GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Snow Canyon (6-2, 3-2) at Dixie (7-2, 5-0), Walt Brooks Stadium, tonight, 7 p.m.
Previous Meeting: Warriors 28, Flyers 21 (Oct. 11, 2012 at Snow Canyon)
Broadcast: Triplecast! STGNews.com, CEC-TV (Baja 22), 890-KDXU AM with Devin Dixon and Patrick Blake
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Marcus Matua (1st year, 6-2 overall)
Offense: Single Wing/Spread
Last game: Lost to Desert Hills 7-3
Players to watch: Word is that QB Warner Rigby will be back tonight (note: late word from Twitter has Rigby not playing tonight as SC readies for the playoffs). Jake Frei has done an admirable job in Rigby’s extended absence (he’s missed the entire region season). Rigby is an athletic, mobile QB, so the SC offense will have a different dynamic this week. Rigby had averaged about 65 yards rushing a game before the injury. RBs Conner Parry and Zach Kennedy continue to be two of the best in the 3AA South Region. Parry has 646 rushing yards and Kennedy has 1,043 combined rushing/receiving yards and 13 TDs. LB Trevor Horlacher was outstanding last week, and fellow ‘backer Brady Sargent was his usual studly self.
Trend: In the preseason, the common thought was that the region had four haves (Dixie, PV, DH and Hurricane) and three have nots (SC, Cedar and Payson). As it turns out, the Warriors are a have and will get a home playoff game next week. SC’s two losses were very different, with Pine View scoring a ton of points and DH only a touchdown. The Warriors hadn’t scored less than 21 points all year until last week. The most troubling part of that game was the complete lack of a running game by the Warriors, who had averaged more than 200 yards a game on the ground going in, but had a total of six yards vs. the Thunder. That will certainly be a priority this week.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Blaine Monkres (24th year, 175-90 overall)
Last game: Beat Cedar 41-0
Players to watch: The Flyers defense was impressive vs. Cedar, with LBs Stetson Jones and Taylor Strehlow clogging the middle , DE’s Shad Pulsipher and Braxton Ipson bracketing the outside and DB Drew Batchelor patrolling the skies. Batchelor had two INTs, a forced fumble and scored twice on offense. Dixie has rushed for more than 1,000 yards, with the bulk of the yardage coming from Batchelor (372 yards) and the Takau brothers, Ammon (353) and Joseph (322). DB Tanner Webster has five INTs this year.
Trend: Didn’t see that shutout coming, especially up at Cedar. But it was no fluke. The Redmen had just 88 yards of offense and four turnovers. Their biggest play, of 20 yards, ended with a fumble. So, needless to say, Dixie’s defense is playing very well. The offense has corrected a lot of its early-season errors as well. It’s gotten to the point that fans think Dixie is going to score on every possession and stop the other team on every defensive stand. If the Flyers, winners of six straight, can avoid some of the injury problems from early in the year, it’s hard not to put them as favorites to repeat as state champions.
The Flyers are rolling, having outscored region opponents 174-65, an average score of 35-13. Dixie has already locked up the No. 1-seed, but will have to share the region crown with Pine View if SC wins tonight. The Warriors are coming off a disappointing loss last week, but are still in good position for the playoffs. There has been talk of Dixie coasting in this game with the top seed already sewn up. We don’t buy it, especially with SC beating the Flyers in the last game of the year in 2012. Dixie will be out for a little revenge and an outright league title. The Flyers will get their points (they’ve scored at least 20 in every game this year), so SC will have to get some offense going. Running against the Dixie D won’t be easy.
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (41-7) — Dixie
Darren Cole (32-12) — Dixie
Parry’s spread: Dixie by 19
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