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High school football: Canyon View Falcons 2018 preview

Note: Canyon View finished with a 0-9 overall record in 2017 and was seventh in Region 9 with a 0-6 record. It did not qualify for the 4A playoffs.

Canyon View 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

CEDAR CITY — A frustrating thing happened last year for Canyon View’s junior class: they lost.

After growing up and winning at every level of football, the juniors who played varsity football last year suffered through a miserable 0-9 campaign. The team averaged just 5.3 points offensively.

New coach Chris Sawyers — the third different coach in three years at Canyon View — hopes to get that group of players back to their winning ways.

“When you take over a down program learning to win is a big step, and I feel like these kids don’t know what it is to be a loser, even though they lost last year,” said Sawyers.

“My expectations now that I’ve been around the kids is that we’re going to be a competitive group and it’s not going to be very long until we start turning the corner and winning a lot of these close ballgames.”

As bad as Canyon View was offensively last season running the flexbone offense, it was decent defensively. It held rival Cedar to 19 points, Hurricane to 16 points and then Snow Canyon to seven points.

By shifting to a spread offense and with a hungry group of players starved for success again, Sawyers is optimistic for a bounce-back season for his new program.

That’s been easier said than done for past coaches at Canyon View. In the 21-year history of the program it has only ever had two winning seasons, 1998 and 2000. Even from 2013 to 2016 when it competed down a classification for football, it still never finished with a winning record.

To get there, whether it’s this year or future years under Sawyers, the offense must find a way to be more productive than 2017. Sawyers hopes that the shift to the spread offense will get more athletes involved offensively, and with an offensive line that he believes should be competitive on most Friday nights, that turnaround could happen sooner rather than later.

Canyon View Falcons at a glance

Coach: Chris Sawyers is entering his first year as head coach at Canyon View High School. He’s a graduate of Carson High School in Carson, Nev. He was previously the head coach at Virgin Valley, Nev. for two years and then Sunrise Mountain, Nev. for four years after that.

Canyon View Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Patrick Achord

2017 offensive production: 5.8 ppg (25th in 4A)

  • 9 returning starters
  • Spread offense

Key offensive returning starters

  • Colton Shumway (QB): In a run-heavy offense, Shumway passed for 240 yards last season while rushing for 338 yards.
  • McCray Webster (OL): Is one of the anchors of the offensive line that features four returning starters.

Returning offensive starters

  • Colton Shumway (QB)
  • Hunter Anderson (RB)
  • Gabe O’Connell (WR)
  • Brady Lowry (RB/WR)
  • Braden Cavaleri (WR)
  • McCray Webster (OL)
  • Ryan Christiansen (OL)
  • Shelby Macintosh (OL)
  • Joe Paluca (OL)

Coach Sawyers comments on strong offensive line:

“I wouldn’t call them massive, but we have some strong kids up there. All of them are about 235, 240-pound power cleaners. I’m pretty excited about them. I feel like they’re going to be the strength of the team. I feel like athletically we’re not going to be as good as some of the teams we play, but I feel like up front we should be able to compete at a high level.”

Coach Sawyers comments on QB Colton Shumway:

“He’s learning a completely new system so it’s been kind of starting from square one, but at least he understands what it’s like to be in a varsity game. Colton is an exceptional athlete and he is probably, if not the fastest, one of the fastest kids on the team. As far as a duel-threat thing goes it will be hard for us to find a better one.”

Coach Sawyers comments on the expanded role for wide receivers:

“The group is actually pretty good, but we’re having some growing pains as far as catching balls. I’ll tell you one thing, they’re going to be the best run-blocking group in the state. That’s all they did last year was run block, so we’ve got that going for us. The nuances of routes and catching the ball in traffic, those things are going to come. They’re a talented group, so I have every belief in the word that they’re going to be able to step up and make that adjustment.”

Keys for Offensive Success in 2018:

An offensive change is never easy, and can sometimes take a half a season or a whole season for a group of players to truly figures things out. That’s even more so when a team shifts from a running offense to a passing offense. For Canyon View, a big chunk of that transition falls on quarterback Colton Shumway, who didn’t throw the ball much at all last season. How quickly Canyon View transfers the techniques it has learned in practice into real game situations will determine whether it can grind out a few victories.

Canyon View Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Tylor Muse

2017 offensive production: 34.3 ppg (21st in 4A)

  • 5 returning starters
  • 3-4 offense

Key offensive returning starters

  • Brady Lowry (DB): Was the second-leading tackler on the team last year with 51 total tackles.
  • Shelby Macintosh (LB): Ranked in the top six in tackles for Canyon View last year with 29 tackles.

