GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie (6-2, 4-0) at Cedar (3-5, 1-3), Redmen Stadium, tonight, 7 p.m.
Previous Meeting: Flyers 47, Redmen 28 (Oct. 5, 2012 at Dixie)
Broadcast: KSUB-590 AM, with Chris Holmes
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Blaine Monkres (24th year, 174-90 overall)
Last game: Beat Payson 44-21
Players to watch: QB Ammon Takau threw 4 TD passes last week, to 4 different players (WRs Lukas Hildebrandt, Jaden Harrison, Andy Appel and Konner Aitken). Plus, he and RB Trey Miller ran for TDs as well. That’s incredibly hard to prepare for as a defense. The twin towers, DEs Shad Pulsipher and Braxton Ipson, were in fine form last week. Pulsipher had two sacks and a forced fumble and Ipson had a sack and tipped a ball that was intercepted by LB Joe Takau. The Flyers have four receivers with at least 200 yards and three runners with at least at least 270 yards. Drew Batchelor qualifies in both categories.
Trend: That’s five straight wins for Dixie since the road loss at Riverton. The Flyers give up a lot of yardage between the 20s, but are beasts in the red zone on defense. The efficiency on offense should be scary for Dixie’s opponents. Early in the year, the Flyers turned the ball over a lot. Those days are gone, with only three turnovers the last three games. Plus, Dixie has scored at least 20 points in every game this season. By comparison, Cedar has failed to reach 20 five times in eight games. Dixie can clinch at least a share of the region title in this game tonight.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Todd Peacock (27th year, 157-130-1 overall)
Offense: Triple option
Last game: Lost to Snow Canyon 29-26
Players to watch: Without QB Brecken Lewis and RB Dallin Grover, the Redmen still gave Snow Canyon all it could handle. Lewis was hurt early and Grover tried to go, but was ineffective and removed from the game. QB Austin Obering played fairly well, though ball security issues cost him late in the game. He had 168 yards of offense, but four turnovers. WR Jeff Rogers could be a real star on a passing team. RB Brock Oldroyd had twice as many carries against SC (14) as he had all year (7) and rewarded his team with three touchdowns.
Trend: Once again, Cedar battled a quality team only to come up short late in the game. That’s two straight weeks of heartbreakers. The Redmen live and die with defense, ranking second in the 3AA South. But the plethora of turnovers last week and against Pine View keep giving opposing offenses short fields. SC’s winning drive last week was just 32 yards. But if there was ever a year to use the region season as a learning tool for the playoffs, it’s this year, with six teams making the postseason. With a win this week or next, Cedar is guaranteed a spot.
What have we learned about Cedar the past few weeks? Clearly they are good enough to be in the game with anyone, eve if they have trouble finishing. Dixie fans headed to Iron County looking for a blowout and an early region championship celebration may be disappointed. Dixie may win, but it won’t be a cakewalk. The Dixie offense will get its toughest test of the year, with a good defense, a bad field and cold weather all combining to challenge Takau and company. Meanwhile, the Cedar offense can be dangerous as well, especially if it can eliminate the turnovers.
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (33-7) — Dixie
Darren Cole (29-11) — Dixie
Parry’s spread: Dixie by 15
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