ST. GEORGE – Griff Robles is starting to get in a groove and that could mean trouble for the rest of the conference.
Coming off a record week where Robles was named GNAC Offensive Player of the Week with 401 total yards and six touchdowns, the Dixie State quarterback exceeded those numbers with 427 total yards and six touchdowns – all in three quarters — in the Red Storm’s 39-12 blowout of Simon Fraser Saturday night at Hansen Stadium..
Dixie dominated early and often, scoring touchdowns on four out of its first six drives. Wide receiver Randon Willard started the scoring with a 9-yard reception in the corner of the end zone. The play culminated an 85-yard drive. With a Dillon Bishoff PAT the score was 7-0 with less than eight minutes gone off the clock.
Four minutes later, Robles added a rushing touchdown on a designed quarterback draw from 15-yards out. The PAT was blocked, but Dixie had a two-touchdown advantage, 13-0.
The offensive locomotive continued in the second quarter. On the first play, Robles found Joe Don Duncan from 15-yards out. Duncan was defended superbly most of the night by Clan cornerback Derek Jones, who was able to knock or disrupt the ball on several plays and on another pushed Duncan out of bounds before he could get a foot down.
“(Jones) was talented,” said Duncan. “Griff’s passes were spot on, but he was still able to make good plays on the ball.”
After a Jake Duncan interception, Robles hit Willard for his second TD of the game from seven yards out to go in at halftime with a 25-0 lead.
Dixie would score on its first two possession of the second half to erase any lingering doubt about who would win the game. The first drive, starting at the Red Storm 25-yard line, ended with another Robles draw that went for 34 yards. After a three-and-out from the Clan, Robles drove the Red Storm 70 yards, hitting Joe Don Duncan with his second touchdown on a 48-yard pass down the middle of the field.
With the Red Storm leading at the end of three, 39-0, Coach Scott Brumfeld pulled his starters to give younger players valuable playing time.
The Clan would score twice in the fourth quarter. Clan running back Steven Spagnuolo ended a 13-play, 75-yard drive on a 2-yard plunge with 4:51 to play. The Red Storm blocked the PAT.
Simon Fraser would follow up with another touchdown. Backup quarterback Mitchell Rushton found wide receiver Tore Corrado with a 9-yard pass in the corner. The two-point conversion was denied and the final score would be 39-12.
“In our losses earlier this year, a mistake here and there would cost us the game,” said Joe Don Duncan. “When we can execute, as we have the last two games, we can play with anyone in the conference.”
Robles rushed for 179 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and was 13 of 27 for 251 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Miles Burton had 127 rushing yards on 16 carries. In addition to his interception, Jake Duncan shared leading tackle honors with linebacker Robert Metz. Defensive lineman Saula Taufa also had an interception in the Clan red zone to kill a drive in the third quarter.
The victory evens the Red Storm’s conference record at 2-2, with an overall record of 2-3. The loss drops SFU to 2-2 in the conference and overall.
Next week, the Red Storm will travel to Tomlinson Stadium in Ellensburg, Wash., to face Central Washington (2 p.m. MDT). The Wildcats were winners tonight against Humboldt State, 21-13, and are currently in first place in the conference.
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