Road to the 3AA Finals: Dixie Flyers got hot at the perfect time

dixie-smThe 9-4 Dixie Flyers did not have an easy road to the 3AA state championship game, especially after a rough start to the season that saw them go 2-4. But Dixie hasn’t lost since September and hopes to capture its second title in three years Friday at 11 a.m. against Hurricane. Here’s how the Flyers got where they are.

Springville 37, Dixie 30 (Aug. 22)

ST. GEORGE –Dixie quarterback Ammon Takau threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards and another touchdown, but the Dixie defense was unable to stop the Springville offense.

springville-smThe Red Devils had 570 yards total offense, including 337 yards rushing. Dixie kicker McLane Keenen was 3 for 3 on field goals, including two from beyond 40 yards. Dixie falls in shootout, 37-30.

Stats: Springville 37, Dixie 30

Dixie 49, Lehi 48 (2 OT) (Aug. 29)

LEHI – Jaden Harrison scored on a 25-yard TD pass from Ammon Takau to put Dixie up 49-42 in the second OT. Lehi matched that TD with a Calvin Miles TD pass to Braden Calton, but the Pioneers were stuffed on the two-point conversion for the win, leaving Dixie with the exciting victory.

lehiDixie had led 35-28 late in the game, but Lehi got a very late TD to force OT. In the first extra period, Caden Calton scored for the Pioneers and Takau rushed one in for Dixie, forcing the second extra period.

McLane Keenan had 175 yards rushing and receiving and Takau accounted for four TDs in the win as Dixie improves to 1-1 on the season.

Stats: Dixie 49, Lehi 48

Riverton 62, Dixie 28 (Sept. 5)

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Flyers took on Riverton this week, falling 62-28 in the DHS Homecoming game.

rivertonDixie struggled on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The very first play of the game resulted in an Ammon Takau interception to Riverton’s secondary, allowing Riverton to score within the first minute of the game. The Silverwolves never let up after that, continually running the ball well until the final whistle and tearing up Dixie’s inexperienced defensive line.

Riverton running back Paden Cayias was the star of the night, breaking multiple big runs through the middle of the field to Dixie’s end zone, racking up 182 yards along the way on 21 carries. Dixie didn’t seem to have an answer for the speedster, and continued to struggle stopping the run as Riverton went on to a 62-28 Riverton victory.

Riverton finished with 485 rushing yards and 531 total yards in the game. Dixie had 300 yards, including 92 rushing by Tre Miller.

Stats: Riverton 62, Dixie 28

Dixie 55, Canyon View 30 (Sept. 12)

CEDAR CITY – The Dixie Flyers scored three touchdowns in the span of four minutes to break away from the Canyon View Falcons in a high-scoring contest.

canyon-view-smTre Miller broke free for a couple of big plays in the first half, the first a 77-yard run, and the second a 56-yard reception from Ammon Takau that put Dixie ahead 21-10. The Falcons answered with a Brendan Bradshaw 4-yard plunge to make it 21-16.

But Konner Aitken closed the door with a 99-yard kickoff return for touchdown to go up 28-16.  The Flyers would tack on another seven before intermission and cruise in the second half to a 55-30 score.

Takau had two long TD runs in the second half as the Flyers built the lead to 31 points at one point in the game.

Dixie, 2-2, starts league play next week with a home game against Pine View. CV, 0-4, plays at home against Richfield next week.

Stats: Dixie 55, Canyon View 30

Pine View 42, Dixie 36 (Sept. 19)

ST. GEORGE — Pine View quarterback Kody Wilstead threw for 501 yards and five touchdowns to power the Panthers over the Dixie Flyers in an offensive shootout 42-36.

Pine-view-smWhile Dixie had a more balanced attack, the Flyers were not able to ever pull even in the second half as the Panthers would keep extending the lead to answer Dixie’s touchdowns.  Ammon Takau threw for 250 yards before suffering an injury late in the fourth quarter. Tre Miller rushed for 143 yards on only 13 carries.

Pine View’s Blake Ence started for the injured Colton Miller at wide receiver. He pulled in 11 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Bladen Hosner had 177 yards on four receptions, half of those going for touchdowns.

Pine View, 4-1 overall and 2-0 in region play, visits Desert Hills next Friday. Dixie, 2-3 and 0-1, is at Hurricane next Friday.

Stats: PV 42, Dixie 36

Hurricane 34, Dixie 14 (Sept. 26)

HURRICANE – The host Tigers scored 34 consecutive points to put any favorable outcome out of reach for the visiting Dixie Flyers.

hurricane-smAfter Dixie quarterback Jaden Harrison found Bret Barben on a 20-yard strike to put the Flyers up 7-0, Hurricane scored five consecutive touchdowns to close out the first half, three by fullback Jeremiah Ieremia.

Dixie’s only other score came in the second half, this time an 83-yard misdirection run by Harrison. But Hurricane would still eat up clock on sustained run-dominated drives, limiting the Flyers’ chances to close the lead further. Dixie also turned the ball over five times, not including twice more on downs in the red zone.

