ST. GEORGE — Drew Batchelor and Blake Barney took care of the offense and Jesse Lambert led the defense as the Dixie Flyers blasted visiting River Valley (Ariz.) 49-3 Friday night at Walt Brooks Stadium.
Barney accounted for four scores and Batchelor caught two TD passes and ran a third score in as the Flyers racked up 42 points in the first half. Meanwhile Lambert, who was moved from linebacker to defensive line this season, was nearly unstoppable inside. He was consistently in the Dust Devils’ backfield, forcing fumbles, picking up sacks and knocking down sweeping running backs.
“We asked Jesse to change positions and he didn’t really want to,” Dixie defensive coordinator Rick Berry said. “If tonight doesn’t convince him that this is where he belongs, I don’t know what will. He was phenomenal tonight.”
Lambert said the switch has taken some getting used to.
“I like it, but it’s different,” he said. ” It’s a lot more about the first contact and reading the block, instead of reading the whole play. But we were just trying to stay humble and get the job done tonight.”
Dixie actually started slowly, managing just a Joseph Takau 1-yard TD run in the first quarter. Barney even threw his first interception of the season.
But the second quarter would make up for the slow first as the Flyers scored five touchdown in quarter No. 2.
“We were able to get it going pretty good in the second quarter,” Dixie coach Blaine Monkres said. “Blake played really well. Drew was good. And Jesse Lambert really made some excellent plays inside.”
The big second stanza started with a 34-yard TD run up the middle of the field by Barney. The three-year starter flashed some impressive speed on the keeper.
After a River Valley punt, Barney led his team on another decent drive sparked by a long screen pass to Takau (51 yards). On the play, Barney opened up a minor cut on his hand and had to leave the field for one play to get it bandaged. That one play, Batchelor took over at QB and did his coach proud by running it in from 14 yards out. That made it 21-0 with still 8:08 left in the half.
After an RV fumble, Barney hit Batchelor with his second score, also from 14 yards out, making it 28-0 with 7:42 to go in the half.
Dixie scored again when Barney hit Batchelor on a simple out pass that the junior turned into a huge 46-yard score.
The Flyers closed the first half scoring by punching it in from 6 yards out on a dash by Barney that made it 42-0 with just seconds to go until halftime.
“When you play a team that you know is a little down like that, you want to make sure you don’t have any kind of letdown,” Monkres said. “I thought the kids did a good job of that. We started a little slow, but then started rolling. You don’t want to give a team like that any chance.”
Dixie, which moved to 2-0 on the season, finished with 420 yards of offense to just 157 for the Dust Devils. Barney was 8-14 for 168 yards and two scores, plus rushed for 67 yards and a couple of scores.
Batchelor caught four passes for 83 yards and two scores, plus rushed for 21 yards and a score.
Lambert finished the game with 7.5 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The Flyers play at Provo next week.
For box score, click here: BoxScore_Final-Dixie-River Valley-8-24-2012
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