Rebels pull a few tricks from their sleeve to secure victory

Dixie Rebels vs. Utah Shock, Rocky Mountain Football League, at Walt Brooks Stadium, Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, June 2, 2012 | Photo by Kim Wright, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie Rebels hosted the Utah Shock in a game that was critical for both teams to win.

The Rebels took control of the game early leading 16-3 in the second quarter, but the Shock got right back into the game getting within three points at 16-13 in the third quarter. The Rebels were up 26-20 late in the game and kicked a deep field goal that would have sealed the deal, but having nailed a 49-yard field goal earlier, Steve Pulver didn’t quite get enough power behind it and the 55-yard field goal fell short.

The Shock then got the ball back and turned on the high intensity passing attack that has them averaging almost 40 points per game. After the Shock completed a few passes, the Rebels put more pressure on Shock quarterback Jordan Kjar. On two different plays it looked like the Rebels were going to pick up a sack, but Kjar took off and picked up big chunks of yardage to keep the chains moving.

The Shock were in field-goal territory and continuing to move the ball until, with less than a minute left, the Shock were facing third-and-2. The fans really started cheering, chanting, whooping and hollering. At which point, the Rebels’ defense stepped it up and stopped them on third-and-2 by getting enough pressure on Kjar to force an incomplete pass.

The Shock, forced to go for it on fourth-and-2, faced even more intensity from the crowd as they started stomping on the bleachers in addition to all the yelling. Again the Rebels’ defense stepped it up to force a turnover on downs which allowed the Rebels to take a knee and end the game with a score of 26-20, to earn the No. 1 seed in the tournament with the advantage of playing all their playoff games here at Walt Brooks Stadium, Dixie High School.

Kaleo Teriipaia chasing down Jordan Kjar. Dixie Rebels vs. Utah Shock, Rocky Mountain Football League, at Walt Brooks Stadium, Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, June 2, 2012 | Photo by Kim Wright, St. George News

The Rebels certainly had the advantage on defense, shown by the fact that they held the Shock below their season low of 31 points. They were able to get enough pressure on Kjar to make crisp passes difficult. The Rebels’ defense also got a safety early in the game to put them up 2-0 and forced two turnovers; and both Pulver and Misi Tupe picked up an interception.

The Rebels also had a few tricks up their sleeve, which helped them secure the victory. A month and a half ago, Andy Stokes hyper-extended his knee in the game against the Logan Stampede. It has gotten worse since then. He was only able to play in a few plays against the Stealth. It was widely known that he wouldn’t be near 100 percent, but everyone wondered if the bye last Saturday would be enough for him to get back on the field. Apparently it was, as Stokes played throughout the game. It was visible that he wasn’t running at full speed, but he was able to get open a few critical times – including a 14-yard catch and a 26-yard catch.

The next surprise, which was more surprising than the first, was the return of Diarra Fields. In their last game, the Utah Valley Stealth were able to “cheat” on defense. In other words, they were able to put a huge defensive emphasis on stopping the Rebels’ running game and could almost ignore the Rebel receivers because they were throwing so few passes. Fields, who suffered a broken ankle and a severe strain back on May 5 in the first half of the game against the Rocky Mountain Mudd Ducks, was expected to be out until at least June 16, if he came back at all. He wasn’t even close to 100 percent. That much was obvious as he didn’t ever run the ball, something that he is known for doing very well, and didn’t throw it very many times.

Even though Fields mostly just handed the ball off, it made a huge difference in the outcome of the game for two reasons. First, the handoffs to the running backs are more crisp as he’s worked with them a lot more than A.J. Martinez has. Second, he threw just enough passes to keep the Shock’s defense honest during the first three quarters. Not only did he complete a few big passes to Stokes, but he also threw a nice 39-yard pass to Kyle Coop early in the game, an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Irvin, and a big first-down pass to Cameron Murdock which set up Field’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Irvin.

After the game Coach Dan Odette said that in the fourth quarter Fields had to completely quit passing the ball because the Shock were putting a lot more pressure on him and kept hitting him. At that point they quit calling pass plays with him because they can’t afford to have him injured again.

