ST. GEORGE – As a sophomore, Ammon Takau watched from the sideline as dynamic starting quarterback Blake Barney rushed and passed the Dixie Flyers to the 2012 3A State Championship. It was a sight to behold.
But what the young Takau probably didn’t know was how much he — and every future QB at Dixie — would be compared to Barney. After all, Barney, who will QB at Weber State when he returns from his LDS Mission, accounted for more than 4,000 yards of offense and nearly 50 touchdowns in 2012.
“You know, he was an amazing quarterback,” Takau said. “But I’m not competing against him. I’m just trying to compete against myself and get better every day.”
Takau may not be the statistical anomaly that Barney was, but he is certainly efficient. Takau has accounted for nearly 3,000 yards and more than 30 touchdowns. And more importantly, he has helped Dixie’s offense be incredibly effective. The Flyers score nearly 40 points a game.
“Ammon has done everything we’ve asked of him,” Dixie head coach Blaine Monkres said. “He’s not Blake Barney, and I mean that in a good way. Ammon has done things his own way. He’s been a good leader on this team. Blake was a vocal leader who was not afraid to get right up in your face. That’s not Ammon. But he is still a leader.”
You could argue that Takau has not had to do as much offensively as he’s had better weapons surrounding him. Most notably, Dixie running back Tre Miller has had a phenomenal year, rushing for 1,373 yards and 15 touchdowns. During Barney’s senior year, no running back had more than 300 yards.
Takau has also battled a bad ankle sprain that kept him out of the first Hurricane game and has hobbled him ever since the injury occurred back in late September. He also missed nearly half of the Stansbury game after re-aggravating the injury.
“It’s not going to fully heal until he can rest it for a month or two,” Monkres said. “He’s a tough kid. He’ll tough it out for one more game.”
Indeed, it’s doubtful anyone could keep the senior signal-caller off the field for the title game Friday morning at Rice-Eccles Stadium (11 a.m.).
Dixie lost that first game against Hurricane, and lost it badly, 34-14. Dixie hasn’t lost since that night in late September and Takau is a big reason why. And if he can pull out one more win for the Flyers, he might be the guy people are comparing future QBs at Dixie to.
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