GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Lehi (1-0, 0-0) at Dixie (0-1, 0-0)
Previous Meeting – Dixie 14, Lehi 8 (Oct. 31, 1998 at Lehi, ’98 3A playoffs)
Classification: 5A, Region 4
Coach: David Hastings (3rd year, 5-16 overall)
Offense: Double wing
Last game: Beat Murray 60-20
Players to watch: Lehi was just 2-8 last season and gave up 30 points a game. Only four starters are back from that defense, but two of them are 3-year starters Derek Hastings at CB and Ryan Absher at LB. The Pioneers had more than 500 yards of offense last week, led by RB Caden Calton (10-195, 3 TDs) and QB Derek Beeston (12-21-188). But Murray is pretty bad (1-9 last season), so its hard to tell how decent the Lehi offense is.
Trend: Lehi has been down for a long time, having not made the playoffs since 2004. The Pioneers went winless in 2006, 2009 and 2010, so two straight two-win seasons is actually an improvement. But obviously they must show more improvement for Hastings to keep his job. The win against Murray was a nice start and it included a 28-point third quarter. But a road trip to the heat of Dixie and an experienced Flyers defense may not be what the doctor ordered.
Classification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Blaine Monkres (24th year, 168-89 overall)
Last game: Lost to Springville 21-20
Players to watch: Drew Batchelor was pretty darn good last week, accounting for 122 yards and three touchdowns. But the rest of the receiving corps (Lukas Hildebrandt, Andy Apppel and Tanner Webster) was pretty quiet. It looks like Ammon Takau has the edge at the QB spot, though Jaden Harrison will probably also get some opportunities to show what he can do in this second preseason game. Taylor Strehlow and Joe takau both excelled at linebacker last week, but Takau needs a breakout game at RB as well.
Trend: Even though it was a close loss, the game at Springville showed that the Flyers will be decent this year. Ammon Takau led the team on an impressive two-minute drill to get the late-game TD and nearly tie the game. Sure, Blake Barney is missed, but this year’s Dixie team is going to have to find other ways to win.
Even though both teams can pass, the team that runs the ball better will win this game. Lehi ran roughshod over Murray, but Dixie is a more stout. Meanwhile, Dixie really needs a run game to compliment a decent little passing game. Last week’s 72 rushing yards weren’t enough to make anyone worried about stopping the rush.
STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (6-1) — Dixie
Darren Cole (5-2) — Dixie
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.