Fields completes 39-yard pass to Coop to force the defense to pay attention to his receivers.Fields completes 39-yard pass to Coop to force the defense to pay attention to his receivers. Dixie Rebels vs. Utah Shock, Rocky Mountain Football League, at Walt Brooks Stadium, Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, June 2, 2012 | Photo by Kim Wright, St. George News

As Fields was getting hit more than was acceptable, the Rebels needed to pull one more unexpected trick out of their sleeve to get the win. They added a new wrinkle to their offense one that Odette said they just implemented and got reps in for it at practice this week. On strategic plays, Tupe would come in for Fields. Tupe was taking the snaps and running the option.  At first it was a little clunky, but then it started to work and they were able to get a critical first down with it late in the game.

With the surprises that they sprung on the Shock, they still just barely won. Many in the league are predicting a rematch on June 30 in the RMFL Championship game. If that is correct, we may just be privileged to see another close, exciting game here in St. George for the RMFL Championship game.

 

Vince Feula and #91 jumped up and tipped Kjar's passVince Feula and #91 jumped up to tip Jordan Kjar's pass. It was enough of a tip to prevent the reception. Dixie Rebels vs. Utah Shock, Rocky Mountain Football League, at Walt Brooks Stadium, Dixie High School, St. George, Utah, June 2, 2012 | Photo by Kim Wright, St. George News |Photo by Kim Wright

If you missed the game, be sure to tune into Blake’s Take Tuesday from 5-6 p.m. to hear sports commentators Patrick Black and Leo Wright break down the action from the game on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website www.kznusports.com

email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @BlakesTake and @LeoWright13

Twitter Hashtag: #dixierebels

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

 

 

 

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Posted in Dixie Rebels, News, Sports, Top Sports StoriesTagged

5 Comments

  • Dane F. June 3, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Thanks for keeping us up to date Leo. I love reading your articles.

  • Leo June 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks Dane. I forgot to mention in the article that their first playoff game is on Saturday June 23

  • da one June 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Thats all find and dandy….but no one out there knows how the owners swindle money out of majority of the team just to sideline them all and allow the theyre key players to play without sponors as well as people that never show up to practice or never even been seen before. Its messed up how you can praise a team for winning, yet they win buy cheating under the table. There was people that was never seen before or even practiced with the rebels that played in the revelution game. As well as a few other games. Its people that has just started playing for the D.R. at the end of the seoson tha
    t cause other players that has played with this team for 3-4 years to be sidelined even more. If the public knew how much of alot of crooked swindling was going on for this team….i highly doubt that the rebels would be in existence. I feel sorry for all the players that were promised and pressured to get a player sponsor and told that they wouldnt be able to play if they couldnt get250$, just to see them get it and still not be able to play because all wayne cares about is winning, and hes only in it for a i
    championship and to see his own personal friends as well as his self claim glory for the
    big game after using majority of the teams money to support people that never show
    up to practice and people that starts in games on the road

  • da one June 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I find it sad that there is alot of the team players with just as much passion to play is being decieved every year and fed a dream buy a bunch of semi pro owners and coaches that acts like the leauge is the dam nfl….there is so many sponors,family members and kids that look up to they’re fathers, brothets &uncles for what theyre trying to do on that team. And every week all they see is them on the sideline like cheerleaders rooting for guys that dont show up to practice let alone travel to away games just because they know they can start whenever they want…..its hideous and stupid. But hey, if you gotta win….then you gotta win(right wayne?) I hope they don’t win….so they could see karma at its finest ….when your a team, you should consider your promises before you break them. SPONORS MY ASS….YOUR KEY PLAYERS HAVENT PAYED A SPONORS SINCE YOU WERE THE BLITZ…..ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR KEY 11 MAN OFFENSE & KEY 11 MAN DEFENSE ….TO WIN …SO SWEAT EVERYONE ONE ELSE ABOUT PLAYING WHEN YOU KNOW THATS NOT GONNA HAPPEN…..YOU SHOULD JUST KEEP IT 100, AND LET THE SIDELINE PLAYERS KNOW AT THE BEGINNIG OF EVERY SEASON THAT YOU NEED THEM TO GET $250 TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KEY STAR PLAYERS AND PLAYERS THAT PLAY FOR YOU IN SALT LAKE AND QUIT FEEDING THEM A F*%$KING DREAM ABOUT THEM PLAYING WHEN U KNOW THATS NOT THE CASE…..( NEVER AGAIN WILL I FALL FOR IT)

  • Peter June 15, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I’ve been watching NBA for alot of years and i feel secure about the whole american football thing so i think ill start watching the leagues aswell thank you for making this article.

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