Football can’t catch up on Senior Night

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Dixie State University couldn’t get a victory on Senior Night as it fell to Central Washington University 49-17 Saturday night.

DSU was stopped offensively from the start of the night. CWU had the advantage of total offense, 391 to 290, with 217 of it coming on the ground compared to DSU’s 52.

CWU came out hot quickly, gaining a 21-0 lead with big plays like the fake punt called early in the second quarter that went for a first down and 40 yards.

The momentum was set in the Wildcats way and the Storm had a rough time catching up.

“I am obviously disappointed in the way we came out and played,” head coach Scott Brumfield said. “I thought, at times, we had some great things happen defensively. But offensively we have to be able to convert on third down.”

DSU converted three of 14 on third down, while CWU had 11 of 18. DSU also only scored on two of the four red zone opportunities they had for the night.

“When we dig ourselves in that big of a hole, we are not the kind of team that can air it out,” Brumfield said. “We have a young offensive line, and Central Washington has a very powerful defense that puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We dug ourselves in a hole and tried to fight out it. They took advantage of it and beat us.”

DSU managed to fight back with an eight-play, 73-yard drive in the second quarter that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dalton Groskreutz. Junior quarterback Ben Longshore completed 15 of 35 passes for 177 yards with the one touchdown to Groskreutz. He also had two passes picked off.

Senior quarterback Brody Garr was given a chance to play at the start of the fourth quarter with DSU trailing 42-10. He led a drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Groskreutz in the right corner of the end zone.

DSU could not keep the offense on the field long enough, with only three of its drives lasting three minutes or longer.

With 19 seniors suiting up for the last time in front of the home crowd, the team hoped for a better result, Brumfield said.

“It’s great to be able to play here in front of the home town,” said lineman KJ Boyer, a senior social science composite teaching major from St. George. “It was a dream getting to play here and I feel like I have had a great college career here. It didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but it’s all good.”

Next week, the Storm have one more chance to end the year on a good note for their seniors as they take on Humboldt State University.

“We are going to come out next week and go as hard as we can,” Boyer said. “All of the seniors and the underclassmen will go all out to get that last win.”

DSU falls to 1-9 overall and 0-5 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

“We have one more game for our seniors,” Brumfield said. “We’re going to work our butts off this week and find 11 guys who want to go out there and finish this one off. Quitting is not an option, and we are going to work just as if we were playing for the conference championship.”