St. George • Dixie walked out of walked out of Thunder Stadium with another big win, the Flyers’ straight victory on Desert Hills’ home field.
Dixie, led by senior running back Hobbs Nyberg, jumped out to a big lead and didn’t look back as it rolled to a 36-21 victory Wednesday night.
The Flyers claimed the Region 9 championship because Pine View took down Cedar City. It was the program’s third consecutive region crown and No. 26 overall.
“It always feels good,” Nyberg said. “It’s a big accomplishment because there are so many good teams down here. But at the end of the day, that is just our first goal. State is always the final goal, and it’s nice to take a big step forward with playoffs around the corner.”
Despite being keyed on all night, the senior still tallied a game-high three touchdowns — two on the ground and a sweet 13-yard touchdown catch. Dixie quarterback Jacob Barben also was impressive, completing 14 of his 18 passes for more than 150 yards and two touchdowns along with one rushing touchdown.
“It’s always a big game between Desert Hills and there is always a lot on the line,” Nyberg said. “We came in confident, and our coaches always prepare us the right way to come out on top.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Like most teams have come to figure out, there is no stopping Hobbs Nyberg. The Dixie senior running back and slot receiver put on another show as he rushed for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and added another score through the air to help Dixie win its third consecutive Region 9 title.
Despite being without star defensive end Tyson Fisher, who sat out after being ejected in last week’s game against Hurricane, the Flyers defense rose to the challenge.
Sam Westfall recovered a fumble, Matt Kitchen and Jake Staheli both had an interception and the Flyers allowed Desert Hills to score seven points midway through the fourth quarter before allowing two late scores. The Dixie defense even put together a goal-line stand, stopping the Thunder on the 1-yard line as time expired in the first half.
“It was a big game tonight with the standings and all the playoff seeding implications, and everyone on defense stepped up there at the end of the first half and made some big plays,” defensive end Kaden Williams said. “That really gave us the momentum going into the half and really helped set the tone. Day Day [Faumuina] and Aaron Deem also played amazing in place of Fisher, and it was great to see them have big nights.”
Desert Hills was led by sophomore quarterback Noah Sewell, who rushed for two touchdowns, and senior running back Brock Parry had a 38-yard touchdown run in the first half.
Four teams will battle for the final three playoff spots as Desert Hills, Cedar City, Snow Canyon and Pine View all sit in second place at 3-2 with just one game left in Region 9 play.