STGnews PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (41-12) — Dixie
J.A./Keric Seegmiller (43-10) — 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

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