Region 9 football: Nyberg scores 6 TDs, Dixie romps at Tooele

Photo courtesy Clay Ah Quin

TOOELE – If you blinked at Tooele Friday night, you probably missed a scoring play. With 15 touchdowns being scored, the Dixie Flyers came out on top by doubling up the Buffaloes in the touchdown department 10-5 in the 69-35 road victory.

“The first half was crazy,” Dixie head coach Andy Stokes said. “We sort of rebooted at halftime and our defense was able to shut them down in the second half.”

The Buffaloes took the early advantage at home and were still tied with Dixie late in the second quarter at 28-28.

“Tooele runs a Wing-T,” Stokes said. “When you are used to facing that spread every week, sometimes it is hard to adjust to a different offense. I think our defensive coaches prepared the team, it was a matter of the players recognizing and then executing. We did not really make any adjustments at halftime, but Coach (Wayne) Alofipo reemphasized their defensive assignments. The defense played much better in the second half.”

Dixie’s offense was in sync the whole night. After taking a 35-28 lead with 2:30 remaining in the first half, the Flyer defense held and Dixie scored again before halftime to have a 14-point cushion.

“We still had all of our timeouts at the end of the half,” Stokes said. “We thought we could score again for the two-touchdown lead and then we had the ball to start the second half.”

Dixie’s Ammon Ah Quin (24), file photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The strategy worked as Dixie quickly built a 49-28 lead early in the third. With the defense dialed in, the Flyers pushed the advantage to 62-35 by the end of the third. The Buffaloes did not score in the fourth as Dixie was able to ut the game away with an Ammon Ah Quin touchdown.

Tooele fullback Jeno Bins would score the first two touchdowns of the game for the Buffaloes. But each time, he was matched by Dixie wide receiver Hobbs Nyberg. The senior wideout had touchdown catches of 12 and 33 yards in the first quarter.

Tooele scored again to take a 21-14 lead. Dixie’s next possession ended with an Ah Quin 10-yard run. Nyberg then had his third touchdown reception of the night, this time from 28-yards out.

Bins then ran for his third touchdown to knot the score at 28-28 with just under three minutes remaining.

The Flyers then scored the next two touchdowns in quick succession just before half, both Nyberg receptions, from 31 and 35 yards out, for the 42-28 halftime advantage.

Dixie scored on its first two possessions in the second half. The first touchdown came on Ah Quin’s second of the night, a 7-yard run. Payden Harrah then became the only Flyer not named Nyberg or Ah Quin to score. His touchdown gave Dixie a commanding 55-28 lead.

The Buffaloes got their only score of the second half with a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Ben Wasson. Nyberg had decided he had enough touchdowns through the air and decided he was done sharing the glory with quarterback Jacob Barben. For his sixth touchdown, he ran 49 yards for the score.

Ah Quin wrapped up the scoring with the only touchdown in the fourth, this time from 1-yard out.

“Ammon Ah Quin’s first two weeks were a little frustrating for him,” Stokes said. “We played two very good rushing defenses. Being a running back is more than just running the ball. The first two weeks, Ammon played great in other facets of the game, like blocking. We love to run the ball. But we have to take what the defense allows us and against Springville and Lone Peak, that was through the air. This week, we got Ammon more touches and he got a lot of yardage.”

Individually for the Flyers, Barben had over 550 yards passing and six touchdowns. Nyberg had five touchdowns receiving and one rushing. Harrah had 160 yards receiving and a touchdown. Ah Quin had over 150 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

With the win, Dixie remains undefeated at 3-0. The Flyers will begin region play next week at home against Snow Canyon.

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