CHADRON – With its offense clicking better, the Chadron State College football team maintained possession of the Eagle Rock Trophy Saturday night by downing South Dakota Mines, 31-20, in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest in Chadron.
Quarterback Dalton Holst completed 22 of 29 passes for 327 yards while leading the Eagles on four long touchdown drives. They also rushed for 156 yards, giving them 493 yards of total offense, converted on 11 of 15 third down situations and had no turnovers.
The Eagles, who never trailed, opened the scoring on a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Alternate tailback Jeydon Coxscored the first touchdown of his career on a two-yard run with 2:53 left in the opening quarter.
A 35-yard field goal by Gunnar Jones with 9:47 remaining in the second period put the Eagles ahead 10-0, but the Eagles led by only 17-13 at halftime.
The Hardrockers got their first touchdown with 4:55 left in the second frame, when quarterback Jayden Johannsen ran the final six yards to cap an 11-play, 62-yard drive.
Chadron State retaliated in a hurry when senior receiver Chad Mikelson got behind the Mines secondary, hauled in Holst’s long pass and took it the distance for a 64-yard TD.
But with just 18 seconds left before halftime, Mines scored on Ahmed Lewis’s nine-yard run shortly after he’d gained 18 yards on a short pass from Johannsen.
The Eagles had not scored in the second halves of their first two games, but put together a 15-play, 95-yard drive that took nine minutes off the clock to reach the end zone late in the third quarter on a seven-yard pass from Holst to running back Elijah Myles.
Chadron State increased its lead to 31-13 early in the fourth quarter by going 72 yards in 75 seconds. Wide receiver Montel Gladney made a spectacular catch of a 32-yard pass from Holst and two plays later, freshman tailback Dorian Collier, seeing his first action of the season, broke away for a 33-yard scoring jaunt.
Mines made things interesting on its ensuing possession, going 75 yards in 15 plays. The big play was the last one—a 23-yard pass from Johannsen to his favorite target, Jeremiah Bridges, on fourth down with 6:32 left in the game.
When they got the ball back, a holding penalty soon put the Eagles on their own six-yard line, but Holst and Mikelson hooked up on a 36-yard pass to give them some breathing room and secure their 15th straight win over the Hardrockers.
Mikelson finished with five catches for 149 yards while Rapid City native Cole Thurness caught seven passes for 51 yards. Myles was the game’s workhorse, carrying 21 times for 79 yards. Collier had just three carries for 61.
Johannsen completed 18 of 31 tosses for 166 yards and also rushed 11 times for 72 yards. Bridges caught seven passes for 75 yards. The Hardrockers finished with 284 yards in total offense, 199 fewer than the Eagles.