CWU football takes 31-24 road victory at Dixie State - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU football takes 31-24 road victory at Dixie State

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ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Senior Armahd Lewis (Stockton, Calif./Edison HS) accumulated 230 all-purpose yards, including scoring touchdown catches of 75 and 63 yards, as the Central Washington University football team returned to the win column with a 31-24 victory over Dixie State College of Utah on Saturday afternoon at Hansen Stadium.

The win evened Central's Great Northwest Athletic Conference record at 3-3 and improved the Wildcats to 3-4 overall on the season. Dixie State fell to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in the GNAC with the Homecoming loss.

Lewis, whose 75-yard TD catch in the second quarter was the longest play from scrimmage by a CWU player this season, also had 92 kick-return yards. His only two pass receptions of the game were the big-play scores in the first half.

Junior Jose Mohler (Cardiff, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) had a successful and efficient starting debut at quarterback for the Wildcats. The transfer from North Dakota State University completed 16 of 24 passes for 259 yards and the two scoring strikes to Lewis. Mohler was 5 of 7 for 157 yards in the first half as CWU built a 21-10 halftime lead.

Central Washington scored the game's first points on its opening defensive series. On the second play from scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Stetson Shearer (Burlington, Wash./Burlington-Edison HS) intercepted Stefan Cantwell's pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. The pick was the first of two interceptions on the day for the Wildcat defense, and was the second of Shearer's career.

The lead went to 14-0 with 8:32 remaining in the first period as Mohler connected with Lewis on their 63-yard scoring pass. However, Dixie State chipped away at the Wildcat lead after CWU had punts on successive possessions. The Red Storm scored their first points on a 43-yard field goal by Jameson Schultz and then made it a four-point margin on their first possession of the second quarter as Cantwell found tight end Joe Don Duncan on a two-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-10.

The Mohler to Lewis connection was successful on their 75-yard toss on the second play following Dixie State's touchdown, and the Wildcats took an 11-point lead into the halftime intermission.

Each team had just two full possessions in the third quarter, and they scored on three of them. Central Washington managed just one first down on its opening series of the half before punting. Dixie State then capped a 10-play, 60-yard drive with a 41-yard field goal by Schultz to make it a one-possession differential. The Wildcats matched the Red Storm with a field goal of their own, as junior Sean Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) drilled a 31-yarder with 4:57 left in the third, before Schultz added a 37-yard kick to make it 24-16.

Central pieced together its longest drive of the afternoon at the end of the third quarter and heading into the fourth. The Wildcats marched 67 yards on 11 plays, chewing up five minutes of game clock, with sophomore Ishmael Stinson (Tacoma, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season from two yards out to give CWU an insurance score.

Dixie State capped the day's scoring with just 1:12 left, as Duncan caught an eight-yard TD pass from Cantwell, and although the Red Storm converted on its two-point conversion, CWU recovered the on-side kick and kneeled down three times to end the game.

CWU won despite a significant disadvantage in time of possession (33:48 to 26:12), total offense (442 to 322), and first downs (25 to 16). The Wildcats capitalized on their big plays and used a pair of interceptions -- by Shearer and by junior Deionte Gordon (Seaside, Calif.) to overcome those statistical disadvantages. Gordon and Shearer also finished as Central's top two tacklers with 13 and nine, respectively, while senior Andrew Oney (Spanaway, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) had two quarterback sacks on the day.

Offensively, Lewis' 138-yard total was the most by any Wildcat player with just two receptions in a game in school history. Junior Robert Akeo-Orr (Spanaway, Wash./Bethel HS) finished as the team's top pass-catcher with six grabs for 42 yards, while redshirt freshman Leon La Deaux (Port Orchard, Wash./South Kitsap HS) added four grabs for 45 yards. Stinson led Central's ground attack with 54 yards on eight carries, but CWU finished with just 63 net yards on the ground.

Dixie State was led by the 410 total offensive yards of Cantwell, a freshman who ran for 102 yards on 17 carries while completing 29 of 44 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Duncan had eight grabs for 103 yards, while three others -- Zack Fox, Jesse Ence, and Shayne Day -- added six catches apiece. Jake Duncan led the Red Storm with seven tackles including two sacks and three total tackles for loss.

Central Washington will continue its three-game road trip next week, stepping out of conference play for one final time in 2011. The Wildcats will visit nationally-ranked West Texas A&M (5-2) next Saturday (Oct. 29) at 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time (4 p.m. Pacific).

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