Hurricane, picked to finish fifth by the media in Region 9 preseason polls, now sits atop the standings, tied with Desert Hills at 3-0.

Ieremia finished with 151 rushing yards in the game, while teammate Nick McDaniel added 76 more. The Tigers, 4-2 overall, are at Snow Canyon next Friday.

Dixie, which got a combined (passing and rushing) 346 yards from Harrison, fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in region play. The Flyers host Desert Hills next week.

Stats: Hurricane 34, Dixie 14

Dixie 17, Desert Hills 16 (Oct. 3)

ST. GEORGE — In a defensively dominated game, it was the Flyers who prevailed over No. 1-ranked Desert Hills and its highly-touted defense.

Desert-Hills-sm“Our defense came to play,” said Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres.  “And our offense did just enough.”

The Flyers, who have averaged over 35 points per game with Ammon Takau behind center, could only muster 17 points. But seven of those came in the final stanza after Desert Hills had taken a 16-10 lead.

Dixie entered the fourth quarter holding onto a slim 10-7 advantage. On the first play of the quarter the advantage got slimmer when Takau was tackled in the end zone for a safety.

After the free kick, Desert Hills took advantage of great field position and quickly scored to go up 15-10. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after scoring the touchdown would prove costly. Coach Carl Franke’s options became limited and Desert Hills settled for a 40-yard PAT kick from Christian Cottle.

Dixie did not let the Thunder lead stand for long, scoring on its next possession. Tre Miller’s 41 yard run would set up Takau’s second rushing touchdown of the game with7:35 to play. The PAT from McLane Keenan put the Flyers up 17-16.

The Dixie defense would then have to hold and stop Desert Hills on its last two possessions to seal the win.

The Thunder’s Bridger Cowdin led all rushers with 121 yards on 16 carries. Warmsley added 59 yards. For Dixie, Miller gained 93 yards on 18 carries. Takau added 85 yards on 16 carries.

Desert Hills falls to 6-1 (3-1). Dixie moves to 3-4 with its first win in region (1-2). The Flyers will travel to Payson on Thursday.

Stats: Dixie 17, Desert Hills 16

Dixie 56, Payson 14 (Oct. 9)

PAYSON –Ammon Takau found the end zone four times and Treton Miller scored twice as the Dixie Flyers whipped the Payson Lions 56-14 Thursday night at Payson High school.

payson-smThe Flyers scored the first 35 points of the game and dominated on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Dixie made big plays all night. Jaden Harrison snatched an interception in the first half and Sampson Kennedy scored on a fumble recovery and run as the Flyers continued to soar after beating No. 1-ranked Desert Hills last week

The Flyers scored five touchdowns in the first half.  Takau found McLane Keenan from 12 yards out for the first touchdown.  They followed up in the second quarter with three straight rushing touchdowns, the first two from Miller from 1 and 16 yards respectively and the last a 7-yard run by Takau.

The Flyers got their last touchdown of the half when Takau found wide receiver Dayton Dempsey from 30 yards out.

With the game out of reach 49-7 in the fourth quarter, both teams had a touchdown from backup players.  Hobbs Nyberg scored on a 5-yard run for Dixie.  Buc Frasier put Payson on the board again with an 8-yard run to finish the scoring.

Dixie climbs to 4-4, 2-2 in region.  The Flyers will host Cedar this Wednesday before finishing the season traveling to Snow Canyon.  Payson falls to 0-8, 0-4.

Stats: Dixie 56, Payson 14

Dixie 42, Cedar 10 (Oct. 15)

ST. GEORGE – A big defensive play helped ensure the game would be Dixie’s Wednesday night in the Flyers 42-10 win over Cedar.

cedar-smDown 21-3 coming out of halftime, the visiting Cedar Redmen had driven to the Dixie Flyer 2-yard line. On first and goal, Redmen quarterback Brecken Lewis and fullback Brock Oldroyd were riding down the left side of the line of scrimmage. Before Lewis could option the ball the duo were hit by Flyer middle linebacker Chris Hall.

“I wasn’t sure who had the ball,” said Hall. “So I wrapped both of them. Next thing I knew, the ball was in my right arm.”

Hall stripped Lewis of the handoff and ran the ball back 44 yards before being tackled by the Cedar quarterback. On the next play Flyer quarterback Ammon Takau found wide receiver Bret Barben for a 54-yard pass for touchdown. The 14-point swing seemed to deflate the momentum the Redmen would need to make a comeback.

Dixie moves to 5-4 (3-2) with the win and will end the season traveling to Snow Canyon on Oct. 24 to play a game determinant in the state playoff seedings.

Stats: Dixie 42, Cedar 10

Dixie 44, Snow Canyon 14 (Oct. 24)

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Flyer defense is gelling at the right time as playoffs approach.

