Dixie State looks to end season with road win today at Fort Lewis

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

GAME PREVIEW CAPSULE
Dixie State University (4-6 overall, 4-5 in the RMAC) at Fort Lewis (5-5 overall, 5-4 in the RMAC) today, noon, Ray Dennison Memorial Field in Durango, Colo.
Previous Meeting: Dixie State won at home against the Skyhawks 16-14 to clinch its first winning season in the NCAA Division II era
Overall Series Record: Serites is tied 1-1
Broadcast: (Audio) ESPN SportsRadio 97.7 FM; Online Video and LiveStats at Skyhawks Stretch Internet Portal

TRAILBLAZERS
Head coach: Shay McClure (2nd year, 4-6, 10-11 overall)
Offense: Pro Set
Offensive PPG: 27.0
Defense: Pro 4-3
Defensive PPG: 28.1
Last Game: Lost to CSU-Pueblo at home 31-10
Players to watch: Quarterback Blake Barney has passed for .486 yards and rushed for 469 more. Sei-J Lauago leads the team with 763 yards rushing and needs only 139 more to set the single-season record. Orlando Wallace (50-506), Kasey Allison (38-575) and Josia Blandin (17-368) lead the team in receptions. On defense, back Mike Jones leads the team in tackles (78). He is followed by linebacker Noe Perez (69) and back Trayvon Watson (62). Watson also leads the team in interceptions (4). Amate Savusa lead the team in TFLs (11.5). Perez leads the team with three sacks.

SKYHAWKS
Head Coach: Ed Rifilato (8th year at Fort Lewis, 5-5, overall 31-53)
Offense: Various with slant towards run
Offensive Average: 22.4
Defense: 4-3
Defensive Average: 26.5
Last Game: Beat New Mexico Highlands on the road 30-20
Players to watch: Freshman quarterback Jake Lowry has started the last two games for the Skyhawks, completing 18-of-42 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns in those starts. Tyler Telphy leads the rushing attack, accumulating 702 yards and five touchdowns on 122 carries. Mason Hatton (31 receptions, 304 yards, TD) and Arealous Hughes (25 receptions, 373 yards, 2 TD) have been the team’s favorite targets in the passing game. Defensively, the Skyhawks concede 377.9 yards (234.6 pass/143.3 rush) of total offense per game. Linebacker Darrian Stickney leads the team with 89 tackles (10.0 for loss) and 1.5 sacks, while defensive back Donell Pleasant III has logged a team-high four interceptions.

GAME OUTLOOK
Fort Lewis enters the game with a 5-5 overall record and a 5-4 mark in RMAC play. With a win on Saturday, the Skyhawks can clinch their first winning season since 2015, and just their second winning season in the last 10 years. Using a balance of run (179.0 ypg) and pass (127.8 ypg), FLC averages 306.8 yards per game on offense. Through 10 games Dixie State leads the RMAC in fourth-down conversions (7-11, 63.6 %). The Trailblazers rank second in pass defense (165.5 yards per game) and defensive pass efficiency (158-313-12, 11 TD, 102.8 efficiency rating). This is another tossup for me. Dixie State has been winning those.
STGNews.com Prediction: DSU 28, Fort Lewis 21

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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