Note: Canyon View finished with an 0-9 overall record in 2010 and an 0-6 record in the combined Region 9. It didn't qualify for the playoffs
CEDAR CITY— Canyon View coach Alex Huxford doesn't want to call the first game of the season against Juab a must-win situation for his football team, but after what happened last year maybe it is.
In Canyon View's opener last year, Richfield marched 83 yards in the final minutes and scored the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds remaining.
"I'm not sure that we ever really recovered from that," said Huxford.
The very next week Emery added to the misery by scoring 29 unanswered points in the second half of a 42-13 victory.
Despite playing well at times in other games, Canyon View never got over its inability to finish off the opener against Richfield and ended the season with a disheartening 0-9 record despite reasonably high expectations.
"I guess I thought our seniors would be a little better and we'd be a little better on defense. It was a disappointing season," said Huxford.
Collectively the teams in Region 9 are even better this year, so the Falcons can't afford to stumble out of the gates again.
"I think the key to our success are those first two games. I feel like if we can compete in those games, if we win those games and get some confidence, yeah (we'll be fine)," said Huxford.
After hosting Juab in the opener on Aug. 19, Canyon View travels to Richfield a week later.
How well Canyon View does early may rest on the arms and legs of returning starting quarterback Kameron King. The Falcons scored more than 14 points just twice a year ago, which isn't nearly good enough with a questionable defense and in Region 9 where teams score points in bunches.
King is more naturally suited to play tight end, and is being recruited at that spot as well. There were even times throughout the summer when Canyon View's offense looked better when King wasn't playing quarterback.
Huxford said King is still his starter, but backup quarterback Koy Huxford could get some time there as well if the situation calls for it.
"Kameron is our best football player and we need to get the ball in his hands," said coach Huxford.
Whether it's catching the ball or throwing it, King's success is vital to Canyon View's success.
King is no stranger to winning despite the football team's struggles last year. King was a Deseret News first team all-stater in baseball this past spring after racking up an 8-0 record on the mound and hitting .455.
Canyon View Falcons at a glance
Coach: Alex Huxford is entering his fourth season as Canyon View's head coach and he's 4-24 in those three years. He graduated from McKay High in Oregon.
(5 returning starters; Spread offense)
The Falcons have to find a way to be more productive this year regardless of who's at quarterback. That won't be easy with a small offensive line featuring just two returning starters, Ivan Lopez and Nathaniel Hansen. Shifty senior Dakota Marshall will start at tailback, while Stetson Deardon and Dallen Dastrup will see time at that position as well. Dave Stone and Austin Burton will be King's primary receivers.
(3 returning starters)
Canyon View's defense gave up more than 40 points four times last season, so maybe it's a good thing there aren't many returning starters. Linebacker could be the strength for the Falcons with Hansen a returning starter and King playing that position as well. A pair of juniors, Jesse Johnson and Tyler Edwards, have shown promise on the defensive line throughout the summer.
Coaches preseason Region 9 straw poll: Seventh
Deseret News Region 9 prediction: Seventh
Bottom line: Canyon View didn't win a single game last year, and there's no guarantee it will this year either. The Falcons will be underdogs in all six of its region games, and it's probably the underdog in its three nonregion games as well. For a team that lacked confidence all last season, the first couple of weeks of the season are vital for the Falcons.
Aug. 19 — JUAB, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 — at Richfield., 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 — Bye
Sept. 9 — at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — SNOW CANYON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — at Ogden, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — at Dixie, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — at Pine View, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — CEDAR, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 — HURRICANE, 7 p.m.