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Dixie State holds off Eagles 38-24 in Utah

Dixie State holds off Eagles 38-24 in Utah
(Photo courtesy of Chadron State College)

ST. GEORGE, Utah—October 7, 2017—The Chadron State football team booted a 37-yard field goal off its first possession, but never led again and lost to Dixie State 38-24 here Saturday afternoon a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest.

The Eagles’ offense struggled much of the game, but with the help of touchdowns off of a blocked punt and a fumble return, Chadron State tied the score at 10-10, 17-17 and 24-24 before the Trailblazers drove 70 and 87 yards in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Both teams are now 3-3 for the season and 3-2 in the RMAC.

The Trailblazers dominated the offensive stats. They rushed 60 times for 248 yards and senior quarterback Malik Watson completed 15 of 25 passes for 268 yards and four of Dixie State’s five touchdowns.

The Eagles ran the ball 31 times for 160 yards, but completed just 16 of 37 passes for 128 yards and finished with a season-low 288 total yards.

Dixie State possessed the ball more than 36 minutes and the Eagles for 23.

“We knew they would try to dominate the clock by running the ball, and that’s what they did,” said Chadron State coach Jay Long.  “Because of our touchdowns from the blocked punt and the fumble, we were always in the game, but needed to get more going on offense much of the time.”

The Eagles’ first touchdown came with nine minutes left in the second quarter, when redshirt freshman Cole Thurness blocked Dixie’s punt and also claimed the ball in the end zone after a teammate also had possession for about 20 yards, then lost it, during the trek to the end zone.

The Eagles’ Will Morgan, who also kicked the early field goal, added the extra point to tie the score at 10.

Dixie State went back on top 17-10 just 19 seconds before halftime when Landon Cook scored from the one-yard line after Trayvon Watson picked off a CSC pass and returned it 34 yards.

Chadron State knotted the score again late in the third quarter when defensive end Tyler Kiess forced a Dixie State running back to fumble and cornerback Trevon Mosley took it 37 yards to the goal line.

The deadlock was short-lived. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Watson hit wide receiver Dejuan Dantzler with a pass about 15 yards downfield and Dantzler took it another 50 yards to the end zone.

The Eagles tied the score again at 24-24 early in the fourth period by driving 80 yards in eight plays.  Senior Tailback Derek Jackson ran the ball five times for 56 of the yards, including the final 19 to paydirt.

Dixie State again retaliated a hurry, going 70 yards in nine plays. Everything was on the ground until Watson hit Ernest Quiocho in the end zone from seven yards away.

The Eagles picked up three first downs on their next possession, but the drive ended at the Dixie 13 when linebacker Alex Lilliard intercepted a pass.  The Trailblazers marched 87 yards in 12 plays and scored when Watson, a transfer from San Jose State, hooked up with Josiah Blandin on a 25-yard pass for a touchdown with 2:26 to play to clinch the verdict.

Jackson carried 17 times for 121 yards and a 7.1-yard average.  Dixie State’s leading rusher was freshman Jeff Coprich with 23 carries for 124 yards.  Blandin led all receivers with four catches for 98 yards.

CSC sophomore linebacker was the game’s busiest tackler with 15, including 10 solos.

CSC                       DSU
First Downs                           19                        27
Total Net Yards                 288                        516
Rushes, Yards                    31-160                   60-248
Passing Yards                     128                        268
Passing                                 16-37-2                 15-25-0
Return Yards                      180                          187
Punts, Average                 7-42.9                    4-26.0
Fumbles, Lost                      1-0                        1-1
Penalties, Yards                  9-97                       6-32
Chadron State         3       7         7        7       —-24
Dixie State                3     14        7      15       —-38

1st Quarter
CSC—Will Morgan 37 field goal
DSU—Anthony Reyes 31 field goal
2nd Quarter
DSU—Josiah Blandin 21 pass from Malik Watson (Reyes kick)
CSC—Cole Thurness recovered blocked punt in end zone (Morgan kick)
DSU—Landon Cook 1 run (Reyes kick)
3rd Quarter
CSC—Trey Mosley 37 fumble return (Morgan kick)
DSU—Dejuan Dantzler 65 pass from Watson (Reyes kick)
4th Quarter
CSC—Derek Jackson 19 run Morgan kick)
DSU—Ernest Quiochio 7 pass from Watson (Reyes kick)
DSU—Blandin 25 pass from Watson (Reyes kick)

Rushing: CSC—Derek Jackson 17-122, Priest Jennings 5-20, Kevin Coy 8-20, Dalton Holst 1-minus 1. DSU—Jeff Coprich 23-124, Lika Palmer 16-86, Blake Barney 11-30, Bryce Willett 3-11, Landon Cook 1-1, Malik Watson 3-minus 4.
Passing: CSC—Dalton Holst 11-31-1, 82 yards, 1 TD; Matt Vinson 5-6-1, 46 yards. DSU—Malik Watson 15-25-0.
Receiving: CSC—Colt Foster 5-35, Jackson Dickerson 4-40, Brandon Fullerton 3-30, Brad Johnston 1-23, Cole Thurness 1-11, Priest Jennings 1-1, Kevin Coy—1-minus 2.  DSU—Josiah Blandin 4-98, Orlando Wallace 4-25, Kasey Allison 2-19, Dejuan Dantzler 1-65, Tyler Krepsz 1-34, Jeff Coprich 1-11, Mike Gayden 1-9, Ernest Quiocho 1-7.

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