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BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- Dixie State College (1-4) started the second half of its season with its first win of 2010 on Saturday beating Simon Fraser University (0-5) 28-21 in Burnaby, British Columbia.
After slow starts in their first four games the Red Storm struck early against the Clan of SFU. The Red Storm scored on their first drive as freshman quarterback Cody Stevenson hit senior wide receiver Kyser Christensen for an 8-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, Dixie's defense got started early too. Junior defensive back Wes Hulse intercepted a pass at the goal line on SFU's first drive. The interception prevented the Clan from getting a first drive touchdown of its own.
The Red Storm special teams made it a trifecta of strong starts. Early in the second quarter junior cornerback Ryan Laws recovered a muffed punt at the SFU 2-yard line. The recovery led to Dixie's second score when Stevenson hit senior tight end Alex Nelsen for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Along with the fast start, the key to DSC winning this game was the ability to establish the run early, allowing them to have a balanced offensive attack.
Dixie got the running game going with a good mix of senior running back Adam Wells and junior running back Jesse Ence. As a team the Red Storm totaled 193 rushing yards on 43 carries. Wells finished the game with 11 rushes for 50 yards.
Ence had his biggest game of the year rushing for 150 yards on 25 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter putting Dixie on top 21-14, a lead the Red Storm would not relinquish on the night.
Stevenson led the aerial assault going 16-24 for 194 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. His last touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Zack Fox. That pass made the score 28-14 putting Dixie on top for good.
Stevenson's favorite target throughout the game, senior Nash Fowler, led the receiving corps with five catches for 71 yards, including a diving 33-yard catch that set up the first touchdown for Dixie.
The defense was led by senior linebacker Keauntea Bankhead and junior linebacker Christian Case. Bankhead had seven tackles, while Case had six, including three for loss and one sack.
"I'm happy about how the game went for me," Case said. "I haven't played a whole lot this season, so I was happy to get in and contribute to the team."
The Red Storm defense had two interceptions and limited SFU's passing offense to only 102 yards. Case said he attributes that to quality practices and the play of the secondary. "Our defense had a really good week in practice to prepare for this game," Case said. "And our defensive backs as a whole played real good."
SFU's lone bright spot during the game was their ability to run. Led by junior running back Gabriel Ephard, the Clan had 146 rushing yards on 41 carries. Ephard carried the ball 21 times for 107 yards, while sophomore running back Bo Palmer had nine carries for 46 yards and one touchdown.
DSC is now 1-3 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with four more conference games this season.
Dixie's next game will be their homecoming Oct. 9 at Hansen Stadium in St. George. The Red Storm will be hosting Western Oregon University. The Wolves of WOU are 3-2 overall with a 2-1 GNAC record.
The game will kickoff at 1 p.m. and can be seen live on KCSG or heard locally on Classical 91.3 FM.
(Picture courtesy Yin Bai / The Peak, Simon Fraser)