FOOTBALL: Dixie State College of Utah officially released the competition schedule for the 2011 football regular season on Monday.
The Red Storm will play an eleven game slate including seven contests at Hansen Stadium. Only four road games in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will take the team away from home.
"Seven home games is going to be a tremendous advantage for us next year as we build the football program into the winner it historically has been while seeing some exciting college football right here in St. George," said Dixie State Athletics Director Jason Boothe. "This schedule will also allow ample opportunities for the community to get back on board and experience Dixie State Football firsthand. We need to fill the stands to create the home-field advantage that our team deserves to take full advantage of this schedule."
A pair of Colorado schools invade St. George to begin the season. Dixie State hosts Adams State on Sept. 3 and Mesa State on Sept. 10. Both games have kickoff set for 6 p.m. The Red Storm seeks revenge against the Grizzlies after a disappointing 34-14 loss in Alamosa in last season's opener. Dixie State did win the last meeting with Adams State in St. George 37-28 in the 2009 kickoff. The Mesa State Mavericks are on the schedule for the first time since 2007. In that campaign, Dixie State felt the sting of defeat twice — 41-14 in Grand Junction and 38-13 at Hansen.
"We are excited with the schedule and the chance to face two good programs from the RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) at home will give us an early test," said second-year head coach Scott Brumfield. "Both schools are at the upper level of their conference."
On Sept. 17 at 6 p.m., GNAC action begins in when the Clansmen of Simon Fraser returns to Utah. Dixie State's only two victories from the 2010 season were against the team from Canada. A 28-21 win in Burnaby last season gave the Storm their first season win and snapped a nearly two-year winless skid away from home. Dixie State held on for an 18-15 win against SFU at home last year when Danny Hawkins blocked a late field goal attempt.
The final game of DSC's four-game opening home stretch is Sept. 24 against Western Oregon, kickoff at 6 p.m. Dixie State blew an early 20-6 lead, allowing the Wolves to score 31 points unanswered en route to a 40-21 loss at Hansen. WOU dominated the second matchup in Monmouth 42-7 in cool and soggy conditions.
Dixie State College hits the road for the first time in week five. The destination will be Arcata, Calif., and an Oct. 1 date with the Humboldt State Lumberjacks. DSC avoided a shutout with a fourth quarter field goal last year at HSU, dropping the GNAC game 28-3. The Jacks also made a huge statement, dropping the Storm 49-14 at Hansen.
The next week (Oct. 9), DSC heads above the 49th parallel for the second clash of 2011 with Simon Fraser.
Brumfield is happy to have the first two GNAC games at home, but understands the first road trip will be a test.
"Humboldt is the most improved team in the GNAC and that trip up there is logistically the hardest for us. Follow that with a trip to Burnaby, it will make for a tough couple of weeks," Brumfield said.
The Storm returns home on Oct. 15 for a 1 p.m. start against Azusa Pacific in non-conference action. The Cougars were a tough test for GNAC teams last year and this contest may be the last time DSC plays APU as a NAIA foe. The Cougars are contemplating the move to the NCAA and specifically the Division-II level. DSC won the last meeting between the teams on Homecoming 2008 by a score of 33-23.
Oct. 22 is the Homecoming game against the defending GNAC league champion Central Washington Wildcats at 1 p.m. CWU bounced back from an early league defeat to Humboldt to sweep the rest of the schedule and secure their third straight conference title. Dixie State surrendered the first 24 points at home and a late rally fell short in the 24-14 game in St. George last season. The Wildcats protected home field with early offense defeating the Red Storm 42-21 in Week 4 a season ago.
Dixie State plays two of the final three contests on the road beginning on Oct. 29 at Western Oregon. The Storm should expect moist conditions for the game near the Pacific Coast.
Senior Day will be Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. against Humboldt State. The Red Storm defeated SFU on Senior Day 2010, but a test waits in 2011 to extend that streak to two games in a row.
Dixie State completes the regular season in Ellensburg against Central Washington on Nov. 12. This will mark the fifth straight season DSC ends their year away from Hansen Stadium. DSC last completed a season at home competing in the Rotary Bowl back in 2006.