High school football: Hurricane offense storms to big victory over Dixie

By Andy Griffin

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Sept. 10 2010 11:20 p.m. MDT

HURRICANE — Forgive Hurricane High offensive coordinator Steve Pearson if he feels a little giddy nowadays.

He has the right to, as his Tigers had yet another offensive explosion in yet another blowout win, this time a 55-28 blasting of the Dixie Flyers.

"We have a lot of weapons and we don't care which guy has the big night," he said. "We just call the plays we think will work."

And work they did against the Flyers. Hurricane amassed 522 yards, averaging 9.5 yards per play. The Tigers scored on each of their first nine possessions and had 41 points at halftime.

Hurricane wasn't perfect defensively against a Dixie team that has some athletes, including speedy touchdown-maker Wyatt Gatchell.

But the Tigers led 41-14 at the break and ballooned their lead to 55-14 less than three minutes into the second half. A continuous-running clock and a lot of junior varsity players kept the game from getting uglier.

"We know how explosive that offense of Dixie can be," Pearson said. "We wanted to come out and keep the pressure on and make a bit of a statement to start the second half."

Hurricane, 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 9, led 10-0 early on a 15-yard TD run by Robert Reeve and a 48-yard field goal by future BYU kicker Corey Edwards.

Dixie looked like it would make a game of it by putting together a 13-play, 70-yard scoring drive. When John Matuato blasted across the goal line in the opening seconds of the first quarter, it was suddenly a 10-7 game and Dixie clearly had some momentum.

But the Tigers' offense would not disappoint on this night. Hurricane answered the Dixie surge with a five-play, 67-yard drive that took just 1:49 to complete.

And in fact, Hurricane scored four more times in the second quarter. Most of the drives took less than two minutes as the Tigers' offensive line was blowing open big holes.

Jarom Healy had scores of 48 yards (on a pass from Adam Long), eight yards and 21 yards. Edwards added his second field goal of the game as time expired in the first half, this time from 22 yards out.

The lone Dixie highlight in that scoring rush was a Blake Barney TD pass to Gatchell that covered 80 yards.

In the third quarter the Tigers' Weston Yardley scored from five yards out and Healy made it to the end zone for the fourth time on a 52-yard trap play.

Healy finished the game with 169 yards on just 12 carries with three touchdowns. He added 66 yards receiving and another score, while Yardley added 94 yards on the ground and Reeve had the two TDs and 77 yards rushing.

"We don't have a feature-back or anything like that," Pearson said. "Sometimes it works out that one guy has the big numbers like Jarom did tonight. But we feel like any number of guys can get the job done depending on the circumstances."

Hurricane only punted once and that came late in the game. The Tigers also had just one late turnover and Edwards had touchbacks on seven of his nine kickoffs.

For the Flyers, who fell to 1-3 and 0-1, they did add late scores on another short Matuato run and a late TD pass from youngsters Dakota Bair to Brad Hauck of 35 yards.

Dixie did have 312 yards of offense but the Flyers did punt seven times. Gatchell ended up with 101 yards receiving on three grabs and Braney rushed for 80 yards on nine carries from the quarterback spot.

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