GLENDORA, Calif. – Terrell Watson rushed for 198 yards and five of the seven touchdowns on the ground posted by Azusa Pacific, as the 25th-ranked team in the nation rolled to a 49-27 win over Dixie State on Saturday at Citrus Stadium.
The Cougars (6-1, 3-0 GNAC) amassed 445 yards of offense, 286 via the rush to win their fifth straight game. Dixie State surpassed its offensive yard total from a week previous at Western Oregon by halftime, finishing with 429 yards in defeat. The Storm dropped its seventh straight in 2014 (0-7, 0-3 GNAC) and ninth consecutive dating back to last year.
Watson powered into the end zone from 11 yards out on APU’s second drive to give the home club a 7-0 lead. Dixie State countered with an eight-play scoring drive culminating with a touchdown grab from Conor Sklarsky.
Ben Longshore hit Antonio Morton for a 47-yard TD early in the second quarter, pushing DSU to its first lead, 14-7. The Cougars replied with handing the ball off to Watson seven times in nine plays including his second rushing score from three yards.
Dixie State benefited from an APU personal foul call to keep their subsequent drive alive. Myles Burton added a 21-yard rush for a first down as part of the drive that spanned 74 yards. Jamal Smith fought off a defensive hold to grab a touchdown midway through the second quarter. The extra point try from Alex Giordani clanged off the right upright to only give DSU a six-point advantage, 20-14.
Cougar backup quarterback Andrew Elffers scored from six yards in the Cougar response for a 21-20 lead. Dixie State had a final shot in the half’s final seconds, but Giordani’s field goal attempt from 46 yards missed left.
Dixie State bested the total yard battle in the opening half, 298-217.
The Cougars added two Watson rushing scores in the third quarter while shutting down the Storm offense. Watson capped his night with a bulldozing one-yard run early in the fourth quarter for his first touchdown. Chad Jefferies concluded the APU scoring with an 11-yard run after the Cougars intercepted Longshore in Storm territory.
Hayden Gavett led Dixie’s final scoring drive, mixing a good balance of pass and run plays before using his legs to score a touchdown with 35 seconds left. Gavett completed all seven passes he attempted for 65 yards and rushed for another 24 yards. Longshore threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Nate Stephens led all Dixie State pass catchers with seven grabs while Morton tallied the most receiving yards with 81. Burton rushed for 43 yards on nine carries.
On defense, Robert Metz posted his second consecutive game with double-digit tackles. His 10 stops included one for loss. Pauli Latu recorded a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss from the defensive line.
Steven Fanua paced the APU defense with 19 tackles, 10 of them solo.
Dixie State returns home next Saturday for its annual Homecoming game. The Storm will host Menlo College at Hansen Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff in non-league action.
Stats: APU 49, DSU 27
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