ST. GEORGE – Looking to avenge a three-point loss earlier in the season at the hands of Central Washington in a game that was dominated by Dixie State in every facet except the final score, the Red Storm failed miserably as the Wildcats came to Hansen Stadium and rolled past Dixie State 44-0.
“We did not execute in any area of the game,” said DSU coach Scott Brumfeld. “Dropped passes, blown coverages, missed reads, missed blocks — a very disappointing loss to end the year.”
Initially, the Dixie defense was able to keep the Wildcats out of the end zone holding them to two Sean McDonald field goals in the game’s first 24 minutes. But two big plays late in the second quarter on consecutive possessions by the Wildcats put some serious distance between the two teams. The first was a halfback pass from Jesse Zalk to KJ Richardson for 51 yards. After the PAT, Central Washington led by 13. A three-and-out by the Storm offense gave the ball right back to CWU and Wildcat running back Jordan Todd exploded for a 55-yard touchdown run around the right end. The Wildcats were able to tack on another McDonald field goal on their last possession of the half to go in at halftime up 23-0.
Coming out after the break, the Wildcats continued their offensive locomotion, scoring on their first two possessions with two 39-yard passes by Jake Nelson. The first went to Richardson, the second to Adam Schechter with 11:02 on the clock. Just like that, CWU led 37-0 after scoring 31 straight points in just over 10 minutes of game time.
The Dixie defense was able to keep the Wildcats out of the end zone the remainder of the game, but the final score came from the CWU defense on a sack and fumble by Dixie backup quarterback Brody Garr. The fumble was recovered and returned 16 yards for a touchdown by Wildcat defensive tackle Donnie Johnson.
While the game marred the ending of Dixie’s best season since going Division II, Brumfeld was quick to point out the contributions of the seniors in their final game.
“We are losing some quality football players, quality men,” he said. “They are good leaders. Hopefully the underclassmen have learned those leadership skills from them and will carry the mantle next year.”
All-American tight end Joe Don Duncan missed the game due to an injured hamstring suffered in practice earlier this week.
Senior quarterback Griff Robles completed just 8 of 25 passes for 75 yards. Robles also ran 12 times for 52 yards. CWU, which leads the conference in defense, held Dixie State’s league-leading offense to 139 yards, 322 yards below its average.
The loss moves the Red Storm to a final record of 4-7, 4-6 in the GNAC. CWU finishes with an overall record of 7-4, 7-3 in the GNAC.
Stats via DSU Athletics: CWU 44, DSU 0
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