Drew Dixon models his game after Cam Newton. The #1 on his chest doesn’t hurt the comparison – Newton is the reason for Dixon’s jersey choice – and at 6’4”, 195 lbs, he’s only one one inch shorter but about 45 pounds of the Carolina Panthers quarterback. But don’t worry, Dixon is only a junior in high school. He has time to bulk up.
It’s hard not to see Newton’s style in the Sabino signal-caller. Time and time again, Dixon would keep on the read-option play that was called for him, get a little bit of space, pick up chunks of yards and force the opposing Seton Catholic defense to use three or four tacklers to bring him down. He also spent plenty of time rolling out of the pocket, finding a receiver in the back of the end zone or along the sideline.
When it was all said and done, “Baby Cam” tallied five touchdowns, four passing and one rushing, in a 54-7 win over the Sentinels Friday night.
“Our offense is a read-option,” Dixon said. “We really use that. That’s a big thing is running. It’s just really an option; there’s a pass option or run option for every play.”
Friday’s performance brings Dixon’s touchdown total to 12, eight passing and four rushing, through three games. This is the junior’s first year under center, but he is no stranger to the Friday night lights.
“He’s definitely coming of age as a quarterback. Last year he was a receiver for us, the year before that, it was the same thing,” Sabino head football coach Jay Campos said. “So every week he comes out, he gets a little bit better as a trigger man. He’s making a lot of good reads throwing the ball, running the ball.”
Dixon also spent time at safety Friday night. He is listed as the team’s punter, but he didn’t boot any down field tonight because Sabino scored touchdown on all eight of their drives.
The options aren’t just there in the playbook, but on the field for Dixon. He is surrounded by weapons including senior wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez, who caught two touchdowns in Friday night’s win. Rodriguez is one of the few senior targets for Dixon as many of the skill position players on the Sabino offense are underclassmen.
“We’re just building depth,” Dixon said. “We’ve got our depth with the young sophomores and we’ve got our juniors. We’re just going to have a lot of experience going into next year, so it will be good for us.”
And while the already talented offensive attack has time to grow over the coming years, Coach Campos has instilled a sense of urgency within his team.
“I’m just excited, but we’re not looking at next year. We want to take care of things this year,” Campos said. “We’re getting better each and every week, and that’s the key to becoming a better team.”
If Dixon continues to style his play after the Heisman trophy winner with a million dollar smile, expect the Sabercats’ trend of improving each week to continue.