SALT LAKE CITY — In a moment of unfiltered honesty, powered by a strong wave of emotions that followed Dixie’s 20-0 4A semifinals victory over Park City Thursday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Flyers head coach Blaine Monkres revealed something — simply put, he and his coaching staff did not expect this.
Heading into the season they did not expect that their team would earn a berth in the state championship game.
“I asked the coaches just now, back when we were in camp in June did you ever think we would get to Rice-Eccles? They all said no, we never did,” Monkres said. “There were some rough patches, especially during camp. We had to learn a new offense — Monkres replaced Andy Stokes as head coach after Stokes took the head coaching job at Timpview — and they were struggling.”
Over time, through camp, preseason and region play, the Flyers improved. Whether that be on offense, with quarterback Reggie Graff, or defense, led by linebacker Jake Staheli, Dixie got better.
“We’ve managed to get better every week,” Monkres said. “Somehow we got here.”
Here is the 4A state championship game, a spot earned thanks to Dixie’s win over Park City.
“We’ve managed to get better every week. Somehow we got here.”
Dixie coach Blaine Monkres
It wasn’t an easy victory by any means, despite the nearly three-score margin, which was fitting considering the journey Dixie had been on all season.
Both teams went scoreless through the first quarter, as neither offense managed much of anything.
Early in the second period, the Flyers struck as Graff found wide receiver Nate Mahi for a 20-yard touchdown.
That score was it for the first half, as both defenses proved more than up to the challenge.
“Our defense was tough tonight,” Monkres said. “Our offense, well we couldn’t get the ball in the end zone there early.”
That all changed on the first possession of the second half. Graff led the Flyers on a two play, 70-yard touchdown drive, a drive that ended with him running 49 yards for the score.
“That was huge,” Graff said. “Part of our game plan was to spread them out in the first half and in the second half go up the middle. It worked for us.”
Graff would throw another touchdown, 10 minutes into the fourth quarter when he found Joshua Cazier for a 38-yard strike.
In all, the Flyers quarterback finished with 174 yards through the air, 104 on the ground and …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News