ST. GEORGE – Dixie State was no match for powerful Central Washington in a 49-17 at the last home game of the season.
“CWU is a great defensive team and in the first half they dictated the action, limiting us on what we like to do,” said DSU head coach Scott Brumfield. “Their defensive line is one of the tops in the country and their penetration disrupted our rhythm. They got to our quarterback too many times and also stopped our running attack.”
The Wildcats took advantage of good field position and put the first three touchdowns on the board. The first was a 38-yard pass from quarterback Jake Nelson to wide receiver Greg Logan. After forcing a three-and-out CWU was on the move again. The Dixie defense stiffened in the red zone, stopping the Wildcats short twice within the 5-yard line. But on third and goal from the 3, Nelson handed off to running back Jordan Todd. Todd leaped and threw the ball to tight end Colter Clinch, who had slipped behind the coverage. As the first quarter ended, CWU held a 14-0 lead.
In the Wildcats first possession of the second quarter, Nelson found wide receiver Kent McKinney from 7-yards out. The drive was prolonged on a 30-yard gain by CWU punter Sean McDonald on a fourth and 11.
Dixie finally capitalized on its next possession. Quarterback Ben Longshore drove the Red Storm 73 yards in eight plays. He found wide receiver Nate Stephens with three catches. The final catch of the drive went to tight end Dalton Groskreutz. Groskreutz ran a fade to the corner then beat out the Wildcat defender on a “jump ball.” Dixie pulled to within 21-7 with 2:19 to go until halftime.
CWU retaliated quickly, squeezing in another score before halftime. McKinney caught his second touchdown, this one from 36 yards out. Dixie looked to pull the same magic as Longshore directed the two-minute drill to get the Red Storm to the Wildcat 20-yard line. But with less than 10 seconds on the clock Longshore threw the ball to the back of the end zone where All-American Wildcat cornerback Cedrique Chaney pulled the ball down between two Dixie receivers for the touchback.
“He made a great play,” said Longshore. “We were kind of under the gun with time and I tried to make the play. I had two receivers in the area but (Chaney) was able to split them and get the pick.” Dixie trailed 28-7 at the break.
Any hopes of a second half comeback were quashed early. On the opening kickoff, Jesse Zalk started left, broke to the middle of the field and broke left again, taking the ball 90 yards for a touchdown up the CWU sideline. With less than 15 seconds gone the lead had swelled to 35-7.
After trading punts, Dixie moved to the Wildcat 13-yard line. On fourth down, Brumfield elected to get the sure three and sent in kicker Alex Giordani. The resulting field goal put the score at 35-10.
In the final quarter, the Wildcats struck on the first play. This time Jordan Todd would keep the ball on a goal line dive to put the Wildcats up 42-7 with 14:57 to play.
Groskreutz added a second touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Snow Canyon alum caught a pass from quarterback Brody Garr on a crossing route. With 10:53 to play the score was 42-17.
The final score came on an interception return by Wildcat cornerback Isaiah Davis. Davis jumped in front of Stephens and outraced Garr 66 yards to the end zone.
The Wildcats outgained Dixie 391 to 290. Longshore completed 15 of 35 for 177 yards for the Red Storm. Garr completed six of nine passes for 61 yards. Stephens led all receivers with receptions and receiving yardage for the second straight week. He had 13 catches for 154 yards. Colton Peterson led Dixie with 60 yards on seven rushes.
CWU moves to 6-4 (4-2 GNAC). Dixie falls to 1-9 (0-5 GNAC). Dixie’s final game of the season will be on the road against conference leader Humboldt State. Game time at the Redwood Bowl is 2:00 p.m. next Saturday.
Stats: CWU 49, DSU 17
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.