St. George • On an uncharacteristically cold and blustery night, Dixie High warmed to the task against crosstown rival Desert Hills.
Junior quarterback Ammon Takau threw two touchdown passes Friday and the Flyers defense stopped the Thunder in the red zone three times in the second half, leading Dixie to a 27-7 victory.
The win bumped the Flyers’ record to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in Region 9. Desert Hills slipped to 4-2 and 2-2.
After the game, Dixie coach Blaine Monkres praised his defense.
“They did a great job,” he said. “… They stepped up. They played hard. They even put some points on the board for us.”
The Flyers grabbed a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. On third-and-7 from the Dixie 49, Takau’s pass was slightly under-thrown. Lukas Hildebrandt came back for the ball, however, and turned the play into a 51-yard touchdown.
Midway through the second quarter, Dixie’s defense scored.
With Desert Hills facing a first-and-11 from inside its own 2, linebacker Tanner Webster stepped in front of a pass by Thunder quarterback Nick Warmsley and returned it eight yards for a touchdown.
After the ensuing kickoff, Desert Hills’ offense put together its only sustained drive.
Taking over at their own 20, the Thunder drove 80 yards in nine players and trimmed Dixie’s lead to 14-7. Warmsley contributed runs of 27 and 29 yards, and Bridger Cowdin scored from the 8 with only 51.7 seconds left in the first half.
Desert Hills threatened to tie the game early in the third quarter, but the Dixie defense held on downs.
Takau’s 54-yard pass to Andy Appel made it 20-7 with 1:59 left in the period and the Flyers iced the victory in Drew Batchelor’s 2-yard touchdown with 7:33 remaining.
“A team like that is explosive,” Monkres said. “... So you never really relax until the game’s over.”