Game Preview Capsule: Hurricane (1-4 )at Dixie (3-2)

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Hurricane (1-4, 1-1) at Dixie (3-2, 1-0)
Previous Meeting: Tigers 34, Flyers 32 (Sept. 14, 2012)
Broadcast: ESPN SportsRadio 106.1 FM, Devin Dixon and Patrick Blake on play-by-play

TIGERS
hurricane-smClassification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Chris Homer (12th year, 86-48 overall)
Offense: Wing-T
Last game: Lost to Cedar 6-0
Players to watch: Behind QB Adlai Elison, Hurricane moved the ball some last week, but wilted in the red zone. Still, the passing game was nearly non-existent and the Tigers need help from WRs Jay Williams and Noah Elison. The FB and RB spots were disappointing last week as well, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry against Cedar. Hurricane needs more from RBs Kole Richins, JD Stanworth and Cody Lebaron. Defensively, the Tigers were sharp, led by LB Charlie Sefita (7.5 tackles) and S Noah Elison (interception, TFL).
PPG: 16.4
PAPG: 24.8
Trend: Hurricane got shutout by Juan Diego last year in the playoffs, but before that it had been years. Cedar’s whitewashing was surprising, especially since the Tigers gained just 171 yards on offense and had just nine first downs. But the biggest number (besides the zero ion the scoreboard) was Hurricane’s 0 for 4 on fourth downs. The Tigers used to be automatic on fourth and short with the fullback dive. They need to get that guarenteed three yard-dive back. Soon.

FLYERS
dixie-smClassification: 3AA, South Region
Coach: Blaine Monkres (24th year, 171-90 overall)
Offense: Spread
Last game: Beat Pine View 21-17
Players to watch: LB Tanner Webster got cut in half with a block early against PV, but returned later and played well, picking up a huge interception in the second half. RB/LB Joseph takau was pressed into extra duty with Webster’s injury and scored three touchdowns. WR Konner Aitken was a big factor against Pine View, with 79 yards receiving. QB Ammon Takau, who had four interceptions against Riverton, has just one pick in two games since and that one was a last-play-of-the-half Hail Mary. P Gavin Graff was a game-changer for Dixie.
PPG: 34.8
PAPG: 25.8
Trend: When Dixie doesn’t turn the ball over, the Flyers are very good, as Pine View found out. Dixie did not run the ball well against PV (only 3.9 yards per carry), but the passing game was solid and the Dixie defense bent, but didn’t break. Also, the special teams came up huge last week with Graff booming punts and the kickoffs usually reaching the end zone.

GAME OUTLOOK
The scores last week for both teams were very surprising. Hurricane didn’t score and Dixie was nearly 20 points below its average. Of course, it’s region play now and these teams know each other well. Last year’s battle was a classic, with Jared Edwards and Adam Thompson dueling Blake Barney and Drew Batchelor. Well, Batchelor is the only player back from that duel and he should be a big factor tonight. The Tigers need that grinding offense to return to form, but this may not be the week with a tough Dixie defense.

STGnews (record) PREDICTION
Andy Griffin (24-4) — Dixie
Darren Cole (19-9) — Dixie
Parry’s spread: Dixie by 18

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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