COMMENTARY — There’s going to be some hitting tonight.
While the 3AA South football season doesn’t begin until next Friday, several local teams will march their varsity teams out for fans to see tonight in organized scrimmages. Cedar (6 p.m.), Hurricane (7 p.m.), Pine View (7) and Snow Canyon (7) will all scrimmage at their home fields tonight. Payson scrimmages Saturday night at 7. Dixie and Desert Hills will not scrimmage.
Just last November Desert Hills avenged a pair of region losses by running the table in the state tournament, crowned by a short touchdown run by senior running back Landen Broadhead as time expired in the championship game against Pine View. The Thunder lost two games last season, one of them by 20 points to rival Dixie. And yet, they emerged as champs.
Fans have to believe this, or something else magical, such as Hurricane’s undefeated state championship in 2011, could happen to their team this year. Hurricane went 2-10 last season, just two years removed from that perfect season. But certainly hope shines bright for new head coach Steve Pearson and the Tigers, who return one of the top players in the state in Jeremiah Ieremia.
The Thunder, picked by the region’s coaches to finish first this season, have a bunch of blue-chippers back from last season’s title team. Quarterback Nick Warmsley leads a talented backfield that includes Bridger Cowdin and Gabe Sewell. But of course, the defense will be making headlines, with Sewell and Tucker Cowdin lighting up ball carriers.
Pine View, led by arguably the best quarterback ever to play in southern Utah, was picked by the media to take the region crown. Kody Wilstead just missed the all-time state record for passing yards in a season last year when he threw for 4,390 yards. With an experienced crew of receivers returning, PV should be good. Both the Thunder and the Panthers have some holes to fill on the line — a factor that may determine whether or not the two team will meet again in the state championship.
The Dixie Flyers, who have decided not to hold a scrimmage this week, return dual-threat quarterback Ammon Takau to lead coach Blaine Monkres’ high-octane spread offense. Dixie, which was picked to finish third by the media and fourth by the coaches, was undefeated in region last season before losing in the state semifinals to Desert Hills.
Snow Canyon, touted fourth by the media and fifth by the coaches, will see Jacob Frei take the reins at QB after the junior played spot duty a year ago. The Warriors scrimmage at 7 p.m. tonight.
Cedar has a lot of returning players from their 5-7 team from last season. The Redmen will be led by returning QB Brecken Lewis as well as speedy running back Dallin Grover.
Payson won just one game a year ago, but the Lions have strong-armed QB Easton Smith back as well as hard-nosed fullback/linebacker John Harmon. Payson scrimmages Saturday at 7.
St. George News will be your place to look first after games this year with postgame interviews, action photos, stats and stories. We will also be live streaming a game of the week every Friday night.
Look for full previews of all seven 3AA South teams beginning Monday at STGNews Sports.
Fans can watch the entire archived version of the 3AA Football Media Day by clicking HERE.
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