ST. GEORGE – As the football traveled through the goal posts in the final seconds Saturday, the realization from the 10 members of the Dixie State College senior class was that a victory on Senior Day slipped away. Over 400 yards of offense was negated by untimely penalties and four giveaways as Azusa Pacific swiped a 23-21 win in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.
Junior quarterback Griff Robles led Dixie State up and down the field as the Red Storm racked up 440 yards of offense and 29 first downs against the Cougars. But Robles also had four interceptions and DSC committed a slew of penalties in the loss.
Senior receiver Zach Fox had another stellar day, with six catches for 72 yards. He has more than 50 receptions for more than 600 yards this season and is up over 1,500 yards receiving in his career for DSC.
The Red Storm led 21-14 going into the fourth quarter and things stil looked good when Cacciatore missed an extra point early in the fourth. But Dixie State could not get an insurance score. Darrell Wilson intercepted Robles at the APU 9-yard line with 8:54 to play. After DSC stopped the Cougars on a fourth down try, Dixie State again had its drive stall.
The Red Storm punted to Azusa Pacific with 4:30 to go with the ball reaching the end zone for a touchback.
The Cougars then methodically marched down the field, picking up four first downs along the way. One key play saw APU facing fourth-and-1 at the DSC 28 with 1:41 on clock. Cougars running back Terrell Watson blasted ahead for four yards on the critical play, giving APU a first down near the red zone with the clock ticking down under 90 seconds.
Watson had another key run of 16 yards moments later that set up the winning kick by Cacciatore.
Mitch Frei, Randon Willard and Brock Johnson all scored touchdowns for DSC, which fell to 3-7 overall on the season. The Red Storm close out the season next week at Central Washington.
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