DSU storms Canada, leaves with win

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Dixie State University football ended its three-game skid in a barnburner in Canada. 

The Storm traveled north of the border to Burnaby, British Columbia Saturday and beat the Clan of Simon Fraser University 38-27. 

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference matchup saw both squads attempting to get their first conference victory of the season. The Clan entered the game with an 0-3 record after dropping contests against conference rivals Western Oregon University, Central Washington University and Azusa Pacific University. 

DSU got on the board first with a 37-yard field goal from Alex Giordani. Simon Fraser answered back with an eight play, 62-yard touchdown drive to take the early lead. 

The Storm then gave the ball up on a fumble leading to a long drive from the Simon Fraser offense. DSU defense would stand strong, as they forced a turnover of their own backed up against their on goal line. Sophomore corner Colton Olson recovered the SFU fumble and momentarily re-gained possession for Dixie State. 

DSU freshman quarterback Tyson Blackner was intercepted at the 35 yard line on the next play from scrimmage, but the stingy Storm defense held strong and forced SFU to miss a field goal to keep the score 7-3. 

Senior running back Dejon Coleman capped off an 87-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown scamper and the Clan answered with a field goal before halftime, going into the break tied at 10. 

The DSU offense would then find its stride in the second half, gaining over 300 yards of offense and tacking on 28 points. 

Blackner got things going with consecutive touchdown throws, one to senior receiver Nate Stephens and one to freshman receiver Demarrio Hammonds. SFU answered with a 19-yard toss from quarterback Ryan Stanford to wideout Andrew Pauls and the shootout was officially underway. 

Stanford connected with receiver Justin Buren on the next drive, and DSU found itself down 27-24 midway through the fourth quarter. 

Unfazed by the Clan’s run, DSU struck back when Coleman broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run to regain the lead and Blackner found pay-dirt himself from three yards out. Leading 38-27, DSU seemed poised to put the nail in the coffin but struggled to close out the game as it had to rely on a tough defensive stand with under a minute left.

In the win, the Storm found the offensive balance that they have struggled with mightily throughout the season. DSU rushed for 252 yards and added 247 through the air to keep the Clan defense at bay. The 499 total yards gained is the second most for the Storm this season. 

DSU will continue its road trip next week as they head to APU next week in hopes of avenging the 34-5 loss Sept. 26.