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Eagles explode past Skyhawks 60-7

The Chadron State Eagles rolled up 553 yards and scored nine touchdowns Saturday while romping past Fort Lewis 60-7 at Elliott Field. The winners are now 4-4 for the season and 4-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with three games remaining.

The Eagles scored on their opening play, a 67-yard bomb from quarterback Dalton Holst to wide receiver Chad Mikelson as he streaked down the field pretty much wide open. CSC added a two-point conversion when Travis Morgan, a linebacker by trade, took the snap from center and ran straight ahead after the line opened a gaping hole.

Chadron State’s second pass was intercepted by the Skyhawks’ Jalani Blade, helping keep the Eagles off the scoreboard the remainder of the first quarter, along with a roughing the punter call against CSC.

However, the Eagles made up for lost time in the second period, scoring five touchdowns while erupting for 35 points to take a 43-0 halftime lead.

The Eagles’ initial two second quarter TDs also came on pass plays that capped drives of 79 and 88 yards. The first was a five-yarder from Holst to inside receiver Cole Thurness after running back Jeydon Cox had caught a 31-yard toss and Mickelson grabbed a 16-yarder. The other score came on a 20-yard hook up from Holst to Mikelson a couple of plays after Holst and Thurness had teamed up for a 37-yard aerial.

Fort Lewis fumbles deep in its own territory set the stage for two CSC touchdown drives that were much shorter. Cox ran 14 yards to the end zone the first time and freshman Brock Ping went the final five yards for the second score, landing on his head in the end zone with the ball still tucked under his arm. The drives began at the Skyhawks’ 17- and 12-yard lines.

Defensive tackle Kobi Whipple and Wilson collected the loose pigskins for the Eagles.

After already catching two TD passes, Mikelson closed out the second period onslaught by leaping over one defender and breaking a couple of tackle attempts during an electrifying 55-yard punt return to paydirt.

The Eagles added another touchdown in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Thurness after he took a direct snap from center. Freshman tailback Dorian Collier, who was the game’s leading rusher with 15 carries for 120 yards, set it up with a 22-yard run.

The Skyhawks also scored in the third period, when defensive back Clayton Rust picked off alternate quarterback Mason Hamilton’s pass along the north sidelines and took it 65 yards to the end zone. Even Chadron State partisans may have been happy to see the struggling visitors finally have some success.

Chadron State closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter when Ping dove two yards into the end zone after Hamilton, undaunted by the interception, connected with Ali Musi on a 45-yard strike and Gunnar Jones booted a 22-yard field goal. Jones also was perfect on all eight extra points he attempted, extending his streak to 29 this fall.

Collier’s 56-yard gallop set up the field goal.

The Eagles finished with 231 yards rushing and 322 passing. Holst, who is closing in on 11,000 career yards passing, completed 12 of 16 attempts for 258 yards. Mikelson had three receptions for 103 yards and Thurness four for 74.

CSC was a perfect seven-of-seven in the red zone, scoring six touchdowns and the field goal.

Chadron State Coach Jay Long said the line had much to do with the Eagles’ offensive success, and also praised the defense and special teams for playing extra well. The Eagles had seven quarterback sacks totaling 56 yards. As a result, the winless Skyhawks had a negative 25 yards rushing. They completed 10 of 18 passes for 51 yards, but finished with only 26 total net yards.

This was the 10th time since 1979 that Eagles’ foes finished the game with negative yards rushing. The all-time low is minus 44 by Colorado Mines in 2002. The net yardage figure is believed to be the second lowest versus the Eagles since ’79.

Skyhawks’ punter Matt Ward gave his team a boost Saturday by averaging 41.3 yards on 10 punts.

Long said the scoring gap allowed numerous Eagles, both youngsters trying to make an impression and veterans who have worked hard in practice and stayed with the program, to get on the field.

Now 0-8 for the season, Fort Lewis has never been a RMAC power, but upset the Eagles 37-30 just two years ago in Durango.

; FLC; CSC

First Downs; 7; 26

Total Net Yards; 26; 553

Rushes, Yards; 36-minus 25; 30-231

Passing Yards; 52; 322

Passing; 10-18-0; 16-23-2

Return Yards; 193; 156

Punts, Average; 11-39.7; 2-46.5

Fumbles, Lost; 2-2; 0-0

Penalties; 10-86; 11-105

Fort Lewis 0 0 7 0 ----7

Chadron State 7 35 7 10 ---60

CSC—Chad Mikelson 67 pass from Dalton Holst (Travis Wilson run)

CSC—Chad Thurness 5 pass from Holst (Gunnar Jones kick)

CSC—Mikelson 19 pass from Holst (Jones kick)

CSC—Jeydon Cox 14 run (Jones kick)

CSC—Brock Ping 5 run (Jones kick)

CSC—Mikelson 55 punt return (Jones kick)

CSC—Thurness 2 run (Jones kick)

FLC—Clayton Rutz 55 pass interception (Hunter Villavicencio kick)

CSC—Ping 2 run (Jones kick)

CSC—Jones 22 field goal

Rushing: FLC—Emmanuel Nwosu 16-13, Jeff Hansen 9-13, Brayden Lucero 5-6, Jack Hanenburg 7-minus 25, Arman Hickson 6-minus 31. CSC—Dorian Collier 15-120, Brock Ping 7-56, Jeydon Cox 7-32, Dalton Holst 4-20, Mason Hamilton 3-5, Cole Thurness 1-2.

Passing: FLC—Armon Hickson 8-11-0 50 yards; Jack Hananburg 2-7-0, 1 yard. CSC—Dalton Holst 12-16-1, 258 yards, 3 TDs; Mason Hamilton 4-7-1, 64 yards.

Receiving: FLC—Dylan Holt 3-14, Jeff Hansen 2-13, Zach Russell 2-3, Alex Motier 1-9, Jordan Cummings 1-8, Emanuel Nwosu 1-4. CSC—Chad Mikelson 3-102, Cole Thurness 4-74; Ali Musi 3-60, Peter Krohn 3-40, Jeydon Cox 2-42, Grant Swenson 1-4.

Punt Returns: CSC—Chad Mikelson 1-55, Cole Thurness 3-37, Ju’Wan Murphy 2-14. Kickoff Returns: FLC—Kieran Fry 5-84. CSC—Jeydon Cox 1-28, Ju’Wan Murphy 1-22. Interception Returns: FLC—Clayton Rutz 1-65, Jalani Blade 1-44.

Tackles: FLC—Jayden Helms 5-4, 9; Josiah Flores 5-3, 8; Markez Boykin 5-0, 5. CSC—Joey Geil, 5-2, 7; Gabe Perkins 4-3, 7; Kobe Whipple 2-5, 7; Travis Wilson 5-1-6; Kael Juelfs 3-1, 4; Xavier Harrell 1-3, 4.

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