Colorado Mines posted a “quick-strike” touchdown in each quarter Saturday afternoon while defeating Chadron State 27-15 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference clash at Elliott Field.
Taking advantage of a pair of short punts into the wind that gave the Eagles possession at the opponents’ 33- and 36-yard lines, Chadron State built a 9-0 lead on Will Morgan’s 34-yard field goal and Derek Jackson’s two-yard run on its first two possessions.
But the Orediggers had quick, big play capabilities. Their time of possession on their four scoring drives totaled only four minutes and seven seconds. They were completed in four, two, five and one plays, respectively, from scrimmage.
Tailback Cameron Mayberry, who carried 23 times for 150 yards, scored the first and last Mines’ touchdowns on runs of 23 and 27 yards. He also raced 46 yards prior to his first scoring jaunt.
Mines’ other touchdowns came on quarterback Cody Limmer’s 29-yard pass to Brody Oliver in the second quarter and a 39-yard hookup with Riley Hoff in the third.
For the game, Limmer, a junior who was making his first career start, completed 13 of 19 passes for 216 yards and was not intercepted.
After Mines’ second touchdown pass, Eagles’ quarterback Dalton Holst completed six of eight passes during a 75-yard drive that Jackson concluded with a one-yard plunge to close the gap to 20-15 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
However, the Orediggers reclaimed the momentum early in the fourth frame when Hoff returned a punt 28 yards and Mayberry dashed the remaining 27 yards to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage.
Mayberry is the RMAC’s leading rusher this fall with 1,141 yards.
Chadron State had another drive brewing midway in the final period, but Mines’ linebacker Dean Wenger intercepted his second pass of the day and returned it 31 yards to snuff the threat.
Wenger’s initial interception was a diving grab of a deflected pass to set up the second period touchdown pass from Limmer to Oliver. Wenger also led Mines in tackles with 11, nine of them solos, and is this week’s RMAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Both teams are now 5-4 for the season and 5-3 in the conference. Chadron State still leads the all-time series 23-17, but Mines has won the last five times they’ve met.
CSC coach Jay Long said Mines probably is the best defensive team the Eagles have played this year, and added that his team never found its rhythm offensively.
Because the Orediggers cashed in their scoring drives so quickly, they netted only 14 first downs compared Chadron State’s 22. Mines totaled 358 yards and the Eagles 328. CSC ran 86 plays, 30 more than the Orediggers, and had a nine-minute bulge in time of possession. However, the Eagles averaged just 3.6 yards a play and Mines 6.4.
Jackson carried 27 times for 104 yards, but had to work hard for them as open spaces were almost impossible to find. It was Jackson’s fourth straight 100-yard game. He now has 843 yards this season and 2,886 yards for his career.
Holst completed 23 of 40 passes for 200 yards. He threw both of picks that Wegner claimed. TD Stein, who missed the first seven games because of an injury, directed CSC’s first touchdown drive and completed three of six passes for 19 yards.
Wide receiver Jackson Dickerson led the CSC receivers with 12 catches for 88 yards. Oliver caught seven passes for 74 yards for Mines. No one else had more than one reception for the Orediggers, but the catches by Hoff, Zach Peterson, David Summers and Sean O’Dell each gained at least 31 yards.
Safety Brian Wood was the Eagles’ busiest tackler with 13. CSC’s Zach Kozlik averaged 46.9 yards on seven punts.
First Downs 14 22
Total Net Yards 358 328
Rushes, Yards 37-142 39-109
Passing Yards 216 219
Passing 13-19-0 26-47-2
Return Yards 123 97
Punts, Average 8-27.5 7-46.9
Fumbles, Lost 3-0 1-0
Penalties, Yards 4-44 6-49
Colorado Mines 7 6 7 7 ----27
Chadron State 9 0 6 0 ----15
CSC—Will Morgan 34 field goal.
CSC—Derek Jackson 2 run (run failed)
CSM—Cameron Mayberry 23 run (Grayson Harris kick)
CSM—Brody Oliver 29 pass from Cody Limmer (kick blocked)
CSM—Riley Hoff 39 pass from Limmer (Harris kick)
CSC—Jackson 1 run (pass failed)
CSM—Mayberry 27 run (Harris kick)
Rushing: CSM—Cameron Mayberry 23-150, Zac Guy 7-13, Cody Limmer 4-11, team 3-minus 32. CSC—Derek Jackson 27-104, Kevin Coy 3-6, TD Stein 3-6, Priest Jennings 1-1, Dalton Holst 5-minus 8.
Passing: CSM—Cody Limmer 13-19-0, 216 yards, 2 TDs. CSC—Dalton Holst 23-40-2, 200 yards, TD Stein 3-6-0, 19 yards.
Kickoff Returns: CSM—Cameron Mayberry 2-39, Oliver 1-15; CSC—Stevann Brown 3-47, Derek Jackson 1-28. Punt Returns: CSM—Riley Hoff 2-38. CSC—Chris Harris 1-22. Interception Returns: CSM—Dean Wenger 2-31.
Receiving: CSM-Brody Oliver 7-74, Riley Hoff 1-38, Zach Peterson 1-38, David Summers 1-35, Sean O’Dell 1-31, Cameron Mayberry 1-0, Zac Guy 1-minus 1. CSC—Jackson Dickerson 12-88, Colt Foster 5-34, Tevon Wright 4-41, Stevann Brown 2-29, Matt Vargas 2-16, Cole Thurness 1-11.
Tackles: CSM—Dean Wenger 9-2, 11; James Kohlschmidt 5-5, 10; Drew Stephan 6-3-9; Averie Mansfield 2-6, 8. CSC—Brian Wood 5-8-13; Tyler Lewis 5-4, 9; Tyler Kiess 2-5, 7; Collin Eisenman 2-4, 6.