UTAH TECH TRAILBLAZERS

Dixie State Can’t Overcome Tarleton State’s Offense, Falling In Home Opener

Mar 13, 2021, 10:11 PM
Dixie State vs. New Mexico State Football...
Ivan Pierre Aguirre for Dixie State Athletics

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Dixie State couldn’t overcome the productive offense of Tarleton State in their 37-15 loss in their home opener in St. George on Saturday.

Dixie State QB Kody Wilstead completed just 11 of his 29 pass attempts for 79 yards in the loss to Tarleton State. Quali Conley racked up 97 yards on 22 carries for the Trailblazers.

Tarleton State quarterback Steven Duncan had 347 passing yards and four touchdowns. Tariq Bitson hauled in 12 receptions for 202 yards and two TD’s.

The first half of the first quarter was full of punts as Dixie booted the ball away twice and TSU once. When Tarleton State got the ball back for their second drive, they drove 70 yards down the field in five plays that ended with a 21-yard TD connection from Steven Duncan to Dray Roberson. The Trailblazers went three-and-out on the next possession. The Texans capitalized with a 26-yard TD catch from Tariq Bitson, capping a five-play, 63 yard drive. TSU held a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Tarleton State added to their lead with a 45-yard field goal to go up 17-0 with 8:47 remaining in the first half. When Dixie State had the ball next, they nearly converted a fourth and long but the TSU cornerback broke up the pass. The Texans drove down the field before missing a 25-yard field goal. Dixie State couldn’t get into the end zone before halftime.

Just two minutes into the third quarter, Duncan threw his third TD pass on an 8-yard strike to Bitson for his second touchdown grab of the night. The Texans took a 24-0 lead with 13 minutes left in the third. Dixie State finally scored for the first time on Saturday night with 6:20 left in the third with a 45-yard field goal. It was capped with a 14-play, 62-yard drive. The Texans were up 24-3. Near the end of the third quarter, TSU nailed a 33-yard field goal to go up 27-3 entering the fourth quarter.

Early in the final period, Tarleton State likely put the game out of reach as Duncan threw his fourth TD, finding Marvin Landy for a six-yard strike. TSU had a 34-3 lead with 12:27 remaining in the game. After changing quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Kobe Tracy threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to David Fisher to get Dixie State’s first touchdown at home in the Division I era. They failed the two-point conversion and trailed Tarleton State 34-9 with 4:18 left in the game.

Tarleton State kicked a field goal on their next possession. As time expired, Tracy found Fisher for a 14-yard touchdown.

Dixie State dropped their record to 1-2 on the season. They will be on the road to face Kennesaw State on Saturday, March 20. The game will kickoff at 11 a.m. MT and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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Dixie State Can’t Overcome Tarleton State’s Offense, Falling In Home Opener