Showdown between Dixie and Desert Hills to decide Region 9 football title

Composite photo, with left showing Dixie vs. Canyon View, Oct. 4, 2018, and right showing Desert Hills vs. Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Sept. 7, 2018 | File photos by Jeff Richards and David Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Region 9’s regular season wraps up Thursday night with a marquee matchup between Desert Hills and Dixie, both of whom are 5-0 in region play heading into the contest.

Desert Hills quarterback Logan Wilstead is cool in the pocket as he locates a receiver, St. George, Utah, Sept. 7, 2018 | File photo by David Larson, St. George News

The winner of the battle of the unbeatens will be the Region 9 champion, while the loser will enter next week’s playoffs as the region’s No. 2 seed.

In its five regular season victories, Dixie has outscored its region opponents by an average of 33-10, while Desert Hills is averaging 40 points per game and allowing nearly 18.

In nonregion contests before the regular season began, Dixie went 2-1, with the Flyers’ only loss coming in the season opener against Springville, when the Red Devils won 26-21. Desert Hills went 1-2 in preseason play, starting off the season with back-to-back losses by seven points each to Highland (14-7) and Salem Hills (17-10). The Thunder picked up their first win on Aug. 31 at home vs. Kealakehe, Hawaii, beating the WaveRiders 42-0, and have not lost since.

The single-elimination 4A state playoffs start next week on Friday, Oct. 26 at the home fields of the higher-seeded schools. The winner of this week’s Desert Hills-Dixie game will host Green Canyon, Region 12’s No. 4 seed, in the opening round, while the loser of Desert Hills and Dixie will host third-seeded Mountain Crest. Both contests are scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

This week’s other two Region 9 contests have no bearing on the final region standings, as Pine View is guaranteed the No. 3 spot and Snow Canyon has clinched fourth place.

Dixie quarterback Reggie Graff carries the ball in the Flyers’ 20-14 win over visiting Pine View, St. George, Utah, Sept. 28, 2018 | File photo by David Larson, St. George News

Thursday at 7 p.m., Pine View (3-2 in region play) hosts Cedar (1-4), while Snow Canyon (2-3) hosts Hurricane (0-5). Canyon View (2-4) has no region game this week, although the Falcons do host Murray in a non-region contest Wednesday night.

Although it’s possible for Snow Canyon to finish in a tie in either of two scenarios, the Warriors would lose a potential tiebreaker to Pine View, since the Panthers beat them head-to-head during the season. Similarly, Snow Canyon has the edge over both Cedar and Canyon View, having beaten both teams head-to-head.

Therefore, Pine View is assured of the region’s No. 3 seed and Snow Canyon the No. 4 seed, regardless of the outcomes of their respective contests Thursday.

Pine View, which is leading the region in scoring at 49.2 points per game after five games, will open the playoffs next week at Logan, Region 12’s No. 2 seed, on Friday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. The Grizzlies are 8-1 overall, 4-1 in region play. Snow Canyon, meanwhile, will travel to Smithfield to play the unbeaten and top-seeded Sky View Bobcats (9-0 overall, 5-0 in region), also on Oct. 26 at 4 p.m.

The eight winners of next week’s opening round games will then advance to the 4A quarterfinals, which will be held Nov. 2 on the home fields of the higher-seeded schools. Click here to see full 4A playoff bracket.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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