ST. GEORGE — Dixie State had a mixed weekend as far as results go. The football team lost another close game, this one on the road to Black Hills State. DSU dug a hole early, looking at a 20-0 deficit before coming back. The Trailblazers were within one score and driving late before turning the ball over on downs and losing 20-14. The volleyball team came out of the weekend 2-0 against teams highly-favored in the PacWest. Both wins were on the road. The men’s soccer team won its final tuneup before PacWest Conference play with a win over Northwest Nazarene from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Below are summaries of each team’s performance this past week:
The Dixie State football team couldn’t overcome a stagnant first half on Saturday in Spearfish, South Dakota, falling 20-14 to Black Hills State.
Black Hills State turned 238 yards of total offense into a 13-0 lead heading to the halftime break. The Yellow Jackets looked to add to the lead just before halftime, but DSU blocked a BHSU field goal attempt from 42 yards just before the break.
A DSU fumble in the third quarter was returned 48 yards for another Yellow Jacket touchdown and a 20-0 BHSU lead.
Dixie State responded with its first scoring drive as Thompson completed a 31-yard pass to Reed and a 41-yard strike to Smith to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Thompson, capping the 6-play, 87-yard drive. With 2:50 remaining in the third quarter, DSU had trimmed the lead to 20-7.
The Trailblazers pulled to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, marching 94 yards in 10 plays to cut the lead to 20-14 after running back DeJon Coleman took a screen pass from Thompson 23 yards for the score.
The Dixie State defense forced a BHSU punt to get the ball back with 2:55 on the clock and two timeouts. However DSU eventually turned the ball over on downs.
Dixie State finished the game with 297 yards of total offense (253 pass, 44 rush). Thompson completed 18-of-33 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, while adding another touchdown on the ground. Coleman finished the game with seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The Trailblazers conceded 384 yards of total offense, but allowed just one offensive touchdown in the game. Safety Colton Olson led the way with a game-high 12 tackles (1.5 for loss), while linebacker Tane Tuifua added 10 tackles. DSU moves to 1-2 both overall and in the RMAC. They will play former GNAC foe Central Washington this week on the road in the ‘Blazers sole non-conference game this year. Game time Saturday is set for 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Outside hitter Delayne Daniel was named the AVCA Division II National Player of the week for her play in the opening two games of the PacWest conference. She connected for a career-high 23 kills to help lead Dixie State to a 3-1 victory at Point Loma (24-26, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20) in the Pacific West Conference opener for both teams Friday night in San Diego. In a three-set sweep over previously unbeaten Concordia, Daniel had game highs of 15 kills and 13 digs.
On Friday the Trailblazers led for most of the opening set and held a commanding 24-20 lead on serve, but the Sea Lions rallied with six-straight points to close out the frame and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
DSU came back strong and went on to win the next three sets, beginning with a six-point win in game two, while the Trailblazers looked like they would make quick work of the Sea Lions in the third stanza as they bolted out to a 19-10 lead. However Point Loma mounted another charge, outscoring DSU 10-2 to cut the deficit to 21-20, but this time the Trailblazers responded by scoring four of the final five points of the frame to take a 2-1 lead.
Point Loma jumped out to an early 7-4 advantage in set four, but Dixie State pulled even at 9-9, and took the lead for good three points later.
Daniel’s 23 kills tied for the third-highest single-game total in DSU’s NCAA-era as the senior hit .352 in the match and notched her fourth double-double of the year with a game and career-high 22 digs.
In all, DSU put down a season-high 66 kills, including a season-high 13 kills from Brette Anderson and 11 from Taylor Duryea. Setter Kailey Frei recorded her first double-double of the year with a season-high 50 assists and 14 digs. She and Duryea each had three service aces as DSU finished with 10 aces on the night.
The following night, the Trailblazers swept the Eagles to improve to 5-4 on the year, 2-0 in league play, while the Eagles fell to 10-1 overall, 1-1 in the PacWest standings.
The Trailblazers broke a 14-14 tie in set one with an 11-5 run to take the opening stanza by a 25-19 count, then followed that up by hitting .400 in the second frame with 14 kills to claim a 25-21 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match. Dixie State would go on to hit a season-high .417 in set three, which included a 10-0 Trailblazer run that resulted in a 25-11 match-clinching win.
Duryea added to Daniel’s stellar performance with seven kills to go with six digs and a game-high three service aces. DSU hit a season-best .329 for the match, while the Trailblazer defense held the Eagles to a .134 hitting percentage. DSU also collected nine total blocks, including two solo stops (eight total) by middle blocker Lindsay Garrett.
Dixie State will now play five of its next six matches at home inside the DSU SAC, beginning with PacWest matches against Holy Names on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 12 noon, followed by a game vs. Hawaii Hilo on Monday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m.
Midfielder Gabby Medina netted a pair second half goals to help lead Dixie State to a 3-1 non-conference victory over Northwest Nazarene in the Trailblazers’ home opener Saturday night at Legend Solar Stadium.
Dixie State led 1-0 at the half on the strength of a powerful 35-yard blast off the boot of forward Ather Dawood early in the 32nd-minute of play. The Crusaders drew even just over three minutes into the second period as DSU was called for a foul inside the penalty area. NNU forward Fernando Alvarez buried the penalty kick to draw his team even at 1-1.
The Trailblazers took advantage of an NNU foul 10 minutes later to reclaim the lead at 2-1. Dominic Damato played a free kick deep into the Crusader penalty box, where Moises Medina one-touched the ball to his older brother Gabby, who tucked in the header from point-blank range to give DSU a one-goal advantage.
DSU’s defense then stepped up and turned away several NNU scoring opportunities, including a penalty kick chance for a hand-ball foul inside the penalty area with 8:54 remaining in regulation.
Dixie State struck quickly after the miss as the Trailblazers scored an insurance just 12 seconds after the PK miss to extend the lead to 3-1. Alexiz Beiza played a through ball to a streaking Gabby Medina, who beat the Crusader goalkeeper one-on-one for his second goal of the year to put the match away.
DSU held an 18-11 edge in shot attempts, including an 8-4 count on goal. Goalkeeper Bradley Trella recorded three saves en route to his second decision of the year.
Dixie State opens Pacific West Conference play next week as the Trailblazers head to southern California for two league matches, beginning tonight at Azusa Pacific, followed by a match at Point Loma on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The Women’s team did not play this week. They scrimmaged Southern Utah on Saturday and will play their next game tonight at Azusa Pacific. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
Campus Rundown is a column by St. George News’s Darren Cole and explores the different athletic events on the campus at Dixie State University.
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