ST. GEORGE — A fan of sports video games would love Dixie High’s offense.
Head coach and offensive guru Blaine Monkres says he takes no inspiration from the Madden NFL series or the late, great NCAA Football franchise, but the way Dixie moves the football certainly reminds one of the ultra-realistic video games in which proficient players score nearly every offensive possession.
“That’s the goal, obviously, to move the football and score points,” said Monkres, who has coached Dixie for seven years now. “We like to play fast as long as execution doesn’t suffer. The goal is to get the ball to our athletes in places where they can do something with it.”
Monkres, who left Fremont to take the Dixie job in 2008, has gone 53-27 in seven seasons with the Flyers, winning a state title in 2012. Overall, Monkres is 186-95 in 25 years as a high school head coach, including a 30-18 playoff record in 21 postseason appearances.
Clearly, he knows what he’s doing.
But Dixie’s best years have been when the young man he’s selected as quarterback has matured into the job. Blake Barney, in his third year as a starter, led the Flyers to the 2012 state championship. Barney struggled to lead the complex Dixie O in his sophomore year, throwing as many interceptions as touchdown passes. Things improved his junior season and by 2011, Barney threw for 2,800 yards, 27 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions.
Moreover, Barney ran for more than 1,300 yards that year and clearly had a firm grasp on Monkres’ no-huddle, spread offense.
“Blake Barney was a special athlete and did some phenomenal things on the field,” Monkres said. “(Current QB) Ammon Takau struggled with playing in his shadow a little bit since he took over last year. But I think Ammon has really made a name for himself this year.”
Takau doesn’t have quite the eye-popping numbers of Barney, but he has passed for 2,223 yards and 26 touchdowns and Dixie is averaging more points per game this year (39.6) than that 2012 championship team (36.0).
In Dixie’s lowest-scoring game of the season, a 34-14 loss to Hurricane, Takau sat out with an injury.
“Our offense has been pretty efficient most of the time this year,” Monkres said. “There have been times this season when we needed a lot of points to get the win.”
He’s right as Dixie won games this year by such video game scores of 49-48 over Lehi and 55-30 over Canyon View. Of course, the ultimate was the Flyers 49-42 win over Stansbury, a game in which Dixie trailed 42-14 late in the third quarter.
One thing teams have learned — and the Stansbury Stallions will never forget — is that Dixie is never out of a game.
Especially with Monkres pushing the buttons.
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