Outgained by 290 yards, DSC finds a way to win

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State College Red Storm pitched a shutout in the second half and a third quarter touchdown pass from Cody Stevenson to Alex Nelsen proved just enough to hold off the Clan of Simon Fraser University 18-15 on Senior Day at Hansen Stadium.
The fate of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference matchup was not decided until the final seconds when Taylor Martinez’s field goal was missed after being tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Dixie State (2-6, 2-5 GNAC) turned offensively to tailback Sione Tapuosi after Jesse Ence left the game for the second consecutive week with a shoulder injury. The bruising runner accumulated 112 yards on 20 carries allowing the Storm to win the time of possession battle by nearly five minutes.
“I was told to run like I was mad,” said Tapuosi. “My coaches encouraged me today and kept telling me to go. They were supportive and it helped my confidence.”
The Clan (1-6, 0-5) ran roughshod for two and half quarters behind Bo Palmer. His 194-yard effort on 20 carries ended in the third quarter when he left the field with a stinger. Gabe Ephard felt the effects of an injured ankle and was held to only 13 yards. Brett Fabian (32 yds.) and Cole Tudor (22 yds.) also contributed to team’s total of 271 yards on he ground. SFU outgained Dixie State in total yardage 504 to 214.
SFU scored on their first possession marching 53 yards in eight plays capped by freshman quarterback Greg Bowcott’s keeper from the 1-yard line. The point after attempt from Martinez clanked off the upright to keep the score 6-0.
Dixie State answered on the subsequent drive with a 21-yard touchdown strike from Stevenson to Kyser Christensen. Another Clan attempt to score in the first quarter was stalled by a Nick Cragin interception in the red zone. The Storm held a 7-6 lead after the first quarter.
Mike Langston connected on a 36-yard field in the second quarter and Martinez answered with a 22-yard boot before the Clan took a 15-10 halftime lead with Palmer’s 80-yard scamper late in the quarter.
The final score of the game came in the third quarter on a 10-yard TD pass from Stevenson to Nelsen with 3:49 left. A successful two-point conversion pass to Nelsen put the score at 18-15.
Simon Fraser had multiple attempts to score, but DSC’s defense stepped up to the challenge. SFU began their last drive with 1:06 left and no timeouts. Three Bowman completions of 23, 30 and 13 yards set up Martinez for a game-tying attempt from 36 yards. The kick was deflected at the line of scrimmage and the Clan’s hope for overtime landed in the end zone – short of their target.
John Godinet and Jake Duncan paced the Red Storm defense with six tackles apiece. The entire unit banded together after senior middle linebacker Keauntea Bankhead departed the field with an injury. SFU defensive end Justin Capicciotti led all defenders with seven tackles including a sack.
Stevenson felt the brunt of an improved SFU defense being sacked four times. The freshman QB ended the day 12-of-21 for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Nelsen and Nash Fowler each had four grabs. Langston averaged 48.8 yards per punt had a career-long best 72-yard bomb.
Dixie State concludes conference play next Saturday on the road against Western Oregon University. Kickoff from Monmouth is at 3 p.m. MST.

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