Kaleb Center, Sports Information Director
ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Chadron State College football team started strong and finished nearly as well, jumping out to a three-touchdown lead in the first half and finishing with over 200 yards rushing for the third time in five games in a 40-27 win on the road in St. George.
“Our guys did a great job of going out and executing the game plan,” said CSC Head Football Coach Jay Long. “It was Homecoming, Dixie State had a huge crowd here, and we took them out early. We made some big plays in all phases.”
Dixie State opened the first half with a 69-yard touchdown run by Sei-J Lauago on the very first play of the game from scrimmage, but the rest of the half was all Eagles.
“Our guys just came out with a lot of emotion and energy,” said Long. “Dixie caught us on the first play, where we just didn’t have a guy there at the right time, but the thing to talk about is when, after that long touchdown, we marched it all the way down the field, on a 93-yard drive. That was something, to show that we’re going to have a good day today.”
Junior quarterback Dalton Holst struck four times for passing scores, with two going to senior receiver Tevon Wright, and one apiece to Cole Thurness and Brandon Fullerton, giving CSC a 28-7 halftime lead.
The first went to Thurness from the Dixie State 20-yard line after a 93-yard drive during which the Eagles overcame four offensive penalties.
The next was good to Wright from 18 yards out, following a sack fumble by Tyler Lewis which gave the Eagles the ball at Dixie’s 22.
Holst threw his longest pass of the first half to a wide open Fullerton from the DSU 28, giving the quarterback three passes into the endzone with two and a half minutes still to play in the first half.
Wright caught his second scoring pass of the day nearly halfway into the second quarter, and led CSC with 71 receiving yards at the half. He finished with a career-high 173 yards.
“A big part of our emphasis in practice, since the first few weeks of the season, has been to start hot, stay hot, and finish hot,” Holst said. “It’s easier to play with a lead. And it’s easy to do that when you have weapons like we have with the receivers and backs. If one guy goes down, another guy’s up there to make a play. Tevon is amazing at practice, and in every game.”
He also praised the CSC offensive line, who held the league’s team leader in sacks to only one Saturday, despite starting two freshmen and only one senior.
In the second half, Colton Dolder connected on a pair of 23-yard field goals to get to 7-of-9 on the season. The true freshman has now been true on five consecutive three-point tries, consisting of three last week at home and Saturday’s pair.
Sophomore running back Elijah Myles capped off the CSC scoring by going 15 yards in three attempts following a fumble on a DSU punt snap, deep in its own territory.
The Trailblazers managed more than half of their 111 total rushing yards in the third quarter, and nearly half of their passing yards in the fourth, as they mounted an unsuccessful comeback attempt with 20 second-half points.
The closest the hosts came to a rally, however were the 13 points by which they trailed when quarterback Tanner Hammond ran in a 33-yard score himself, making it 34-21 with 2:33 showing in the third quarter. They also made it back to within the same margin on the final score of the game, when Hammond found D’Arman Notoa with 6:03 remaining in the game.
Myles had his second career-best game in as many weeks, racking up 183 yards on 39 carries.
The CSC backs, as a unit, broke a streak of eight games without a lost fumble, dating back to last year’s finale, when Myles was shaken up and lost a ball on CSC’s next-to-last possession. DSU, however, was unable to capitalize.
Chadron State nearly double up Dixie in the time of possession battle, 39:36 to 20:24, and had
On defense, Tyler Lewis was the leader with 10 total tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks. He also forced both of the Blazers’ fumbles and broke up two passes.
Other than the two big plays on the ground for the opponents, the Eagles gave up only nine net yards rushing the rest of the game.
“We just have to clean up the third quarter,” said Lewis after the game. “We can’t give up long drives like those, but other than that, and the first play of the game, guys were doing their jobs, and tackling well.”
Wide receiver DeJuan Dantzler starred for Dixie State with seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Chadron State goes on the road again next week, meeting New Mexico Highlands University for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday in Las Vegas, New Mexico.