SPRINGVILLE – It was a storybook comeback for Dixie High School until a bit of bad luck cost the Flyers a chance at overtime as Springville defeated DHS 21-20 on prep football’s opening Friday night.
The Springville Red Devils got in the end zone twice in the final period of play, finally taking the lead with just under four minutes remaining at 21-14. DHS rallied back, marching down the field with key third down conversions to Drew Batchelor and Tanner Webster before Batchelor punched it in from two yards out with just 28 seconds remaining. Ultimately the PAT attempt to tie the game was unsuccessful.
Dixie’s heart-wrenching loss came after a textbook 2-minute-drill that included an incredible catch across the middle by Webster on third down in which he took a flagrant cheap shot to the head, but still managed to pull in the ball to put the Flyers in scoring position.
“The guy gave me the inside and I knew the hit was coming so it didn’t hurt as bad,” said Webster. “It was really a big hit, but it feels a lot better when you make the catch.”
The referees initially called an illegal hit to the head on the Red Devils. After the scary hit, Dixie players became upset and confronted SHS players and were called with an unsportsmanlike penalty. Eventually the referees penalized Springville half the distance to the goal, then penalized Dixie 15 yards, backing up the Flyers from the 3 to the 18 yard line. Despite pleas to the referee crew that the vicious hit elicited such a response from Flyer players, no other action was taken.
The Flyers overcame the penalty and eventually set up Batchelor at the goal line. The Flyers did everything right to tie the game before the gun, but came up short on the PAT attempt.
“It was really an even game,” said Springville head coach Willy Childs. “We played a little better in the fourth and we came up with one more play and that was the difference. We love playing Dixie and it’s always a good game. Some things went right for us tonight and we got that missed PAT in the end.”
The Flyers and Red Devils both showed impressive displays passing on opening night. Springville QB Dylan Slavens found receivers in the end zone twice while Dixie’s signal-callers, Jaden Harrison and Ammon Takau, combined for 205 yards passing and two touchdowns. Batchelor, already a key cog in the Flyers state title team last year, found the end zone three times against the Red Devils and netted a total of 122 yards receiving.
Despite the tough loss, the Flyers are thankful for invaluable experience learned from Friday’s loss.
“I really like our preseason schedule this year,” said Webster. “I feel like we know what we need to improve and it’s great to learn this early in the year in a non-region game and not during region play.”
The Flyers fall to 0-1 and will await 5A Lehi at Walt Brooks Stadium next Friday in Dixie’s first home game of the 2013 season.
Springville – Schreiner 29 yard TD pass from Slavens at 8:58 (Farris kick)
Dixie – Batchelor 4 yard TD pass from Takua at 1:58 (Barker kick)
Dixie – Batchelor 4 yard TD pass from Harrison at 8:06 (Barker kick)
Springville – Hendricks 2 yard TD run at 11:14 (Farris kick)
Springville – Clark 2 yard TD pass from Slavens (Farris kick)
Dixie – Batchelor 1 yard run (PAT kick fail)
DHS 7 7 0 6 — 20
SHS 7 0 0 14 — 21
A. Takau – 11/19 114 yards, 1 TD
Harrison – 4/6 91 yards, 1 TD
Batchelor – 6 -122 yards 2 TDs reciving(1 TD rushing, 3 total)
Appel – 3 – 44 yards
Webster – 2- 31 yards
Strehlow 11 tackles
J. Takau 8 tackles
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