ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Rebels traveled to West Valley City Saturday afternoon to take on the Wasatch REVolution on Granger High School’s football field. The Rebels were a little short-handed as Kyle Coop, their leading running back, was unable to make the trip with the team. The REVolution scored 10 points off turnovers in the first quarter and and they were up 10-0 at the half, but the Rebels completed a great comeback and won the game 28-24 on a touchdown pass from quarterback Diarra Fields to Andy Stokes.
The Rebels started the game with A.J. Martinez, first-year player with the Rebels, at quarterback. Coach Dan Odette said, “We wanted to give him a chance to see what he was like under pressure and I think he did good.”
Despite solid play from Martinez to start out the game, the Rebels had three fumbles and a blocked punt in the first half, which gave the REVolution the 10-0 lead at halftime.
The Rebels came back with a bang in the second half.
“Having Diarra in the huddle made a huge difference in the second half,” said Odette, “and he was putting the ball on the money.”
The Rebels got on the board with a very deep pass from Fields to Cameron Murdock for a touchdown to make it 10-7. Rebels Co-owner Doug Cook said that the loss of Skyler Ence was significant, but that Murdock has been picking up the slack.
Doug also said, “Great running game from Fahu Tahi, Stephan Cook and Sione Tapousi.”
This was the first game of the season for Tahi who is a former NFL fullback. Odette said, “Fahu is a beast. I’m glad he’s on my team.” Odette explained that the team ran the ball a little more then they passed it and that the effectiveness of Tahi, Stephan and Tapousi running the ball “created some success on the play action.”
The Rebels were able to slowly chip away at the lead. In the fourth quarter they took a 21-17 lead, but the REVolution came back with another touchdown to make it 21-24 with 2:31 left in the game. This set up the Rebels’ game-winning drive that was capped off with the touchdown pass from Fields to Stokes.
Overall, Odette said, “We won on a great team effort … these guys never gave up.” He also noted that compared to last week “We really cut down on our mental errors.”
The Rebels will be on the road for the third straight week this Saturday. They will travel to Logan to play the Logan Stampede.
For more REBELS talk from sports commentators Leo Wright and Partick Black, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.