Meeting Snow Canyon on the Warriors’ home turf, Dixie had to win to stay ahead of the Warriors in the standings. Dixie’s starting defense not only held Snow Canyon out of the end zone, but did not allow the Warriors out of their own territory in the first half. The Warriors did score twice, first on a special teams fake punt and again late in the game against Dixie’s backups, falling 44-14.

snow-canyon-sm“Our defense played well tonight,” said Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres. “We played a well-balanced team and were able to limit their gains on first down.”

Takau had 221 yards passing. Harrison led the Flyers with 84 yards receiving. For Snow Canyon, Frei passed for 196 yards. Taimi led the Warriors with 160 yards receiving. Barnes had 42 yards rushing.

Dixie, 6-4 and 4-2 in region, will host Uintah in the first round of the playoffs.

“We knew this game would decide whether we would have to travel or not next week,” said Dixie senior offensive lineman Blake Patterson. “We wanted to give our fans and student body another home game.”

Stats: Dixie 44, Snow Canyon 14

Dixie 55, Uintah 8 (Oct. 31)

ST. GEORGE – Demolition. Destruction. Domination. The Dixie Flyers controlled every facet of the game against the visiting Uintah Utes in the first round of the playoffs, winning 55-8.

uintahForget about scoring. Uintah measured success by just getting first downs. “This is four weeks in a row that both sides of the ball have played well,” said Dixie free safety R.J. Wilgar. “We jumped on them early and then got some playing time for our reserves in the second half.”

The Flyers had six touchdowns and 41 points in the first quarter. They took a 55-0 advantage into the locker room at halftime. Their second string players played most of the third quarter and kept the Utes scoreless. Uintah would finally get on the board against Dixie’s third and fourth string players in the fourth quarter.

For the game Dixie gained 647 yards offensively and held the Utes to 259 total yards.

With the win, the Flyers advance to the next round of the playoffs, traveling north to take on Stansbury, who sat out this week with a first-round bye.

“They are a good team, reminiscent offensively of Hurricane,” said Monkres. “We will need to prepare well this week.”

Stats: Box Scores for Uintah @ Dixie

Dixie 49, Stansbury 42 (Nov. 7)

STANSBURY PARK — A high school football game has 48 minutes and the for the first 36 of those minutes, the Dixie Flyers were pretty miserable. But in the final 12 minutes of Friday night’s quarterfinal playoff game at Stallions Stadium, Dixie was nothing short of brilliant.

stansbury-smThe Flyers catapulted themselves into the 3AA state semifinals with a 49-42 come-from-behind stunner over the shell-shocked Stallions.

Ammon Takau returned from injury and threw a couple of late-game TD passes and Tre Miller scored on three fourth-quarter runs as Dixie scrambled back from 42-14 down to the amazing win.

The Flyers, who were out-gained 413-353 in the game, got first-half TDs from Harrison and Barben, but trailed 28-14 at intermission. Miller finished with 153 yards on 11 carries, with three TDs. Stice ended up with 232 yards on 17 carries.

The win moves Dixie to 8-4 and earns the Flyers a rematch with Pine View, which beat Dixie 42-36 back in mid-September. The semifinal game between the two southern Utah rivals will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Stansbury, which had won eight straight, ends the year 9-2.

Stats: Dixie 49, Stansbury 42

Dixie 38, Pine View 28 (Nov. 13)

SALT LAKE CITY – Six weeks ago, the Dixie Flyers were two games below .500 and featured a defense that was giving up more than 300 rushing yards a game. Now Dixie is one win away from a state championship.

Pine-view-smThe Flyers forced four turnovers and won their seventh consecutive game in beating St. George rival Pine View 38-28 Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

“It was a huge win tonight,” Dixie defender RJ Wilgar said. “I didn’t get to play Pine View the first time. I was hurt. So it’s amazing to be playing in the state championship next week. What more could you ask for?”

Wilgar intercepted two passes in the game, one in the first half that prevented a Pine View score and one in the fourth quarter that set up a clinching field goal, as Dixie’s defense held the high-scoring Panthers to just seven points in the second half.

The Flyers, who lost to Pine View 42-36 in Week 5, improve to 9-4 on the season and will play in the 3AA State Championship next Friday at 11 a.m. here in Rice-Eccles. Miller led the offensive show for Dixie, rushing for 179 yards on 18 carries.

Pine View, which out-gained the Flyers 472-401 in total offense, finish the year 9-3. Tiatia rushed for 206 yards in the loss for PV.

Stats: Dixie 38, Pine View 28

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1 Comment

  • Interesting November 20, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Andy, your PV colors are bleeding through. Why is it that when PV beat Dixie the only thing you talked about was Pine Views fantastic game, and didn’t mention that Dixie coughed up the ball 2 different times on special teams plays leading directly to PV Touchdowns? But when Dixie beats PV you focus on the fact that Wilgar had 2 interceptions? It’s funny to see your interpretation on the game. PV can only be beat when they turn the ball over. And you don’t mention that Dixie basically gave PV 2 touchdowns on a platter, begging them to score. I guess either way the better team ended up in finals.

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