ST. GEORGE Ben Kuenzi rushed six yards for the go-ahead score with 3:32 to play and the Western Oregon defense held to give the Wolves a 34-27 win over Dixie State Saturday night in Hansen Stadium.
DSC never led in the game but pulled even twice in the fourth quarter before finally giving up the winning score late in the game.
"It seems like the offense sputtered all night, but we wanted just one more shot," Dixie State quarterback Dexter Hill said. "I'm just glad we get to play them again."
It was Dixie State's second game in its new conference, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Both games ended with close, heartbreaking losses.
Hill had tied the game at 20-20 a minute into the final quarter on an 8-yard TD bootleg run. That capped a 15-play, 88-yard drive.
Western Oregon retook the lead just two minutes later on a deep pass from Josh Riddell to Sean Kauleinamoku. The 49-yard strike made it 27-20 with 11:46 left.
Once again, Dixie State responded with a score. After a DSC punt, cornerback Aric Hutchinson picked up a WOU fumble and sprinted 60 yards down to the Wolves' 3-yard line.
On the next play, Adam Wells scored around the right end to tie the game at 27-27. Unfortunately for Dixie State, that left more than six minutes for Western Oregon to march down and retake the lead, this time for good.
"That's a great team, especially their front four on defense," DSC coach Ron Haun said. "Still, we had our chances. We wasted too many opportunities."
Hill passed for 251 yards for Dixie State, which fell to 1-3. Western Oregon got 264 yards through the air from Riddell and a pair of scores. The Wolves improved to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Dixie State played from behind most of the night after a field goal and a defensive touchdown in the first quarter by the Wolves.
DSC pulled to within 10-7 on a 58-yard TD pass from Hill to Nash Fowler on a tipped ball with 1:17 to go in the first.