Falcons spreading wings in Sawyers’ system


By Tom Zulewski

Iron County Today

Try as they might, the Canyon View Falcons couldn’t produce a breakthrough moment and ended up winless in the 2017 football season. In four of the team’s nine losses, they were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter before falling.

With Skyler Miller’s departure for the head job at Hurricane, Chris Sawyers has taken over as the Falcons’ third head coach in the last three years. Sawyers comes to Canyon View from Las Vegas and brings a spread offense into his system.

“People think this job isn’t what it should be, and up to this point, they’re probably right,” Sawyers said. “It’s not because they don’t have good players. They just need some attention.

“The new system, all the way from third grade through high school, has been very well received. It’s been a breath of fresh air.”

The excitement has been plentiful heading into Friday’s road opener at Beaver. Sawyers promised a range of offensive formations from having a tight end and fullback to “being able to go four-wide (receivers).”

Sawyers added the defensive side of the ball will be a match-up situation based on the opposition and flow of the game.

“If you bring more guys in the box, we’ll bring more guys in the box,” Sawyers said. “That’s been our biggest area of improvement. The kids are lining up pretty well and understanding the schemes. It’s been really encouraging.”

Leading the way under center, the duel for the quarterback position features seniors Colten Shumway and Brady Lowry. Shumway ranked second on the team in rushing with 338 yards last season.

“They both bring different things to the table, so it gives us a lot of flexibility,” Sawyers said. “I’d like to try to set one in place, but so far it’s been nice to be able to do what we do with those guys.”

Sawyers added Shumway will play wide receiver when Lowry is in at quarterback, saying “he has some serious speed.” Lowry was described as more of a dual threat and isn’t letting the pressure of searching for a victory get in the way of his goals for the year.

“If we keep working like we are and we do our jobs, we’re gonna get a couple of wins,” Lowry said. “We’re not just focusing on winning one game.

“We’re learning the system right now, and I like it a lot. It’s really good for using the athletes we have, and I’m excited for that.”

Shumway echoed the sentiments of his teammate.

“This is the best system we’ve seen for our guys,” he said. “They brought good stuff here and we’re ready for the challenge. Going up against the region, we’ve always competed well. We got beat up in the past, but we can compete this year.”

The Falcons will play their home opener against Kingman Academy of Arizona on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.

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