BURNABY, B.C., Canada – With Tyson Blackner at quarterback, Dixie State turned to the passing game and won a shootout 38-35 on the road against the Simon Fraser University Clan.
Dixie State outgained SFU 499-331. The Red Storm defensive front seven kept SFU’s rushing attack to a total of 48 yards on 23 carries.
DSU’s running game was also clicking as DeJon Coleman led the team in rushing with 146 yards on 19 carries. Orlando Wallace had 14 carries for 86 yards.
The Red Storm trailed briefly in the fourth quarter when SFU QB Ryan Stanford found Justin Buren from 21-yards out to make it 27-24 with 9:59 left to play. But Dixie State needed just 53 seconds to regain the lead as Coleman ripped off a 75-yard TD run to put DSU up for good.
After forcing a Clan punt, DSU got an insurance touchdown on its next possession. Blackner scored this one on the ground with a 3-yard run. That play was set up on a 59-yard reception by Nate Stephens. With 4:00 showing on the clock, the score was 38-27 Dixie State.
SFU pulled to within 38-35 with 2:19 to play when wide receiver Christian Berger took a Stanford pass from 19-yards out for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was good when Stanford found Buren on a slant. The Clan had pulled to within three 38-35,
With all three of their timeouts, the Clan elected not to try the onside kick. Dixie State got the ball on their 26-yard line with 2:14 to play. Three straight rushes drew three straight timeouts from the Clan and netted DSU only 9 of the 10 yards needed for the first down. Corey Stens punted the ball to the SFU 21, where it was downed.
The Clan took over with 1:40 showing on the game clock. SFU could only manage one first down and 18 yards on the drive, however. Dixie State took over on downs and Blackner took a knee to run out the clock and give DSU its second win of the year.
Early in the game, Dixie State was the first on the board. On the Storm’s second possession, quarterback Blackner drove the offense 58 yards in eight plays, where it stalled at the Clan 22-yard line. Dixie kicker Alex Giordani booted home the 37-yard field goal for the three-point lead with 10:29 remaining in the first.
Simon Fraser responded on its next possession. Stanford’s pass to tight end Tyler Pauls from 11-yards out capped an eight play, 62-yard drive. Both teams exchanged fumbles on their next two possessions. DSU’s Blackner then threw an interception, giving the Clan the football on the Storm’s 37-yard line. They could not capitalize however, missing the field goal from 39 yards out.
The Storm would score next in the second quarter. A seven-play 87-yard drive culminated in a one-yard DeJon Coleman plunge to give the Storm a 10-7 lead. The Clan responded with a Tiernan Docherty field goal from 24 yards six minutes later to tie the game. The score stayed 10-10 going into halftime.
The Storm scored on their first possession of the second half. They fielded the Clan punt at their 24-yard line. Eleven plays later, Blackner found Stephens from 28 yards out to give the Storm a 17-10 lead with 8:11 remaining in the third.
Again SFU would respond on its next possession. Pauls got his second TD reception of the game on a 19-yard pass from Stanford to tie the game.
Dixie State got on the board again just before the third quarter expired. In just over a minute, the Storm offense went 66 yards in four plays, the final play of the drive being a touchdown pass from Blackner to Damarrio Hammonds.
On SFU’s next possession, the Clan could not reach the end zone, but did get a 31-yard field goal from Docherty to pull within 24-20. The teams would trade punts on the next two possessions. But SFU’s punt was muffed by the Storm and the Clan recovered with a very short field at DSU’s 24-yard line. On a fourth-and-7 at the Dixie 21-yard line, the Clan gambled and went for the touchdown. They got it when Stanford found Buren. The Clan had their only lead of the second half 27-24.
It is the Red Storm’s first conference win. They improve to 1-2 in the GNAC and 2-4 overall. SFU is 0-4 and 0-2.
Next week DSU travels to Azusa, Calif., for a rematch with the Cougars. Game time is 6:30 Pacific Time.
Stats: DSU 38, SFU 35
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