Dixie kicks off Region 10 play with home tilt vs. Pine View

By Keric Seegmiller

(ST. GEORGE, Utah – Sept. 8, 2022) After taking a bye last week, Dixie returns to the field on Friday to take on Pine View in the Flyers’ 2022 Region 10 opener at Walt Brooks Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., as the Panthers play their second consecutive game, and third in four outings, on the road. 

Live coverage is scheduled on radio (890 KDXU) with live video streaming available on SportsRadio977.com. Andy Griffin will provide play-by-play with Keric Seegmiller offering analysis and color commentary.

REGION OPENER: Friday’s game marks Dixie’s first Region 10 contest of the 2022 campaign after last week’s bye. Over the past 10 seasons, the Flyers have posted a 9-1 record in region openers, including a 4-1 mark at Walt Brooks Stadium. Additionally, Dixie has opened its region slate against Pine View five times over the same timeframe, earning victories in four of those five meetings. 

SERIES HISTORY: While it can be said almost every week in Region 10 play, Friday’s game kicks off rivalry season for both teams as the matchup features the two longest-standing high schools in St. George. With both schools located in the same city, it’s been a crosstown duel every year since Pine View opened in 1983, which equates to a minimum of 39 matchups between the schools. If you add the state playoffs to the equation, the teams have probably met between 50 and 60 times (probably more). For the sake of accuracy, let’s take a look at the last 10 years. 

The Flyers and Panthers have met 14 times over the past 10 seasons, including four times in the state playoffs. Dixie holds a 10-4 record in those contests with a 5-2 record at Walt Brooks Stadium. The teams have split the last four matchups with the Flyers winning both games in 2021, while the Panthers emerged triumphant in 2020 and 2019.

SCOUTING DIXIE: Dixie enters the game with a 2-1 record. After dropping the season opener to Springville, the Flyers bounced back with back-to-back wins over Riverton and Palm Desert, California.  

Through three games, Dixie is scoring 18.3 points per game (No. 4 in Region 10) and averages 224.0 yards of total offense (125.4 pass/98.6 rush) per contest. Senior quarterback Jalen Schultz leads the offensive attack and has completed 19-of-39 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for 32 yards and another touchdown. 

Senior receiver Blake Watson has snagged a team-high six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Jaxon Barben leads the team in receiving yards with 148 yards and one touchdown on five catches. Senior running back Jeffrey Christian has added five catches out of the backfield for 35 yards, with senior tight end Mason Kesterson posting three catches for 50 yards. Christian leads the Flyers in the ground game with 112 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries, while Barben has added 21 carries for 101 yards, and senior Seth Takau has run for 44 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. 

Defensively, Dixie allows an average of 22.6 points (No. 4 in Region 10) and 371.6 yards (167.0 pass/204.6 rush) of total offense per game. And although the Flyers have been outgained in each game to date, their defense had made up the difference by forcing four fumbles to go with three interceptions for a total of seven turnovers. 

Senior linebacker Treven Alldredge leads the defense with 46 tackles and two sacks, while senior safety Brayden Wilson and junior linebacker Jacob Dombroski have tallied 31 tackles and one sack each. Kesterson leads the Flyers with two interceptions to go with one interception for senior safety Chet Atkinson. 

On special teams, Jonathan Bibiano has connected on 7-of-7 point-after attempts and 2-of-3 field goal tries with a long of 38 yards.  

REGION LEADERS: Alldredge leads Region 10 with 15.3 tackles per game and, despite playing one game less than the other leaders, is just nine tackles off the overall lead. Meanwhile, Bibiano is tied atop the region in point-after attempt percentage, connecting on all seven of his attempts. 

SCOUTING PINE VIEW: Pine View enters Friday’s contest with an 0-3 overall record and an 0-1 mark in Region 10 play. The Panthers opened their region schedule last week at Hurricane and pulled to within one touchdown on multiple occasions, but a pair of turnovers in Tigers territory doomed the Panthers comeback bid. Despite the loss, the Pine View offense made strides in the right direction, finishing with season-high marks with 415 yards of total offense and 19 points scored.

Through three games, Pine View is averaging 15.3 points (No. 7 in Region 10) and 304.3 yards of total offense (183.6 pass/120.7 rush) per contest. Seniors Tyler Brown (26-43, 368 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT) and Abe Rosenlund (14-34, 183 yards, 1 TD, 5 INT) have both seen time at quarterback, with junior Quincy Jones (14 rec, 184 yards), junior Blake Stucki (8 rec, 126 yards), and Brock Harris (8 rec, 166 yards, 3 TD) targeted as the primary receivers. Brown has also led the rushing attack with 202 yards and two touchdowns from the quarterback position.

Defensively, the Panthers have allowed an average of 32.7 points (No. 7 in Region 10)  and 387.6 yards of total offense (172.0 pass/215.6 rush) per game. Senior linebacker Jacob Sersansie leads Pine View with 18 tackles, while junior defensive lineman Caden Nelson has added 12 tackles and four sacks to go with 12 tackles for senior Tyson Dinsmore. The Panthers have forced two fumbles, but are still looking for their first interception of the season. 

Junior Kimball Swift has connected on 4-of-5 point-after attempts to lead the special teams, while Pine View has not yet attempted a field goal.  

WHAT TO EXPECT: While Dixie is favored to win, don’t sleep on Pine View. The Panthers have improved each week and showed flashes of brilliance with Brown at quarterback. Brown entered the game on the Panthers’ second drive of the game at Hurricane and immediately jumpstarted the offense, completing 17-of-28 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 145 yards and another score. Pine View’s offense has been almost a 50-50 split between pass and rush attempts, with the quarterbacks taking most of the carries on the ground off of read-option or traditional-option scenarios. Based on last week, expect to see Brown leading the offense throughout the game with Rosenlund brought in on specific QB-keeper situations. 

The Flyers are still waiting for their first high-scoring breakthrough of the year, and this week could be it. After finishing with less than 200 yards of total offense in each of the first two games, the Flyers racked up 404 yards at Palm Desert in California. Now, with two weeks to prepare for Pine View, the Flyers will be ready to rock and roll.  Expect to continue to see a heavy dose of the run game with Christian lining up in the backfield and Barben coming off the edge for fly sweeps. Of course, Coach Monkres and crew will mix in the pass at the opportune moment, and give Watson, Barben, and Kesterson chances to make plays down the field. 

UP NEXT: Dixie will host Desert Hills, while Pine View returns to its own field to host Cedar as Region 10 play continues next Friday, Sept. 16. 

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