Mozzochi, Special Teams Key WOU Win

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quarterback Evan Mozzochi accounted for 280 yards in total offense and Western Oregon's special teams scored two touchdowns as the Wolves opened their conference season with a 35-28 road win at Simon Fraser Saturday.

Meanwhile in a non-conference game, Colorado Mesa scored three second-half touchdowns on interceptions to overcome a 12-point halftime deficit and defeat Dixie State 52-30 .

Mozzochi rushed for 73 yards on six carries, including touchdowns of 45 and 10 yards and also completed 18 of 30 passes for 207 yards and a 34-yard touchdown pass to running back Trevor Roush.

The Wolves (1-1) also scored on a 19-yard fumble return from Kirk Werhane on a snap that sailed over Simon Fraser punter Ian Sternau's head resulting in a 32-yard team loss and a 21-0 first-quarter lead.

In the second quarter, the Wolves scored on an 86-yard kickoff return by Adryan Allen to go ahead 28-7.

But Clan running back Gabe Ephard then ripped off the longest running play in GNAC history (86 yards) to set up a five-yard touchdown run by Bo Palmer.

SFU (1-1) closed to within seven points late in the second period driving 80 yards on nine plays, including a 49-yard pass from Trey Wheeler to WR Bobby Pospischil to set up a three-yard touchdown pass from Wheeler to Mathis Baumbach.

The Wolves went back up by 14 points in the third quarter on Mozzochi's 10-yard run and then relied on their defense the remainder of the way, allowing just one second-half touchdown as Greg Bowcott scored on a three-yard run to finish off a 12-play, 54-yard third quarter drive.

SFU entered WOU territory just once in the fourth quarter reaching the 34 before defensive tackle Brian Walton stopped Palmer for a three-yard loss on a third-and-eight play.

The Clan's last opportunity came in the final two minutes. SFU reached their own 47 before corner back Raymond Williams stopped Palmer for a two-yard loss.

An incomplete pass set up a fourth-and-12 and Bryce Peila then intercepted a pass by wide receiver Tore Corrado with a minute left to seal the victory.

Simon Fraser finished the contest with a 449-389 advantage in total offense as Ephard rushed for 158 yards on 16 carries and Palmer netted 124 on 24 totes. Wheeler completed 19 of 32 passes for 189 yards.

WOU gained 182 yards on the ground, including 68 on nine carries by Roush. Roush had 178 all-purpose yards catching three passes for 56 yards and returning two kickoffs for 54 yards. Trevor Gates had five catches for 97 yards.

Defensively WOU was led by linebacker Scotland Foss with 11 tackles. Peila and linebacker Micah McMurray had nine each. Defensive backs Chris Seminoff and Kyle Miller had eight tackles each for SFU.

Colorado Mesa 52, Dixie State 30

Trent deBraga had second-half touchdown interception returns of 34 and 65 yards and Travis McRae returned an interception 62 yards for a score as Colorado Mesa tallied 42 second-half points to defeat Dixie State.

Trailing 22-10 at the break, deBraga pulled the Mavericks within five points at the 13:57 mark of the third quarter with his first interception return.

The teams then traded touchdowns - Will Halboth scored on a five-yard run to give Mesa a 24-22 lead at the 9:01 mark of the third quarter before the Red Storm reclaimed the lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Cody Stevenson to wide receiver Darren Carter with 1:54 left in the period.

But, the fourth quarter belonged to the RMAC squad as McRae and deBraga scored on interceptions at 7:22 and 6:48 to give Mesa a 38-30 lead.

The Mavericks then added two insurance touchdowns in the final 2:37 after Dixie was twice unable to convert fourth down plays deep in their own territory.

Colorado Mesa managed to score 52 points despite being held to 276 yards in total offense, including just 54 passing. Running back Jake Cimolino accounted for 144 yards on 21 carries.

Dixie had 371 yards, all but 15 through the air as Stevenson completed 24 of 48 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Joe Don Duncan had seven receptions for 129 yards and Carter had six for 75.

Defensively, Mesa was led by defensive end Connor Wright with 12 tackles, including 7 1/2 for losses totaling 39 yards. Six of those were sacks.

Linebacker Chris Aragon and free safety Cache Morgan had nine tackles each for Dixie. Morgan also had 151 yards on seven kickoff returns.

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