Dixie State University’s homecoming football game was spoiled by the number one pass offense in the country Saturday.
DSU yielded nearly 600 yards and nine touchdowns to the Colorado School of Mines’ offense, which cruised to a 62-27 victory over the Trailblazers.
The Orediggers were led by quarterback Justin Dvorak, who is second in the NCAA with 3033 passing yards and 34 touchdowns.
DSU entered halftime trailing 28-13. The Trailblazers scored both touchdowns on the ground, the second of which came from freshman quarterback Josh Thompson, who evaded would-be tacklers and found the end zone after a 20-yard run.
DSU struggled to contain the offensive juggernaut as CSM scored a touchdown on each of its first four possessions to start the game. Junior defensive back Colton Olson, DSU’s leading tackler, was ejected in the first quarter after being called for a targeting penalty.
“Losing [Olson] was not the difference in the outcome of the game,” head coach Shay McClure said. “We just did not perform very well. They made plays and we didn’t.”
DSU’s pass game in the first half was nearly non-existent as it only managed 30 total yards through the air. The Trailblazers relied heavily on the Wildcat offense in the second half, which was ran primarily through sophomore running back Orlando Wallace.
Wallace was responsible for the largest rush of the game by either side as he took a direct snap 49 yards to the end zone. The touchdown by Wallace brought the score to 35-20 halfway through the third quarter.
DSU’s run game, which averaged 326 yards during its recent 3-game winning streak, was contained to 213 yards. During that time, the Trailblazers gained 438 yards of total offense but were limited to just 320 against CSM.
“We go into every game knowing that we can run the ball,” said Wallace, a business major from Cathedral City, California. “We did that pretty well, but didn’t make plays when we needed to.”
CSM was successful on 13 of its 16 third-down conversion tries throughout the game. It also scored a touchdown on each of its six trips to the red zone.
Things started to unravel for DSU near the end of the third quarter. The Trailblazers’ offense fell stagnant as it only managed 40 yards of total offense in the final 19 minutes of the game. CSM scored 20 unanswered points and handed DSU its worst loss of the season, 62-27.
“We played against a really great team,” said freshman defensive back Mike Jones, a health science major from San Diego. “There are a lot of positives we can take from the game. We gained a lot of experience, and we stayed together as a team.”
DSU falls to 4-4 overall for the season and 4-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference after the loss. The Trailblazers sit tied in fourth place in the conference. They will face off against Adams State University Saturday in Alamosa, Colorado.