The Dixie State football team dropped a 58-40 non-conference decision to No. 20 Central Washington on Saturday at Legend Solar Stadium.

The Trailblazers (1-3, 1-2 RMAC) amassed 381 yards of total offense (284 passing, 97 rushing) but conceded 442 yards to Central Washington as the teams combined for 98 points.

Dixie State sprinted out of the gate, taking the lead on the first play from scrimmage when sophomore running back Sei-J Lauago burst through a hole and ran 75 yards for a touchdown. DSU added a two-point conversion when junior receiver Brad Duran whipped a swinging-gate pass to sophomore tight end Tyler Krepsz to push the lead to 8-0 at the 14:48 mark of the first quarter.

But the lead was short-lived as the Wildcats responded with 21 unanswered points, scoring touchdowns on three-consecutive drives to build a 21-8 advantage with 13:46 remaining in the second quarter.

Dixie State countered with its longest scoring drive of the game to cut the lead to 21-14 midway through the second period. The Trailblazers drove 70 yards in 13 plays, capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from graduate senior quarterback Malik Watson to redshirt sophomore receiver Kasey Allison.

But like the first DSU touchdown, Central Washington responded. This time it had four unanswered touchdowns to take a 28-14 lead into the halftime break before extending the advantage to 49-14 near the end of the third quarter.

The Trailblazer offense came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 26 points during the final frame. Graduate senior receiver Josiah Blandin snagged his first touchdown in a Trailblazer uniform from 12 yards out early in the period before graduate senior running back Jeffrey Coprich joined in the scoring onslaught, prancing in from two yards out for his first DSU touchdown.

After a CWU touchdown, Lauago caught a screen pass from Watson and made five CWU defenders miss on his way to the end zone from 18 yards out for his second score of the night. Blandin capped the night with his second touchdown of the game, snaring a 17-yard strike from Watson on the final play of the game to push DSU to the final score of 58-40.

Lauago finished with 117 yards rushing and one touchdown on 20 carries and added another touchdown catch, while Watson completed 25-of-45 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. The four touchdown passes marked the first time a DSU quarterback has tossed four or more touchdown passes since November 1, 2014.

Allison led the DSU receivers with 10 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown, while Blandin finished with 55 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Senior defensive back Tyneil Cooper logged a team-high seven tackles and forced a fumble, while junior defensive back Trayvon Watson and sophomore defensive back Jaylen Moore each recorded an interception.

Dixie State resumes Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play next week in Gunnison, Colorado, in a Saturday matchup at Western State Colorado. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at keric.seegmiller@dixie.edu.