RMFL GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie Rebels (4-0, 2-0 Utah South Division) at the Utah Stealth (3-1, 2-0 Utah North Division)
Tonight, 7 p.m., at Woods Cross High School
Previous Meeting: Stealth defeated Rebels 31-28 in the RMFL Championship game June 29, 2013. Stealth held the Rebels on a fourth and one in the red zone with less than two minutes on the clock to preserve victory.
Head Coach: Dale Stott
Defense: Pro 4-3, Nickel
Last Game: Beat Rocky Mountain Mudd Ducks 42-26
Players to watch: Offensively, the Rebels lead the league — by two yards — over the Stealth. They average 395 yards per game. 225 of those are on the ground. Misi Tupe leads the league in rushing with 426 yards. Rimo Mapu is also in the top 10 with 208 yards on the year. Defensively, the Rebels are tied for second in the league with the Stealth, allowing less than 17 points per game. Jordan Main still leads the league in sacks, despite missing a game. Shawn Mitchell is in the top five in the league in interceptions.
Trend: The Rebels will face their last major test for several weeks before the season finale rematch against the Wasatch Revolution. The Stealth is clearly a top-three team in the same conversation as Dixie and Wasatch. The Rebels would arguably have better numbers on both offense and defense, but Coach Stott has elected to give reserves on both sides of the ball more experience in blowout games. Hopefully the growth sustained from that decision will help the Rebels later in the season if attrition is a factor.
UTAH VALLEY STEALTH
Coaches: Brandon Preece, Ken Byrd
Last Game: Beat Utah Shock 37-30
Players to watch: Jeff Wissler leads the league in every passing category, throwing for 1127 yards, 13 TDs against only 3 INTs. His favorite receivers are Sam Thomas and Travis Anderson with 24 and 20 receptions. His favorite red zone target however is the 6’5” Ty West who has caught 6 TDs in only 10 catches. When the Stealth run, it is usually through I.K. Ubani, the RMFL’s leading rusher in 2012, who has run for 256 yards this year. Defense is normally where the Stealth excel. Led by free safety C.J. Ubani and inside linebacker Cody Berry in tackles, and defensive lineman Andrew Robinson in sacks.
The big question, and this is always the big question in semi-pro ball, is how well will the teams travel. Against Boise, the Rebels played without their top three running backs and basically had Tupe for half the game. If the whole team can travel north today, and play like they are capable, Dixie will likely remain undefeated. If they are missing pieces on either side, it is hard to maintain continuity, especially on defense. If the Dixie defense shows up today, both literally and figuratively, the Rebels will get a great win on the road.
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