Region 9 football: Dixie falls in San Diego in battle of unbeatens

Dixie at Madison (Calif.), Sept. 15, 2017, San Diego, Calif. | Photo courtesy Jamie Baumann

SAN DIEGO – The Dixie Flyers traveled to southern California to take on the Madison Warhawks. Like Dixie, the Warhawks entered the game undefeated, having beaten their three previous opponents by an average of 36 points.

“It was the best team we have faced this year,” Dixie defensive coordinator Wayne Alofipo said. “Their running back (Ke’ontae Springs) was the fastest I have ever coached against. We rested some of our players who were dinged up. We held Ammon Ah Quin out and a few of our linemen on both sides of the ball that were nicked up. Overall, I thought our team played very well.”

The teams traded punts to start the game. On Madison’s second possession, the Warhawks drove the ball inside the red zone before the drive stalled and they had to settle for a field goal from kicker David Lantz with less than five minutes in the opening quarter.

Both defenses kept the other teams’ otherwise potent offenses at bay. Dixie finally got on the board in the second period. Quarterback Jacob Barben found Payden Harrah from 20-yards out to give the Flyers their first lead, 7-3, with seven minutes remaining till halftime.

The Warhawks responded on their next possession, driving 59 yards for the touchdown. It was capped with a 13-yard touchdown run by Demanuel Talauati. The teams would take the 10-7 score into halftime.

Dixie at Madison (Calif.), Sept. 15, 2017, San Diego, Calif. | Photo courtesy Jamie Baumann

In the third, Barben was intercepted by the Warhawks. On the next play from scrimmage, Springs raced 30 yards for the score to make it 17-7.

After the teams traded punts, Barben drove the Flyers 75 yards. With less than five minutes remaining in the third, Hobbs Nyberg caught a 1-yard pass from Barben to pull the Flyers to within 17-14.

Madison took its next possession deep into Flyer territory before Dixie intercepted the ball. However, three minutes later, Dixie fumbled the ball back over to the Warhawks.

Madison took advantage and Springs got his second touchdown of the day from 45-yards out on the possession. The lead was 24-14 with 10 minutes remaining.

Dixie would get inside the Warhawks 20-yard line twice more. The first ended in an interception and the second resulted in a missed field goal with just over two minutes to play.

“It was one of those games where if the ball bounces another way we get the score,” Alofipo said. “We had two touchdowns called back. We had a couple of untimely turnovers that shifted momentum. But we had some backups get valuable minutes against a good team and we got some needed rest for a few of our players.”

Dixie moves to 4-1 overall and maintains the 1-0 record in region. The Flyers will travel to Pine View next week to resume region play. Madison, the defending California 2AA champion, improves to 4-0 on the year.

Friday’s results
Snow Canyon 27, Pine View 20
Desert Hills 37, Cedar 13
Hurricane 16, Canyon View 3
Madison (Calif.) 24, Dixie 14

Next Week’s Games
Canyon View @ Desert Hills
Cedar @ Hurricane
Dixie @ Pine View
Snow Canyon (bye)

Region 9 Standings (Region, overall)
Desert Hills 2-0, 3-2
Dixie 1-0, 4-0
Snow Canyon 1-1, 4-1
Cedar 1-1, 2-3
Hurricane 1-1, 2-3
Pine View 0-1, 3-2
Canyon View 0-2, 0-5

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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