Cedar Redmen preview: Winds of change in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY – Change doesn’t come easy for Cedar football coach Todd Peacock.

He’s been the head coach for the Redmen for 23 years, using essentially the same offense and defense the entire time. And for the most part, he’s had no reason to change anything. The Redmen have won better than 55 percent of their games with Peacock at the helm.

Cedar's defense will get an overhaul after giving up more than 40 points a game to spread teams like Pine View. File photo from Sept. 21, 2012, in St. George, Utah. | File photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News.
Cedar’s defense will get an overhaul after giving up more than 40 points a game to spread teams like Pine View. File photo from Sept. 21, 2012, in St. George, Utah. | File photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News.

But after a 1-8 season in which Cedar gave up 131 points to rivals Dixie, Pine View and Desert Hills – all spread teams – Peacock said it’s time for a change on defense.

“We’ve got to try to take care of those spread teams that throw the ball so well,” he said. “We’re going to try and evolve and get some of those teams stopped.”

For years, Cedar has played a 5-2-cover zero, which basically meant man-to-man coverage in the secondary against all those teams that spread it out with four and five receivers. This year, the Redmen will play a 4-3 with a lot of zone coverage in the secondary.

Athletic safety Dusty Hone, a senior, may be the biggest key to that D.

“We’ve got to go out there and get some more wins,” Hone said. “We’ve really worked hard in the off-season. Everybody’s ready to go.”

Offensively, not much will change for Cedar, running the option offense (a la Air Force). The Redmen have run the option for decades.

“I’m an old school guy,” Peacock said. “For 20 years, I went over to Air Force and watched their spring football. They had success against BYU and Utah and some of those teams that had more size and more talent by running this same offense.”

The battle at quarterback will be key, as always, when running the option, with Brecken Lewis and Austin Obering battling it out in camp.

Whoever wins that battle, don’t expect them to rack up a bunch of passing yards. The Redmen will run 80 percent of the time. After all, some things never change.

Head coach: Todd Peacock (27th season, 154-125-1 overall)
Last Season: 1-8, 1-5 in Region 9
Last Season PPG: 18.4; PAG: 30.0
Home Field: Redmen Stadium
Quarterbacks: Obering and Lewis continue to be neck-and-neck as Friday’s opener at Grantsville approaches. It may be a battle that lasts until region play begins Sept. 13.
Running backs: Ty Bulloch may be the surprise starter at fullback, though Dallin Grover will get time. Hone will go both ways and be one of the speedy pitch-men for the QB. Expect Dylan Tripp to factor in as well.
Receivers: Speedsters Lane Black and Bubba Allred have speed and may contribute when they’re not in the backfield.
Offensive line: Kole Dotson and Jaryn Forsyth are back from last season, but the pressure will be on varsity newcomers Brock Esplin and Dallin Jacoby, among others.
Defensive line: Look for Forsyth and Dotson to anchor the new four-man line at Cedar, plus Brooks is back at defensive end.
Linebackers: As always, it’s ironman football at Cedar and Lewis and Grover, who could play key offensive roles, will be counted on to make plays at linebacker. Bulloch will also be huge at LB.
Defensive backs: Obering and Hone provide a boost of speed much needed to defend the high-flying offenses of the 3AA South Region.
Special teams: Junior Jeff Rogers is back to handle the kicking duties. Don’t be surprised to see Obering returning kicks, even if he does win the starting job at QB.
Intangibles: It’s hard to believe a Peacock-coached team will have two losing seasons in a row. But the schedule is brutal with non-league games vs. Skyline and Sequoia, Calif. Then again, the Redmen have Desert Hills, Pine View and Dixie all at home in the pasture that is Redmen Stadium this year. Peacock said his team is ready. “This group of young men has worked extremely hard and is extremely competitive.”
Cedar Schedule
(Non-league difficulty C+)
8/23 Cedar at Grantsville
8/30 Cedar @ Canyon View
9/6 Skyline @ Cedar
9/13 Desert Hills @ Cedar
9/20 Cedar @ Hurricane
9/27 Sequioa, CA @ Cedar
10/4 Pine View @ Cedar
10/10 Cedar @ Snow Canyon
10/16 Dixie @ Cedar
10/25 Cedar @ Payson

2013 3AA South Region Media prediction:Rank  Team (1st vts)   total points
1. Desert Hills (4)   51 points
2. Pine View (1)  44 points
3. Hurricane (2) 41 points
4. Dixie (1)  38 points
5. Snow Canyon    18 points
6. Cedar    16 points
7. Payson    15 points

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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