RAPID CITY, S.D. – Dixie State quarterback Blake Barney rushed for 291 yards and three touchdowns and threw for one more as the Red Storm beat the Hardrockers of South Dakota School of Mines 48-25 Saturday afternoon.
SDSM responded by putting up three on a 42-yard field goal by Robbie Gerarden.
On the next possession, Dixie State again had a sustained drive, going 66 yards in seven plays. DaMarrio Hammonds got a touchdown on the ground with a 3-yard rush. The PAT failed, but the Storm led 13-3 with 5:50 showing in the first.
The onslaught continued as the Red Storm forced a fumble on the kickoff to get the ball back. SDSM’s Devin Nixon coughed it up at the ‘Rocker 30-yard line. But five plays later Barney had his sole turnover of the game. Martinez intercepted the ball at the SDSM 23-yard line.
Dixie State turned the tables, however, two plays later and took the ball right back. Colton Olson intercepted the ball from SDSM quarterback Trent McKinney. The Red Storm offense took the ball at the ‘Rockers 28-yard line. Two plays later, Barney had his second touchdown on the ground with a 28-yard run.
On its next possession, DSU coughed up the ball for its second turnover of the game. Carver forced wide receiver Nate Stephens to fumble deep inside the ‘Rockers’ red zone. SDSM took over at their own 8-yard line. SDSM drove it to the other side of the field, but once again the Red Storm turned the tables.
Safety Brandon Brooks forced a fumble from backup quarterback Jake Sullivan that was recovered by DSU linebacker Trevor Oakley. The offense took over at the DSU 17. Eight plays later, Orlando Wallace got into the scoring column with a 23-yard touchdown run. With 7:23 left in the half, the score was a lopsided 27-3. Neither team would score the remainder of the half and traded punts up to the break.
SDSM started the second half with an 11-play, 75 yard drive ending with a 2-yard plunge by Nixon. The two-point conversion was successful to pull them within 27-11. The ‘Rockers would score on three of their first four possessions. But they could not keep Dixie out of the end zone. The ‘Rockers could not afford to trade touchdowns. Dixie came out strong in the second half, scoring on its first three possessions to keep SDSM’s hopes out of distance.
Barney got his third rushing touchdown two minutes later on a 13-yard run to put the Storm up 34-11. SDSM responded with another long drive. Nixon got his second touchdown with 4:35 left in the third on a 1-yard run. The Dixie defense forced the offense to take precious time off the clock.
On DSU’s next play from scrimmage, Barney found Stephens with a 60-yard touchdown pass. With just 13 seconds elapsing between scores, Dixie led once again by 23, 41-18.
The ‘Rockers turned the ball over on downs on their next possession. The Storm offense took advantage with a time-consuming, twelve-play, 91-yard drive. DeJon Coleman scored from 2-yards out to put the game out of reach with the fourth quarter just underway, 48-18.
SDSM scored on their next possession. Sullivan found running back Zach Huber from 6-yards out to culminate a seven-play, 65-yard drive to put the score at 48-25 with nine minutes remaining. On the kickoff, the ‘Rockers were successful with an onside kick. Seven plays later, they were inside the Storm’s red zone looking to add another score. The DSU defense forced a fumble to stop them cold. Sullivan coughed it up again on a scramble. It was recovered by DSU linebacker Mike Mason.
DSU ultimately turned the ball back over on downs. But before it did so, the offense ran 11 plays, took six minutes off the clock and forced SDSM to use their remaining timeouts. The ‘Rockers got the ball back with 1:25 showing on the clock at their own 30-yard line. They could only advance it 32 yards before the game clock hit 0:00.
For the game, DSU outgained the ‘Rockers 682-455. The Storm also won the turnover battle 4-2. In addition to Barney’s 291 yards, Coleman had 144 yards on 16 carries. Myles Burton had 83 yards on 10 carries.
For SDSM, Nixon had 135 yards on 27 carries. Daniel Ziegler had eight catches for 94 yards.
The ‘Rockers fall to 5-4 and 2-3 in the GNAC. The Red Storm improve to 3-5, 2-2 in conference play. The Storm will return home for their final home game this Saturday against conference leader Humboldt State. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.
Stats: DSU 48, SDSM 25
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