Record amounts of people filled the stands at Hansen Stadium, only to be forced out of the stadium due to lightning.
Dixie State University dropped its home opener against Azusa Pacific University Saturday—one it has been preparing for since its loss against Idaho State University Sept. 7.
APU defeated the Storm 36-20. Dixie dropped to 0-2, and 0-1 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. APU improved to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the GNAC.
APU opened the game with a quick touchdown. Not receiving the extra point, APU led Dixie early on 6-0.
Thirty seconds into the second quarter, DSU officials called a lightning delay. With heavy storms moving in from the north, everyone was told to get off the field and out of the stadium until further notice.
The game resumed at 8:50 p.m. after a two-hour and 14-minute delay. DSU started with a couple of strong drives, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Cougars off the prowl. APU quickly returned, knocking 21 points onto the board, leading Dixie 26-7 by the end of the first half.
“We just had a slow start on offense and we needed to score on the first drive—that’s always big,” said offensive lineman Rylee Reeves, a sophomore pre-engineering major from Brigham City. “We just kept [having] miscues and pretty much shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The Storm made some offensive changes in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Griff Robles was substituted for junior backup quarterback Brody Garr. Garr led DSU to two touchdowns. With his entrance, he made seven completions and a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Joe Don Duncan.
Garr helped the team score 20 points with 155 yards and connected on 13 of 19 passes.
“I think when you lose a game, it makes you come together as a team,” said offensive lineman Quade Peterson, a junior integrated studies major from Kaysville. “[Losing] is something you have got to work out, but I’m really confident in our ability, and I am really excited for the future.”
Head coach Scott Brumfield told the players after the game they are going to forget about this game and work for next week. He said the winning for DSU season is starting over next week.
The Storm are now preparing for their game Saturday against Western Oregon University. Last year, Dixie pulled out the win against WOU 24-10 then lost the rematch at Hansen Stadium later in the season 66-20.
“I am looking forward to not going against an odd-front,” Reeves said. “But what we need to focus on is establishing our run game first, then relying on our pass later.”
Reeves said in order to win this game, the team needs to focus on practice.
“We just need to pick up the intensity and make it pretty much just like a game situation,” Reeves said.
The Storm are hoping to take the positive points they had from Saturday’s game and stretch it out to next week against WOU.