Humboldt State bounced back from its first defeat of the year and Western Oregon bounced back from a sub-par first half to earn home victories over Simon Fraser and Dixie State on Saturday. Central Washington gave West Texas fits over the first three and a half quarters of their non-leaguer only to run out of gas in the fourth quarter.

Today marks the second week of the regional rankings, which we'll get to in a moment, but first to the recaps.

Western Oregon 40, Dixie State 28
WOU's Wolves found themselves battling the letdown syndrome, falling into a 14-7 halftime hole to DSC one week after knocking off then-league leader Humboldt State. Dixie's Stefan Cantwell was in the middle of a 423 yard passing feat (no interceptions, by the way) and WOU countered with three punts, a fumble and a pick. You could hardly blame any of the WOU faithful for being a little uneasy.
But while WOU didn't bury Dixie by the end of the game, the second half scoring and momentum certainly showed a different story as the Wolves outscored the Red Storm 33-13 in the final 30 minutes (including blanking them 12-0 in the third quarter).
Dominating? No. Flashes of brilliance? Yes, from both teams.
Cantwell looks much more productive in the pocket than Cody Stevenson for Dixie: 400-plus yards, three scores and zero interceptions will show that. However, the guy was still running for his life as Dixie suffered seven sacks at the hands (and bodies) of Western Oregon (including two from King Manu and 1.5 from Gavin Drake).
Western Oregon was incredibly balanced, rushing for 243 yards (Trevor Roush, 111 yards, one score; Adryan Allen, 108 yards, 1 score) and passed for 266 yards (Trevor Gates, 109 yards).
Dixie falls to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in GNAC play. WOU improves to 6-3 overall and more importantly, 6-1 in GNAC play.

Humboldt State 42, Simon Fraser 10
Humboldt State had an easier time keeping pace with Western Oregon at the top of the GNAC standings, jumping out to a 28-0 advantage midway through the second quarter before coasting to a 42-10 win over Simon Fraser.
Playing in front of the home crowd for just the third time in eight games, Humboldt substituted often in the second half, but not before Lyndon Rowells rushed for 96 yards and a score and Victor Spencer caught seven balls for 140 yards.
Not surprisingly, SFU's aerial attack sputtered, netting just 34 yards in the air, but the Clan added 217 yards on the ground.
Humboldt State improves to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in GNAC play, remaining a half a game behind WOU in the standings. Simon Fraser fell to 2-7 overall and 1-6 in GNAC play.

West Texas A&M 49, Central Washington 35.
No surprise here to the offense shown on the field, but it's a tad surprising the offensive display included both teams as Central Washington has been inconsistent moving the ball thus far this year.
Jose Mohler threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns, and Justin Helwedge (6-124, two scores) and Leon LeDeaux (6-101, TD) had big days for the Wildcats. With numbers like that, it's hard to believe that WT statistically had a better day with quarterback Dustin Vaughn throwing for 430 yards (on 32 completions) and four scores himself.
But credit CWU for jumping early, and catching WT off guard. The Wildcats had 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14 leads in the first half, but every time WT would march right down the field for the equalizer. WT took its first lead midway through the third and expanded that to 14 points (35-21) late in the third before Mohler and Helwedge connected for two straight touchdowns to even it up at 35 apiece early in the fourth. Central's final three possessions however, ended with two punts and a pick.
What was huge for WT was its field position all night long. The Buffaloes had seven drives that started at their own 45 yard line or better, which resulted in three touchdowns (which really isn't that great of a scoring percentage when there's just a half a field to drive). Still, the damage was done. Looking at drives that started at the WT 32-yard line or better adds another two scores.
How did the Buffaloes get great field position? Returns. WT's Tommy Hampton averaged 30 yards on his five returns, with a long of 34, which shows big time consistency, great blocking and great field vision.
With five losses (3-5 on the season), the best Central Washington can now do is a .500 campaign. With games at Simon Fraser and at home against Dixie State, that looks likely, but definitely not expected coming into the season.

Regional rankings update
No surprises on the scoreboard which leads to no surprises in the rankings. Pitt State and Midwestern State flip flop in the 1-2 positions (as expected as Pitt State had a bye and MSU defeated a poor Eastern New Mexico team), but the rest of SR4 remains the same.

1. Pitt State (8-0)
2. Midwestern State (8-0)
3. Northwest Missouri (8-1)
4. Washburn (8-1)
5. Abilene Christian (6-2)
6. West Texas A&M (6-2)
7. Missouri Western (7-2)
8. Ouachita Baptist (6-2)
9. Humboldt State (7-1)
10. Central Missouri (6-3)

By default things will shake up on Saturday as No. 1 Pitt State hosts No. 4 Washburn, No. 2 Midwestern State hosts No. 6 WT and No. 3 NW travels to No. 7 MoWest. Fans also shouldn't overlook No. 5 ACU traveling to Texas A&M-Kingsville either. Definitely a difficult road trip for the Wildcats. No. 8 Ouachita Baptist travels to a 2-6 Southeastern Oklahoma team. No. 10 UCM travels to Lindenwood.
For Humboldt, just keep winning, as they travel to Dixie State. What's unfortunate for the Lumberjacks is their SOS will take a hit from playing a 1-8 team, but they can't think like that. They'll just need to focus on winning out. HSU will get a bit of a bump next week by taking on a WOU team that is 6-3 in D2 play.
As for predictions for the rest of the region, on paper Pitt State and MSU should win, but both teams are playing teams (Washburn and WT) that absolutely need wins to keep their seasons going through mid-November. A loss for Washburn isn't as detrimental to the Ichabods as it would be for West Texas (but, depending on how the rest of the SR4 plays out, a three-loss WT team might just make it in due to SOS, the same can be said in the case of ACU), but it wouldn't help WU either. MoWest losing to NW would all but end the Griffon's playoff chances. Ouachita needs to win out and get help. Central Missouri won't be able to jump that significantly in the polls.
But let's play devil's advocate here and put together a scenario where the SR4's Nos. 1, 2 and 3 teams lose this weekend. That would all but end Humboldt's chance at a playoff berth as that would just strengthen the top six in the rankings, with MoWest leap-frogging over WT and/or ACU. HSU needs ACU, WT and MoWest to lose.
The more scenarios that could happen, the worse it gets for a prognosticator, which is great since a game is never won on paper, but instead on the turf.

Jon Guddat covers the GNAC for D2football.