The Dixie State football team dropped its home finale to Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday, falling 31-10 at Legend Solar Stadium on Senior Day.
The Thunderwolves (8-2, 8-1 RMAC) stymied the Trailblazers (4-6, 4-5 RMAC) with a stingy defensive effort, holding DSU to a season-low 168 yards (105 rushing, 63 passing) of total offense.
CSU-Pueblo struck first on the game’s opening drive, marching to the DSU 32-yard line before settling for a 49-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. After forcing a DSU three-and-out, the Thunderwolves extended the lead to 10-0 on the ensuing possession with a 15-yard touchdown pass at the 6:08 mark of the first quarter.
Dixie State responded with a nine-play drive that stalled at the CSUP 23-yard line. Redshirt freshman kicker A.J. Yergensen made certain the Trailblazers didn’t go without points on the drive and converted a career-long 40-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3 with 2:23 remaining in the opening period. The kick marked the first DSU field goal of 40 or more yards this season.
The teams went back and forth, and it appeared the 10-3 scoreline would hold until halftime, but CSU-Pueblo had other plans. The Thunderwolves forced a DSU punt with less than a minute to play and needed just 48 seconds to punch the ball into the end zone to extend the lead to 17-3 at the break.
The Trailblazers looked to set the tone in the second half and opened the third quarter with a season-long 17-play touchdown drive. DSU used a steady balance of pass and run on the drive, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Blake Barney capped the drive with a 3-yard read-option touchdown run to cut the CSUP lead to 17-10 with 6:26 to play in the third quarter. But Dixie State didn't get any closer.
CSU-Pueblo responded with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while holding the Trailblazers to just nine yards of total offense in the final frame, to clinch the 31-10 victory.
Sophomore running back Sei-J Lauago led the DSU offense with 69 yards rushing on 17 carries. Barney finished with 30 yards rushing and a touchdown while completing 12-of-23 passes for 63 yards with two interceptions.
Defensively, the Trailblazers conceded 331 yards of total offense (184 passing, 147 rushing), holding the Thunderwolves nearly 100 yards below their season average. Sophomore safety Mike Jones finished with a team-high eight tackles, while Noe Perez, Jordan Nichols and Trayvon Watson added seven tackles each. Watson also snagged the lone DSU interception of the game.
Dixie State closes the 2017 season next Saturday at Fort Lewis in Durango, Colorado. Kickoff is set for noon MT.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.