Cedar Redmen: New era in maroon and gold as Bennett puts his mark on CHS

Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – New Cedar High School football coach Josh Bennett spent 10 years as an assistant coach before finally getting his chance to take the lead and change things up.

cedar-smBennett will start his head coaching career Friday when the Redmen take on Provo High School. His off-season goal of switching up the offense from triple option to spread will be tested first against the Bulldogs. Bennett is quick to credit predecessor Todd Peacock for the high level the CHS program has achieved over the years. But he also said it was time for something different.

Josh Bennett
Josh Bennett

“When I first came in, I thought it would be a tough transition to (change offensive schemes),” Bennett said. “I think change brings excitement, and I think with the change, there was a lot of excitement with the kids. I think they were ready for a change as well.”

With a spread offense, the Redmen linemen will need to learn a different blocking scheme also, changing from assignment blocking to zone blocking.

“I feel like we’ve definitely picked (the changes) up a lot quicker than I would have imagined,” offensive lineman Koalman Kimber said. “The difference is with the zone, you don’t really have a specific kind of block, you just kind of go to an area and whoever crosses your face, that’s your man. It makes it a little bit easier than last year because, when we’d play certain teams, they would do a bunch of stunts and blitzes.”

Cedar QB Mason Fakahua (12) hands off to RB Brock Oldroyd (11), Pine View vs. Cedar, St. George, Utah, Oct. 3, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Cedar QB Mason Fakahua (12) hands off to RB Brock Oldroyd (11), Pine View vs. Cedar, St. George, Utah, Oct. 3, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Running back and linebacker Brock Oldroyd is happy with more freedom this year in a new offense.

“When we got the new coach, I was excited,” Oldroyd said. “Our offense last year was pretty rough, but this year, it kind of allows me to have more opportunities to pick where I want to go.”

Bennett said the offensive players are experienced and ready to start the season, but knows there is still work to do with a few positions.

“We feel like we’ve got a good core behind us,” Bennett said. “We feel we’ve got a great offensive line. I feel really confident in them, and I think that’s where you win football games. We’ve got a great quarterback, (and) a great running back. I think we’ve got some good receivers. Obviously, I think there is some work to do there, but we’re excited to see what we can do.”

Mason Fakahua, Hurricane at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Mason Fakahua, Hurricane at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 19, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Junior quarterback Mason Fakahua, according to Bennett, is 6-foot-4 inches and about 220 pounds and fast. Fakahua is also coming off a knee injury after starting three games last season as a sophomore.

“We definitely want to utilize him as much as we can running the football and passing the football,” Bennett said. “I would say he is (100 percent). We haven’t seen any issues with (his knee). He looks like he’s a step ahead of where he was last year. I think, in my opinion, if he has the year we expect him to have, (Fakahua) could be one of the best quarterbacks in 3A.”

The Redmen will start their season against Provo at 7 p.m. at CHS.

“The excitement for the upcoming game against Provo, it’s the start to our senior year, I just can’t wait.” Oldroyd said.

Bennett is keeping it simple with his philosophy for the season.

“My philosophy as a football coach is to prepare these kids to play to the best of their abilities,” Bennett said. “I feel like if I do my part, they will do their part.”

The Cedar File

Head coach: Josh Bennett (1st season)

Last year: 5-6, lost to Pine View in the quarterfinals

Returnees: offense 5, defense 5

2015 Schedule:

Date Game Time/result
Fri. Aug. 21, 2015 Provo 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 28, 2015 Virgin Valley, Nev. 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 4, 2015 at Canyon View 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 11, 2015 at Juab 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 18, 2015 at Dixie 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Sept. 25, 2015 Snow Canyon 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 2, 2015 at Hurricane 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 9, 2015 Pine View 7:00 p.m.
Fri. Oct. 23, 2015 at Desert Hills 7:00 p.m.

2015 Key Players

Offense — With Fakahua at QB and Oldroyd at RB, the backfield looks set, especially if Fakahua’s reconstructed knee holds up. The line looks solid as well, with Kimber and McCrae Murray. But the spread needs wide receivers who can catch and CHS WRs haven’t had to do that in the past. The pressure’s on newcomers Bodrey Allred, Derek Ball, Ian Keyes and Jaden Tullis.

Defense — Jayden Robinson will be crucial at linebacker and he’s one of five returning starters on defense. The DBs look solid with returnees Allred and Drake Lewis and new corners Keyes and Tullis. Kimber and Murray anchor the line, while Oldroyd, Makay Mackert and Jade Bulloch will help at LB.

2014 results:

Cedar 20, Grantsville 16 Final
Cedar 56, Canyon View 19 Final
Cedar 17, Skyline 7 Final
Desert Hills 45, Cedar 7 Final
Hurricane 13, Cedar 7 Final (OT)
Pine View 46, Cedar 24 Final
Snow Canyon 10, Cedar 7 Final
Dixie 42, Cedar 10 Final
Cedar 23, Payson 13 Final
Cedar 34, Tooele 22 Final
Pine View 45, Cedar 10 Final

Last 5 years
2014 — 5-6 (1-5 in 3AA South, quarterfinals)
2013 — 5-7 (2-4 in 3AA South, quarterfinals)
2012 — 1-8 (1-5 in Region 9, missed playoffs)
2011 — 6-6 (4-2 in Region 9, semifinals)
2010 — 9-2 (5-1 in Region 9, first round)

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Jman873

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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