GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Cedar (3-4, 1-2) at Snow Canyon (5-1, 2-1), Warriors Stadium, tonight, 7 p.m.
Previous Meeting: Warriors 27, Redmen 24 (Sept. 21, 2012 at Snow Canyon)
Broadcast: 890-KDXU AM with Andy Griffin and Mike McGary; KSUB-590 AM, with Chris Holmes
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Todd Peacock (27th year, 157-129-1 overall)
Offense: Triple option
Last game: Lost to Pine View 21-7
Players to watch: Amazingly, the Redmen are having some decent success with their two-QB system as both Brecken Lewis and Austin Obering see time there. Lewis is clearly the better passer, but the Redmen aren’t going to throw it much (about 10 attempts a game). FB Dallin Grover continues to get the most carries in the run game (a team-high 94 for 365 yards this season), but RB Dusty Hone is starting to get it going as well and has big-play ability, averaging 14 yards a carry. Lewis also leads the team in tackles. Dallen Jacoby and Dallin Brooks have been consistent on defense and Brock Esplin is a beast on the line.
Trend: The Redmen are tough defensively, no doubt. But the offense has really struggled. Not counting the 63-point blowout of Canyon View, Cedar averages just 13.3 a game. That futility showed up in the fourth quarter last week as the Redmen were unable to get inside Pine View’s 41-yard line in three fourth-quarter possessions. Still, many people (including ESPNRadio’s Patrick Blake) predicted a blowout and the game was anything but. The Redmen only have one league win, but should get one against Payson in a couple of weeks and they still play Dixie as well. It’s a good time for them to be playing well.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Marcus Matua (1st year, 5-1 overall)
Offense: Single Wing/Spread
Last game: Beat Hurricane 38-20
Players to watch: RB Zach Kennedy never has a jillion yards or a bunch of touchdowns, but he’s a huge difference-maker for the Warriors. Last week, he had 75 rushing yards and 86 receiving yards and seemed to be involved every time SC needed a big play. RB Connor Parry continues to be impressive. He has 386 rushing yards and four TDs the past two games since returning from injury. QB Jacob Frei had his best game at the varsity level, passing for 122 yards vs. Hurricane. LB Brady Sargent is a tackling machine, averaging 9.3 stops per game. Trevor Horlacher had 11 tackles and an interception last week.
Trend: SC showed some real toughness last week in the Hurricane win and toughness usually translates to wins in football. On a blustery night vs. Hurricane, the most impressive Warriors drive was a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Ahead 13-7 at the time, the run-centric SC could have easily sat on the ball at their own 20, but instead zipped up the field and made it 20-7 at the half. Don’t look now, but Snow Canyon has won three straight. That’s the good news. The bad news: The Warriors are staring straight ahead at Cedar, Desert Hills and Dixie, all contenders.
Last year, this match-up was an afterthought. This year, this game has major playoff implications. The Warriors still have hopes of a region title. The Redmen would love a home playoff game in the opening round. SC is fantastic running the ball, which also happens to be the strength of the Cedar defense. Heads will butt as the two forces collide. Snow Canyon will have to pass the ball to beat Cedar. As for the Redmen offense vs. the SC D, the Warriors Achilles heel has been defending the pass this year. Cedar will have to pass to beat the Warriors. Hmm, so the winner of the game will be the team that can make some plays in the passing game. Sounds simple enough.
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (30-7) — Snow Canyon
Darren Cole (26-11) — Snow Canyon
Parry’s spread: Cedar by 3
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