Returning defensive starters

  • McCray Webster (DL)
  • Shelby Macintosh (LB)
  • Colton Shumway (DB)
  • Brady Lowry (DB)
  • Braden Cavaleri (DB)

Defensive newcomers to watch

  • Joe Paluca (DL)
  • Ryan Christiansen (DL/LB)
  • Hunter Anderson (LB)
  • Ryan Ball (DB)

Coach Sawyers comments on strong returning defense:

“By the time the season got to the end they were really playing pretty solid defense, lost 10-0 against Snow Canyon, they were in a tight game against Cedar and Hurricane. That’s exciting the fact they were able to have some defensive success late in the season. That should bode well and be a preview of great things to come on the defensive side of the ball.”

Coach Sawyers comments on safety Brady Lowry:

“He’s an all-state wrestler, he’s a stud for us. He’s one of the best players we have on the team. The sky is the limit for him, he’s got all the ability in the world and he has the right mindset which is really nice to see.”

Coach Sawyers comments on the defensive line:

“I know in the past they’ve been kind of bulled over by the size of the other teams around, but one of the things we really tried to do was get in here and tried to add some bulk and some strength to all our guys, but also make ourselves more explosive and versatile. We put about 15 to 25 pounds on every kid in our program, and I feel like it will be a different front than it has been in the past. I don’t feel like we’ll get manhandled too much.”

Keys for Defensive Success in 2018:

Linebacker is the biggest uncertainty defensively for Canyon View as it graduated most of its starters from a year ago. Getting the newcomers up to speed as quickly as possible will be key because Sawyers said his biggest area of focus heading into the season is making sure his players know their proper alignment for all situations. So much of that responsibility falls on the linebacking core, which adds to the urgency of solidifying that spot.

Coaches preseason Region 9 straw poll: Seventh

Deseret News Region 9 prediction: Seventh

Key Region Game: at Cedar, Sept. 14 (Week 5)

Bottom line: After last season, up is the only direction this program can go. With a coaching change and a new offense, it’s going to take time to see how quickly things get pointed in the right direction though. The first game against Beaver will reveal a lot. Canyon View is 1-4 against Beaver in the season openers the past five years, and that one win came back in 2015. It’s no coincidence either that 2015 was Canyon View’s best season in the past decade — even though it missed the playoffs with a 5-6 record.

2018 Schedule

  • Aug. 17 — at Beaver, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 24 — vs. Kingman Academy, Ariz., TBD (At Idaho State)
  • Aug. 31 — at Timpanogos, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 7 — PINE VIEW, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 14 — at Cedar, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 21 — at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 28 — DESERT HILLS, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 4 —DIXIE, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 10 — at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.

Felt’s Facts for Canyon View

All-time record: 44-156 (21 years)

Region championships: 0

Playoff appearances: 5

Current playoff appearance streak: 1 (2016)

All-time playoff record: 1-5

State championships: 0

State championship record: 0

Most played rivalry: 20 meetings with Cedar and Dixie dating back to 1997. Cedar leads 18-3 and Dixie leads 20-1.

Felt’s Factoid(s): Canyon View and Cedar vie for the Pick, a traveling trophy that goes to the winner of the game between these Cedar City schools. ... Even though Canyon View has won just one playoff game, it’s still in elite company: It’s one of just 13 schools to have a perfect playoff record on its home field.… Canyon View ran what might be a record 102 plays against Dixie last season. (No such records are kept, but a typical high school game averages around 60 plays per team.)


Last 5

  • 2017 — 0-9 (0-6 in Region 9 – Missed playoffs)
  • 2016 — 4-7 (3-2 in 3A South – 3A Quarterfinals)
  • 2015 — 5-6 (2-3 in 3A South - Missed playoffs)
  • 2014 — 3-8 (2-3 in 3A South – 3A Quarterfinals)
  • 2013 — 1-9 (1-4 in 3A South - Missed playoffs)


Canyon View coaching history

  • 2018 — Chris Sawyers (0-0)
  • 2017 — Skyler Miller (0-9)
  • 2013-2016 — Robby Robinson (13-30)
  • 2008-2012 — Alex Huxford (7-40)
  • 2004-2007 — Randy Hunter (10-28)
  • 1997-2003 — Danny Lewis (23-49)


Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years

  • 2016 — Dallen Smith, OL
  • 2016 — Porter Miller, P
  • 2015 — Jackson Vasi, RB
  • 2015 — Keith Clarke, OL
  • 2014 — Braxton Higgins, RB

To view second team and honorable mention all-staters through the years, check out the Deseret News All-State Archives.