CEDAR CITY — Dixie’s defensive unit turned in another gem Wednesday night and the Flyers are one win away from an outright region championship.
Dixie forced six turnovers and only allowed Cedar 88 yards and five first downs as the Flyers cruised to a 41-0 win on a cool night in Iron County. The Redmen, playing without starting quarterback Brecken Lewis and starting fullback Dallin Grover, had no chance on this night as Cedar’s 11 possessions ended in six turnovers (four fumbles, two interceptions), four punts and the end of the first half.
Cedar never once drove into Dixie territory. In fact, the Redmen only got the ball outside of their own 40-yard line once and that drive, which made it to the Cedar 44, ended when Shad Pulsipher forced Austin Obering to fumble. The loose ball was recovered by Taylor Strehlow.
Meanwhile, the Flyers offense had no problem moving the ball. Dixie opened the game with an impressive 16-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 7:25 off the clock. Ammon Takau found Andy Appel open from six yards out for the first score of the game at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter.
After kicking off, Dixie gave away a first down on a fourth down offside penalty. But Drew Batchelor ended the Cedar possession on the next play by intercepting Obering at the 43-yard line.
Dixie went on another long drive in the second quarter. Takau methodically led the Flyers on an 11-play, 65-yard drive to make it 13-0 with 4:06 to go in the half. Takau did the honors himself with a 1-yard run for the score.
(story continues below)
Cedar managed a pair of first downs on its next possession and ran the first-half clock down to 1:26 before having to punt. taking over at their own 30-yard line, the Flyers put together an impressive two-minute drill. Takau connected on four of five pass attempts to move the ball 65 yards in six plays, consuming just 1:11 off the clock. The junior QB found Batchelor from 19 yards out for the score with 15 seconds until halftime. That made it 20-0 headed into intermission.
Joseph Takau forced a Ryker Tom fumble on the second play of the second half to set Dixie up again. This time, Ammon Takau needed just two plays and 45 seconds to find Joseph from 12 yards out and the Flyers were rolling 27-0 early in the third quarter.
Dixie added two more scores in the second half as Batchelor and Joseph Takau each reached paydirt once again.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Flyers faced an unfamiliar position for any team. After recovering a Cedar fumble at the Redmen 19-yard line, Dixie went the wrong direction. Jaden Harrison actually scored from 17 yards out, but Dixie was called for a holding penalty, net minus-13 yards out to the 30. A loss of two yards by Treton Miller made it third and 23 at the 32. Dixie was then called for holding (back to the 37), two personal fouls (back to the Cedar 33) and a false start (back to the Cedar 28). Harrison then lost three yards on third down. The series of unfortunate events led to a rare fourth and 66 at the Dixie 25-yard line. Gavin Graff’s 41-yard punt, though not returned, still landed 25 yards short of where the first-down marker stood.
Ammon Takau finished with an efficient 17 of 23 passing for 193 yards and four TDs. He also rushed for 45 yards and another score. Batchelor had 83 receiving yards and 20 rushing yards as well as two scores and two interceptions. Dixie outgained Cedar 328-88 and 20 first downs to the Redmen’s five.
The dominant win was a crucial one for Dixie, which clinched the top seed from the 3AA South Region in the postseason. The Flyers, 7-2 overall and 5-0 in region play, finish the regular season at home next week vs. Snow Canyon, then receive a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Dixie’s first playoff game will be Nov. 8 in the quarterfinals and it will be at Walt Brooks Stadium.
Cedar fell to 3-6 on the year and 1-5 in region play. The Redmen have clinched at least a play-in game for the playoffs. If Cedar can pull out a win next week at Payson, it will go in as the fifth-place team from the region.
- Related post: Week 9 STGNews photo gallery and standings
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.