(St. George, UT) – He is only a junior but he has registered a couple of astonishing performances already in his young prep football career, and with time on his side, a full junior and senior season ahead of him, Dixie High’s Blake Barney could pile up some big numbers before his prep career commences after the 2012 season.
Another building-block game happened Friday night when Barney orchestrated an upset overtime victory (41-35) over the Red Devils of Springville.
The junior quarterback hit 21-of-34 pass attempts for 344 yards (four passing touchdowns), and when the Red Devils’ defense tried to take away the passing game and force him to make other choices, he showed patience and maturity and took what acreage was made available.
Barney made the defense pay by gaining 72 yards in rushing and one touchdown. His end stat line equated to 416 yards, and five touchdowns.
In a visit with Dixie coach Blaine Monkres in July, he was asked about Barney’s non-throwing ability.
Monkres described the junior as, "He's not real fast, he’s not going to break away, but he knows how to pick his holes. He makes good decisions on when to run. He’s got a good feel for the game. He’s just an athletic type of kid.”
Barney proved his coach right Friday.
But Barney has made sure to point out that football is a team game and that the Flyers’ win “is not about one player.”
Barney said in a video interview with KCSG’s Develon Isom, “It’s not about me. The defense made stops in that game. Teammates made receptions and ran well with the ball.
“And my lineman, they were great. I hardly got touched. We have the best-conditioned linemen around.”
The Flyers did Friday night what Coach Monkres hopes will happen a lot this season, they believed in themselves.
In that same interview before two-a-days began back in July, Coach Monkres was optimistic about how the Flyers’ collectively posses the ability to come together and accomplish feats.
“It’s fun to try to get kids to buy into a belief that they can do things that others say they can’t do,” Monkres said. “In high school football, heart goes along way. If you want to get it done, and you want to experience success, you’re going to have to work harder than your opponents.”
The Flyers’ players bought what Monkres was telling them and low and behold, it worked out. Monday evening, they put the joyous experience from last weekend behind them and concentrate on the next challenge, River Valley High from Arizona.
In their preparation to meet that next challenge that comes on Friday, it will certainly help to have their dynamic junior quarterback Blake Barney commanding the huddle, running around trying to find teammates to throw the ball to, and encouraging his linemen to suck it up and keep moving.
Similar to Coach Monkres, Barney will also be telling his teammates to believe.