ST. GEORGE – A.J. Robinson’s touchdown pass to Justin Ore in the second quarter sparked a Western Oregon barrage of 31 unanswered points en route to a 40-27 road victory over Dixie State College on Homecoming afternoon at Hansen Stadium.
The conference battle saw the Red Storm (1-5, 1-4 GNAC) jump out to an early 20- 6 lead before the Wolves feasted on turnovers and short fields to lead 37-20 at the end of three quarters.
Cody Stevenson threw four touchdowns and 330 yards, both season highs. Senior wide receiver Nash Fowler became the third DSC player to eclipse 100 receptions for his career with a third quarter capture from Stevenson.
Dixie State answered the opening bell with a quick six-play scoring drive. Stevenson connected with Fowler for 37 yards for the early DSC lead, 7-0.
Western Oregon’s next drive came to a screeching halt when the Red Storm defense shut down three straight plays for no gain to take the ball on downs. With the short field, Stevenson would find Zach Fox on a 41-yard touchdown to increase the DSC lead to 14-0.
The ensuing drive for WOU featured defensive back turned running back Trevor Roush and Robinson. The southpaw thrower had four completions and the speedy back had four carries including a four-yard touchdown.
Dixie State received a huge gift from the Wolves in the second quarter. On first-and-10 own their own 19, Stevenson lobbed a pass toward the waiting hands of two Western defenders. The ball ricocheted off the secondary conveniently into the hands of Fowler who scampered the rest of the way for a dramatic Red Storm touchdown.
Robinson would hook up with Ore from 25 yards and Kelly Morgan hit a field goal from 40 yards, who would later hit from 43 in the fourth quarter, to cut the Storm’s lead to 20-16 at the break.
The Wolves (4-2, 3-1 GNAC) wasted no time securing the lead at the beginning of the third half after a 52-yard kickoff return set the line of scrimmage in DSC territory. On the second play of the drive at the 33, Robinson went down the middle to TE Justin Wright for the go-ahead score.
Western’s lead ballooned to 17 points in the third on Robinson’s third touchdown of the day (to Ore) and a fumble taken to the end zone by Robert Young.
DSC drove down the field toward the end of the third quarter and capped the possessionon the first play of the fourth with Stevenson’s final TD pass to Kyser Christensen for 15 yards.
Nick Cragin racked up 13.5 tackles to lead all defenders while Keauntea Bankhead added 10.5 stops. Caleb Singleton picked off two passes and recorded seven tackles to lead the Wolves defensively.
Dixie State outgained WOU 397-394 for the game, but could not overcome the Western point blitz. The loss broke a two-game winning streak for Dixie State in Homecoming games dating back to 2008.
The schedule takes Dixie State on the road for a rematch with the conference leading Humboldt State Lumberjacks next week. Kickoff from the Redwood Bowl in Arcata is at 6 p.m. Pacific (7 p.m. Mountain).