Pregame capsule: Trailblazers play first home game tonight

Dixie State University football | File photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE

Black Hills State (1-1 in RMAC, 1-1 overall) at Dixie State University (0-2 in RMAC, 0-2 overall), tonight, 6 p.m.
Previous Meeting: Black Hills State 20, Dixie State 14 – Yellow Jackets build 20-0 first-half lead. DSU makes comeback, but potential winning drive stalls deep in BHSU territory.
Overall Series Record: Yellow Jackets hold a 1-0 series advantage
Broadcast: Live coverage on CEC-TV (Channel 22) (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM and internet (SportsRadio977.com); (Video-Stretch Internet//portal.stretchinternet.com/dixiestate)

TRAILBLAZERS
Head coach: Shay McClure (2nd year, 6-6)
Offense: Pro Set
Defense: Pro 4-3
Last Game: Lost to South Dakota Mines 35-14
Players to watch: Quarterback Malik Watson averages 236 yards rushing. Sei-J Lauago leads the team with 178 yards rushing. Orlando Wallace has 18 receptions for 120 yards. Kasey Allison led the team with 150 yards receiving on 11 catches. Defensively, linebacker Tane Tuifua leads the team with 22 tackles. Mike Jones and Trayvon Watson follow him with 17 apiece. LB Noe Perez and DL Remington Kelly lead the team in TFLs. DBs Watson and Jaylen Moore lead the team in breakups.

YELLOW JACKETS
Head Coach: John Reiners (6th year at BHSU 18-39)
Offense: Spread
Defense: 3-4, stunts frequently
Last Game: Lost to Fort Lewis College 17-13
Players to watch: Ryan Hommel returns at quarterback. He is averaging just under 200 yards per game passing. He is also a threat to run the ball. His favorite targets are WR Shandon Jones and RB Phydell Paris. Paris leads the team in rushing. He averages 110 yards per game on 4.9 yards per rush. Defensively, DL Thayer Sauter leads the team with 26 tackles. DLJared Tiefenthaler leads the team in sacks. The secondary is led by DB Sam Garcia and DB Chris James.

GAME OUTLOOK
The Blazers don’t want to start the year 0-3 against arguably three of the weaker teams in the RMAC. It is the home opener for Dixie State. The offense has to cut down on turnovers. Two of the Yellow Jackets three scores came from their defense last year. DSU cannot give them the same opportunities this year. Who else misses Colton Olsen? The defense has yet to have that standout emerge that seems to be in on every tackle like last year’s team captain.

STGNEWS.COM PREDICTION: I have been burned twice this year, but I still believe DSU is still the better team today. The Blazers had outstanding fan support last year. Hopefully that will give them an edge today. DSU wins 28-7.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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