Dixie State University’s football team was unable to hold back Idaho State University in its first game of the season gripping on to a score of 40-14.
The offense was blind sided at the beginning when the first series only lasted two minutes. The possession was passed over to Idaho, and the Bengals scored their first touchdown four minutes into the game.
With the Idaho State offense moving smoothly across the field, it became apparent to the players and coaches they needed to re-analyze their strategy.
“There are a lot of things both the defense and offense can work on, but it’s the most encouraged I’ve felt after a loss,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “We were able to see where we’re at as a team.”
The real struggle showed when Dixie began the second quarter with an incomplete pass and failed to get through the first series. Senior quarterback Griff Robles’ passes were continually falling short and weren’t matching the speed of the Bengal’s defense.
The great highlight of the game was when junior defensive back Zac Christian made a breathtaking interception that followed a fumble and repossession by ISU. He dove 3 yards sideways through the air to snatch the ball and rolled into the opposing team’s bench.
The catch impressed members of the hometown crowd.
“That was beautiful!” an Idaho State spectator said. “I don’t care that it was the Dixie kid; I want to see it again!”
Senior tight end Joe Don Duncan made a personal comeback, after his injury in the 2012 season, when he caught two passes for the only two touchdown scores in the game.
“It was exciting but the injury wasn’t really on my mind. I had no expectations going in to the game,” Duncan said.
Unfortunately, Idaho State completed the majority of long passes and left the Red Storm to settle in the dust.
But Brumfield saw the defeat in a different light.
“We noticed things we hadn’t seen before with the team, and that’s exciting to me,” he said. “It was a learning experience.”
Dixie will go against another 0-1 team, Azusa Pacific University, on Saturday, Sept. 14, in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The Cougars are coming off a 38-17 loss to Grand Valley State in their season opener.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.