Dixie State cut down by Lumberjacks 33-23 in season finale

Dixie State cut down by Lumberjacks 33-23 in season finale

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Press releaseARCATA, CALIF. -- On the final day of the 2009 season, the Dixie State football team had the possibility to finish their Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule with an even split of three wins and three losses. Tied at the half, the Red Storm's scoring offense stalled propelling the host Lumberjacks of Humboldt State University to a 33-23 win on Saturday afternoon from the Redwood Bowl.

The loss snaps a string of four straights wins for Dixie State (4-7, 2-4) in the all-time series against the Jacks. Humboldt State (5-5, 1-5) stopped a winless drought in the GNAC scoring their first conference win in two seasons.

The Storm trailed 14-0 after one quarter when HSU quarterback Mike Proulx found Matt Devlin twice in the end zone from 10 and 12 yards out.

A second quarter surge brought Dixie State to a 14-14 stalemate with 1:27 left in the half. Judd Thompson hit Nash Fowler for a score capping a 10-play, 83 yard drive for the first score. Skyler Ence then hauled in a 27-yard TD catch from Thompson later in the second quarter to erase the early Lumberjack lead.

Both teams found quick strike scores in the final minute of the first half. HSU's Dirk Dallas hauled in a 15-yard TD reception after the Jacks got a short field thanks to a solid Miles Simon kickoff return to the DSC 49-yard line. With 36 seconds remaining, Dixie State got the ball back and faced a third and two on their own 48 with a few seconds left. Thompson completed a short slant to Ence who blasted past three defenders, broke an ankle tackle, tiptoed down the sideline and barreled through one last threat to find the end zone and tie the game at 21-21.

DSC got the ball to start the second half, but the opening drive stalled after a snap sailed over Thompson's head on second down resulting in a 22-yard loss. Thompson left the game after an incompletion on third down with soreness in his throwing shoulder injured last week. In his final collegiate game, Thompson was 15-for-24 for 224 yards and three first-half touchdowns.

Humboldt took a third-quarter lead marching down the field and completing a ten-play drive when Proulx hit Edwin Henry on a five-yard slant for a TD. The point-after kick was blocked by Richard May, but HSU led 27-21.

Dixie State's final points came via defensive pressure and a mistake by Proulx. Backed up near their goal, Proulx was called for intentionally grounding the football while in the endzone for a Red Storm safety.

Kyle Schierholt made two field goals (33, 19) in the fourth quarter to push the final margin of victory for Humboldt to ten points.

Nick Marinko and John Sanders both played QB for Dixie State after Thompson left the game. Marinko went 3-for-12 for 16 yards and a pair of interceptions. In his only series, Sanders completed three passes for 22 yards.

Ence had nine catches for 147 yards to lead the DSC receiver core. Robert Evans added 71 yards on six receptions. RB Tauni Vakapuna carried the rock ten times for 66 yards.

Defensively, Nick Cragin had 8.5 tackles and Sean Lindsey notched two tackles for loss. The DSC defense unit shined in the fourth quarter stopping the Jacks six straight times from scoring on goal line plays.

(Courtesy Dixie State College)

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