Dixie Rebels defense rules the day in 21-13 victory

Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – There are a lot of new faces and names on the 2013 version of St. George’s semi-pro football team, the Dixie Rebels. But one thing remains constant. Dixie keeps winning games in the Rocky Mountain Football League.

Dixie's Trey Smith (10) makes a tackle in the backfield on Wasatch's Jay Cullins Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Dixie’s Trey Smith (10) makes a tackle in the backfield on Wasatch’s Jay Cullins Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Quarterback Chad Draper had two touchdown passes and newcomer Chase Loveridge had a TD run as Dixie beat the Wasatch Revolution 21-13 Saturday night.

“We’re just out here having fun,” said former Pine View star Tanner Wood, who caught a first-half TD pass. “If I get a college look or whatever, that would be great. But this is mostly just about having a good time.”

Wood and former Desert Hills receiver Brennan Adams both scored in the game and newcomer Loveridge, a former Dixie State linebacker under coach Greg Croshaw, had a TD run late in the third quarter.

“I’ve been to one practice,” Loveridge said. “But I love football and I’ve got a few things in the works, maybe up in Canada.”

The Revolution are piloted by Charlie Peterson, a former BYU quarterback. Peterson and Draper were overshadowed by the two defenses in the first half. After a scoreless first quarter, Dixie’s defense set up the first score of the game when Misi Tupe intercepted a Peterson screen pass at the Wasatch 19-yard line.

The Rebels marched inside the 10 and on a third down, Draper found Wood deep in the corner of the end zone for six points. Dallin Bishoff’s extra point made it 7-0 with 5:30 to go in the first half.

After stopping Wasatch, Dixie ran a two-minute drill and got inside the Wasatch 30-yard line. But Draper floated a pass over the right side that was easily intercepted by the Revolution’s Ryan Lang, who weaved his way 72 yards for the equalizing score just before halftime.

Wasatch opened the second half with a monster drive that covered 62 yards and took more than six minutes. But the drive ended in no points as a bad snap on a field goal try gave Dixie the ball on its own 46-yard line.

Then it was Dixie’s turn to drive. Hard running by Loveridge and Sione Tapuosi moved the ball steadily down the field and Loveridge punched it in from a yard out to give the lead back to Dixie at 14-7 with 38 seconds left in the third quarter.

Dixie’s defense again stuffed Peterson and the Revolution after just one first down and Dixie got the ball back via a punt with 9:02 to play. The Rebels started at their own 5-yard line and, aided by a roughing the punter penalty, steadily drove to midfield. On second and 13 from the Dixie 48 and with under three minutes to play, Dixie decided to gamble. Draper went back to pass and found Adams deep downfield. The speedy receiver broke one tackle and raced into the end zone to make it 21-7 with 2:43 left in the game.

“It was supposed to be a skinny post, but I saw Draper running for his life so I turned it into more of a drag route. He lofted it up there and I was able to run under it, thank goodness.”

Wasatch added a last-minute touchdown pass from Peterson to J.D. Dawson, but Dixie recovered the onside kick to seal the win.

The Rebels, 3-1, have a bye next week before taking on the Rocky Mountain Mudd Ducks in St. George May 11.

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Dixie QB Chad Draper (16) tries to elude the Wasatch defenders Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Dixie QB Chad Draper (16) tries to elude the Wasatch defenders Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Former Desert Hills star Brennan Adams (1) is congratulated after scoring the clinching touchdown for the Dixie Rebels Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Former Desert Hills star Brennan Adams (1) is congratulated after scoring the clinching touchdown for the Dixie Rebels Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wasatch's Charlie Peterson is sacked Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wasatch’s Charlie Peterson is sacked Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wasatch's Ryan Lang (15) hugs the goal post after his first-half interception return for a touchdown Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wasatch’s Ryan Lang (15) hugs the goal post after his first-half interception return for a touchdown Saturday, Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News
Wasatch at Dixie, St. George, Utah, April 27, 2013 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

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