RAPID CITY, S.D – November 3, 2018 – For the fourth time this season, Chadron State College football won a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest after entering the fourth quarter behind on the scoreboard. The Eagles recovered goal-line fumbles by South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in the homestanding Hardrockers’ final possessions of each half, thwarting touchdowns both times in a thrilling 50-46 win on Saturday afternoon in Rapid to retain the Eagle Rock Trophy for the third consecutive season.
I’m kinda speechless,” said CSC Head Football Coach Jay Long. “This is our fourth, fourth-quarter comeback this year. We keep telling our team, ‘This is what tough teams do.’ They keep fighting until the very end. A one-yard line forced fumble to win the game is about as good as it gets. There used to be those ‘No Fear’ shirts, and this is something you’d put on the back of one of those t-shirts.”
The Eagles controlled the game for much of the first half, leading from 12:34 in the first, through the midpoint break. However they gave up 24 consecutive points to the nation’s No. 2 total offense, and 159 yards through the air to the nation’s No. 4 passing quarterback, in the third quarter alone as the hosts stormed to a 43-29 lead just six seconds into the fourth.
Unfazed, Chadron State had drives of 70 and 54 yards on its next two possessions, both resulting in touchdowns, and got a three-and-out stop on defense in-between, to tie the game at 43.
The Eagles fell behind again, however, on Hardrocker Enis Sefa’s third field goal of the game, with 4:48 left to play.
Then, just as it did all fourth quarter, CSC relied on the steady pressure applied by Kevin Coy, Jr, who finished with a career-high 209 yards. Coy rumbled for 101 yards on his last 14 carries, all within the final 15 minutes, to move past 10th-place Mike Fackrell, a CSC Hall of Famer, in the all-time school records.
Stevann Brown capped off the winning drive for the Eagles on a 30-yard scamper with 2:08 showing on the game clock.
Mines quickly recovered to drive the ball 50 yards in 10 plays, taking the clock down to eight seconds with the ball on the CSC 25-yard line. The next play, the Hardrockers’ quarterback Jake Sullivan completed a throw to Anthony Ullrich one yard shy of the endzone, before the Eagles’ Tyler Lewis slammed the ball loose. The fumble was recovered by Chadron State’s Travis Wilson inside the one, and CSC preserved the comeback.
Eagles quarterback Dalton Holst stayed atop the school record books for career passing yards per game, completing 16-of-30 passes for 249 yards to move up to a 226.4 average over 20 contests. He completed two touchdown passes, one each to Tevon Wright and Cole Thurness, to reach 20 scoring throws on the season and 31 for his career. The latter figure puts him alone at ninth in school history.
Thurness went over 100 receiving yards for the third time in four games to lead Chadron State with 110 on seven receptions. One of those, a 70-yard touchdown, was the longest play from scrimmage by either team. Thurness added a 40-yard kickoff return and two special teams tackles, playing in his home town.
Sullivan had 419 yards passing for the Hardrockers on 31-of-46 passing, with two interceptions.
CSC’s starting cornerbacks, Demetrius McFadden and DeAndre Barthwell, each recorded one of those picks. The Eagles were led in tackling by safety Tyree Fryar with 14. Linebacker Keenan Johnson added 13 tackles, including 1.5 sacks. He also forced the fumble against Sullivan which ended the Hardrocker offense’s first half, and which McFadden recovered.
Chadron State will play Colorado School of Mines in Golden on Saturday November 10, in the regular season finale for both teams. With playoff implications on the line for both schools, the game was picked up for production and streaming by the ESPN3 network.
First Downs 29 28
Total Net Yards 600 571
Rushes, Yards 47-351 44-152
Passing Yards 249 419
Passing 16-31-1 31-46-2
Return Yards 87 131
Fumbles, Lost 3-2 2-2
Penalties, Yards 5-50 9-70
Chadron State 22 7 0 21 —50
South Dakota Mines 6 14 17 10 —46
CSC–Kevin Coy 34 run (Brendan Hopkins pass from Calder Forcella)
CSC–Elijah Myles 18 run (Will Morgan kick)
SDM–Anthony Ullrich 46 pass from Jake Sullivan (kick failed)
CSC–Coy 4 run (Morgan kick)
SDM–Connor Silveria 3 run (Enis Sefa kick)
CSC–Cole Thurness 70 pass from Dalton Holst (Morgan kick)
SDM–Chandler Callejo recovered blocked punt in end zone (pass failed)
SDM–Isaiah Manley 7 pass from Sullivan (run failed)
SDM–Joe Luebbers 11 pass from Sullivan (Collin Zur pass from Sullivan)
SDM–Sefa 47 field goal
SDM–Luebbers 8 pass from Sullivan (Sefa kick)
CSC–Trevon Wright 22 pass from Holst (Morgan kick
CSC–Stevann Brown 1 run (Morgan kick)
SDM–Sefa 34 field goal
CSC–Brown 30 run (Morgan kick)
Rushing: CSC–Kevin Coy 25-210, Stevann Brown 9-69, Elijah Myles 11-40, Dalton Holst 1-14. SDM–Zach Hoopman 18-74, Connor Silveria 11-69, Coopsey 1-4, Jake Sullivan 18-3, Isaiah Manley 1-2.
Passing: CSC–Dalton Holst 16-31-1, 249 yards, 2 TDs. SDM–Jake Sullivan 31-46-2, 419 yards, 4 TDs.
Receiving: CSC–Cole Thurness 7-110, Matt Vargas 2-35, Tevon Wright 2-34, Chad Mikelson 1-33, Brandon Fullerton 2-24, Jake Henderson 2-13, SDM–Joe Luebbers 8-140, Anthony Ullrich 7-116, Isaish Manley 9-106, Cropsay 3-25, Murphey 2-22, Collin Zur 2-10.
Kickoff Returns: CSC–Stevann Brown 3-47, Cole Thurness 1-49. SDM–Isaiah Manley 3-50, Griffin 1-4. Punt Returns: SDM–Singleton 1-19, Chandler Collejo 0-12.
Tackles: CSC–Tyree Fryar 5-9, 14; Keenan Johnson 8-5, 13; Tyler Lewis 5-7, 12; Malik Goss 7-2, 10; Zech James 5-4, 9; Kyle Temple 4-3, 7; DeAndre Barthwell 5-0, 5. SDM–Bryan Ukunna 4-8, 12; Justin Broekemeier 7-3, 10; Adrian Eastman 5-3, 8; Mark Vinson 2-3, 5; Dom Jackson, 4-1,5.