RMFL football: Zion Lions host reigning-champion Revolution at Panther Stadium

Wasatch Revolution (1-0, 1-0) at Zion Lions (3-0, 2-0)
Tonight, 7 p.m., at the Sunbowl, St. George
Previous Meeting: Wasatch 26, Dixie 21 in the RMFL Championship game, June 28, 2014. Last year’s RMFL Player of the Year, QB Charlie Peterson, got knocked out of the game, but backup Bryant Etuati steps in and pulls out win over Dixie Rebels, who had five interceptions in the game.

zllogoHead Coach: Dale Stott (3-0, 11-2 overall)
Offense: Multiple
Defense: Pro 4-3, Nickel
Last Game: Beat the Davis Vipers 45-13 last week
Players to watch: Misi Tupe had his best week at quarterback last week. The Vipers stacked the box to stop the running game and Tupe pinpointed passes to several targets. Dalton Groskreutz scored on nearly every catch. Viliami Hafoka, Brennan Adams and Tanner Wood all got significant yardage and scores as well. Michael Matalolo had his best game at running back. His quick burst style complemented the bulldozing Sione Tapuosi. The offensive line did not allow one sack and opened up holes to allow their RBs six yards per carry. On defense Brandon Thompson continues to impress. The dominance up front with Doug Roberts and the Feula brothers (Vince and Joe) have proven troublesome for opposing quarterbacks. The return game has been just short of perfect. Ryne Wall is elusive and fast, but at times has lacked the requisite blocking. Finau Lomu has also shown great speed.
Trend: Last week the Lions met a stiff run defense for probably the first time this year. Tupe went to work. He nearly scored a perfect quarterback rating, lacking in only the completion percentage, and the majority of those incompletions were dropped passes. The starting defense has not allowed a touchdown this season. In fact, they have only allowed seven first downs in three games, and four of those were by penalty. The defense is clicking on all cylinders.

REVCoach: Jeremy Williams (1-0)
Offense: Spread
Defense: 3-4
Last Game: Beat the Logan Stampede 38-7 last week
Players to watch: Quarterback Charlie Peterson was the RMFL MVP last year. His favorite targets this year are wide receivers Joe Mapson, Ryan Lang and Bryant Eteuati. Rashawn Dale leads the team in rushing. On defense, linebackers Jeremy Hendrickson and Ian Eyre lead the team in tackles. Defensive tackle Dustin Reid anchors the line. Defensive back Harold Regin leads the team in interceptions.
Trend: There is no secret to the Rev’s success. They pass the ball. With a quarterback like Peterson and talented receivers like Mapson and Eteuati, why wouldn’t you? They spread you out and take advantage of the mismatches or single coverage. Last year, they crowded the box and dared Tupe to throw on them. Look for the same tonight.

This is the match-up of the year. For all those fans who have been bored with the blowouts over the last three weeks, tonight they should see a football game. The Rev is a very well-coached organization. They have superior talent and barring serious injury to a key player, these two teams will probably be in the championship game again, no matter what the outcome of tonight’s game is. Last year the Rev loaded the box. That is also what the Lions have faced the past two weeks. Tupe has not only made the correct reads, but his passing has been crisp and on target. Lions win this early match-up at home.
Prediction: Lions 35, Rev 21

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