Dixie State University fell short in overtime on Saturday by one point against South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
“They are a new team in our conference,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “So it [was] another breath of fresh air to play someone [new].”
Dixie shut down South Dakota on the first drive to come back and score a field goal with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
But the Hardrockers came back two minutes later with haste, scoring a touchdown by a 59-yard pass shortly after, followed by a field goal to bring them to a 13-3 lead over the Storm.
SDSMT put up two more touchdowns before the half ended. The Storm also placed seven more points on the board with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Longshore to senior wide receiver Connor Sklarsky to bring the score to 27-10, South Dakota.
“The first half [was] a little shaky; we dropped plays then dropped passes,” said wide receiver Nate Stephens, a junior criminal justice major from Redding, California. “There wasn’t much consistency.”
The next half, quarterback Ben Longshore completed pass after pass to Stephens and Sklarsky. The Storm came back with three unanswered touchdowns to gain the lead, 31-27.
In the fourth quarter, Dixie couldn’t finish into the end zone and brought in freshman kicker Alex Giordani. With multiple penalties on Dixie’s side, the kick was pushed back twice. Giordani made a 25-yard field goal to increase Dixie’s lead to 34-27
“Our defense stepped up big time and made some key third down stops and got our offense going,” Stephens said. “Everybody was clicking together for the first time this year.
SDSMT came back with 50 seconds left in the game to score a touchdown, bringing the score to 34-34 and into the first overtime Dixie has seen at its home field.
In the overtime, South Dakota scored right away with a trick play. Dixie had only one set of downs to regain power. Dixie moved the ball down the field, and junior running back Myles Burton ran the ball 3 yards in the end zone.
Dixie had a chance to even the score, but the PAT kick failed and resulted in a South Dakota win in overtime.
Brumfield said the keys to winning each game are the same as always, making third down conversions, on offense holding the ball and eliminating mistakes and keeping the defense off the field.
The Storm now take on Central Washington for the second time on Saturday in their final home game of the season at 6 p.m.