From the overused sports cliché department, "a win is a win."

Coaches and players have it tucked away for each time their team pulls out a victory in unimpressive form.

Or maybe they win by just pure luck.

Regardless, they are all right.

A win is a win.

For the South Dakota School of Mines football team, Saturday night’s 41-40 victory over Dixie State University qualifies. The Hardrockers were able to escape from beautiful St. George, Utah, with a win because the Dixie State kicker missed the extra point in overtime that would have sent the game into another overtime.

Yeah, you can say that was kind of lucky.

At the same time, who’s to say that it wasn’t the Mines special team’s pressure on the young kicker that forced it wide right. Maybe wasn’t the best hold; maybe he just missed it.

Regardless, the Hardrockers scored 41 points in the game and the Red Storm scored 40.

That’s a win, whether you’re up by 40 or up by one. They all count the same.

It’s also a win that Mines badly needed, coming off a four-game losing skid in which it had given up 219 points.

It was also the ‘Rockers first-ever Great Northwest Athletic Conference, which, at least for the moment, moves them out of last place in the conference. The Red Storm, needing that elusive victory as well, remains winless in league play.

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Mines put itself in position to win without any drama, leading 27-10 at halftime. But that drama came creeping back when Dixie State scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to take a seven-point lead late in the contest.

The Hardrockers, however, tied the game at 34-all with 50 seconds left in regulation and scored on one play in overtime to take the lead.

Sometimes drama isn't so bad.

With two weeks left in the season, the Hardrockers, 2-7 overall, have a chance now to at least finish with some momentum, with home wins over Southwest Baptist and Western Oregon.

That would be "better than not winning."

Let's add that to the sports cliché department.

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.