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Mesa cornerback Ron Bruce returned an interception 30 yards for a score as the Thunderbirds upset nationally ranked Dixie College for the second straight year and remained one of only two unbeaten teams in the Western States Football League.

Dixie, third in the National Junior College Athletic Association poll last week, was undefeated and ranked third last year when Mesa beat the Rebels in Arizona. This year, the No. 11 Thunderbirds won 27-17 in St. George to keep abreast of unbeaten Ricks College of Rexburg, Idaho.Also last weekend, No. 8 Ricks beat Snow College 34-14 at Ephraim; Arizona Western beat Scottsdale 32-20 in Yuma, Ariz.; and Phoenix College kept Eastern Arizona winless with a 30-14 victory at Thatcher, Ariz.

Bruce's interception return in the third quarter sealed the Thunderbirds' victory. Mesa also scored on a 34-yard run by Robbie Clemmons and a 10-yard pass from Trevor Cavanaugh to wide receiver Dave Moser. Mesa kicker Steve Rausch booted field goals of 42 and 30 yards.

Brian Downey led Ricks with first-quarter scoring passes of 10 and 39 yards to Eric Moss. Downey also rushed for a 1-yard score and cornerback Scott Walker sealed the win with an 87-yard interception return for a fourth-quarter score.

Arizona Western tailback Pierre Jones rushed for 210 yards on 33 carries and scored on runs of 45, 1 and 2 yards and on an 80-yard pass reception from Christian Cervantes to give the Matadors their first win of the season.

Cervates also threw a 60-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Gerald Dockery.