CEDAR CITY – Dixie’s bend-but-don’t-break defense held Cedar to a single touchdown and the Flyers improved to 2-0 in the 3AA South Region with a 24-7 victory at Redmen Stadium Friday night.
“(Mason Fakahua) can turn a game around so quickly,” said Dixie head coach Andy Stokes. “That is what makes him so dangerous. Coach (Wayne) Alofipo (defensive coordinator) had a good game plan to keep him in check most of the game.”
The Cedar Redmen could not match the visiting Dixie Flyers in one important category: finishing drives. The Redmen got inside the Dixie red zone twice in the first half only to be turned away both times.
On its first possession of the game, Cedar drove all the way to the Dixie 19-yard line. On the next play, a touchdown was called back due to a penalty for block in the back. The penalty was repeated on the next play. Instead of the touchdown, Cedar faced a first-and-35 from the Dixie 44-yard line.
Later in the second quarter, the Redmen were knocking again, having reached the Flyer 20-yard line. On the next play, a miscommunication led to an errant shotgun snap that cost Cedar the down and 15 yards. Again it killed the drive and Cedar went into the half facing a 7-0 deficit.
Dixie’s Nate Mahi had the only touchdown of the first half on a 2-yard pass from Jacob Barben.
The Flyers were effective on their first drive after halftime, but had to settle for a Thayne Reid 27-yard field goal for the 10-0 lead.
Cedar answered immediately on the next drive. Fakahua dropped back, then scrambled straight up the middle of the field, racing untouched 69 yards to paydirt, cutting the lead to 10-7.
After the two teams traded punts, Dixie scored again on a six-play, 55-yard drive that ended with Mahi’s second touchdown of the night, this time catching the pass from 23-yards out. With just over two minutes left in the third, the Dixie lead was 17-7.
After the teams traded punts again, Cedar threatened, getting to the Dixie 25-yard line. On fourth down, the Redmen’s 42-yard field goal attempt missed left.
Cedar’s defense held again, but Dixie was able to recover a muffed punt and take over the ball with great field position at the Cedar 33-yard line. Four plays later, Barben found Hobbs Nyberg on a 4-yard crossing route for the touchdown. With 3:38 remaining, the score was 24-7. Cedar never threatened again and Dixie ran out the clock on its next possession.
For the game, Barben completed 22 of 35 passes for 285 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Fakahua completed 5 of 19 for 43 yards. Fakahua led the Redmen in rushing with 74 net yards on 12 carries. For the Flyers, Ammon Ah Quin gained 65 yards on 11 carries.
Nyberg led the Flyers with six receptions for 106 yards. Mahi had 69 yards on five catches. Joshua Topham gained 43 yards on six receptions. In all, Barben completed passes to seven different receivers. For Cedar, Derek Ball had two catches for 15 yards.
Dixie improves to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in region play and will host Desert Hills next week. Cedar falls to 3-3 and 0-2 with the loss and will travel to Snow Canyon next week.
For more on this game and the rest of the 3AA South Friday night lights, including photos, quotes, stats and insight, go to Saturday Breakdown on St. George News.
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