High school football: Canyon View Falcons 2014 preview

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13 2014 3:25 p.m. MDT

Note: Canyon View finished with a 1-9 overall record in 2013 and tied for fifth in 3A South with a 1-5 record. It did not qualify for the playoffs.

CEDAR CITY — Something cool started happening at Canyon View High School midway through the football season last fall. The players started to figure things out.

New coach Robby Robinson installed a complex offense when he got the job, but the only thing it was really fooling early in the season was his own players. In the first five games last season, Canyon View went 0-5 and averaged only 6.0 ppg while allowing 48.8.

Beginning in Week 6 though, the light bulb finally went off. Even though the defense still stunk and couldn’t stop anybody, the offense started moving the ball with regularity and averaged 26.6 over the last five games.

The lone victory during the stretch was a 45-16 win against Delta, and a year later it still resonates within the team. It was tangible proof that Robinson’s unique unbalanced offense can work, and the players have been on board all offseason.

“They’re going full speed now, there’s really no learning curve,” said Robinson.

A year ago this time, there was a lot of head scratching on Canyon View’s sidelines. With nine returning starters, now it’s all about fine-tuning the playbook and extreme conditioning to try and run 80 plays a game this season.

Reflecting on last year, Robinson admits a lot of his starters weren’t ready to play varsity football, but circumstances dictated so. Now, that experience should pay off with nine starters back on both sides of the ball.

A newcomer ironically enough is what Robinson is most excited about. Junior quarterback Michael Musto threw for over 2,000 yards in unior varsity football last fall while rushing for 1,000 more. He’s the fastest player on the team and has a big arm to match it.

“He’s pretty rare, he's going to be a big-time player for us,” said Robinson. “I’m crossing my fingers and saying my prayers, he needs to stay healthy for us. SUU already offered him.”

Musto has gone to Stanford’s camp the past three years to get better, and his high school coach can see it’s paid off this year.

For now though, it’s all hype with Musto as he’s yet to prove himself at the varsity level.

He's got a decent, experienced offensive line blocking for him to ease with the transition. David Heaton, Jacob Doolin and Dylan Meacham are all returning starters, while Jake Allen and Cody Pederson are talented newcomers.

Nobody stands to benefit from that offensive line more than Braxton Higgins. As a junior last year he was the lone bright spot offensively, rushing for 1,063 yards and two touchdowns, production he fully expects to improve upon.

Brendan Bradshaw and Tevan Vasi split time at fullback last season and combined to rush for over 500 yards.

With so much experience returning, there’s no reason Canyon View’s offense won’t generate the same point production like it did the second half of last season. It won’t win a game, however, unless the defense sheds its porous label.

The Falcons’ defense allowed 411 points in 10 games last year, the second-most in 3A. A huge part of the problem according to Robinson is that his players just weren’t good tacklers. That will be a huge emphasis leading up to the season and throughout.

Canyon View Falcons at a glance