ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Rebels semi-pro team are traveling to Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, today to face the Great Falls Gladiators in a neutral site game at 4 p.m. The Rebels are 4-1 on the season and, as tight end Andy Stokes said, “we are hitting our stride.” Unfortunately, that ended last weekend against the Rock Mountain Mudd Ducks when quarterback Diarra Fields broke his ankle in the first half.
The Rebels took a dominating 35-0 lead before halftime, but without Fields they have a lot of adjustments that they need to make if they are hoping to win out and claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They are currently in second place, but if they win all three games, including their final, against the undefeated Utah Shock, they will play all their playoff games in St. George.
The Gladiators won the AA division of the Rocky Mountain Football League the last two years, and have thus advanced up to join the Rebels in the AAA division. Unfortunately for the Gladiators, they have lost a lot of their key players and are now in the upper division with an inferior team.
This worked out well for the Rebels as they will need this game to give them the opportunity to get back-up quarterback A.J. Martinez some experience working with their offense. Martinez is in his first year with the Rebels, but has experience at quarterback from his days at New Mexico State University.
Martinez ran the show for the Rebels in the second half against the Mudd Ducks, and really struggled, but on Thursday Wayne Alofipo, defensive lineman and co-owner of the Dixie Rebels, said, “in practice this week Martinez looked really good.”
The Rebels also have an incredible running game and a solid defense and should not have any problems putting away the Gladiators who have still been unable to garner their first win of the season.
For more REBELS talk from sports commentators Leo Wright and Patrick Black, tune into Blake’s Take Tuesdays and Thursdays 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.