Chadron State College Eagles' Head Football Coach Jay Long takes the field prior to the team's loss to Colorado State University - Pueblo, Sept. 14. Now 1-4, the Eagles will look to get back to winning against Adams State, Saturday.

The 2019 football season has already been unpredictable for the Chadron State Eagles. Some prognosticators expected their record would be something like 4-1 midway through the schedule, but instead they are 1-4.

Now the Eagles will host Adams State, a team that has been an interesting opponent over the years. Kickoff will be at noon Saturday at Elliott Field.

Last year’s game was the wildest of the series. Played in Alamosa, it produced some eye-popping numbers. They included 1,124 total net yards, 18 touchdowns, 167 offensive snaps, 58 first downs and 127 points. It was one of six games in the 30-game series that the Eagles didn’t win. The final score was Adams State 65, Chadron State 62.

It was one of the Colorado team’s four victories in 2018. The Eagles finished 7-3.

The Grizzlies never led by more than two touchdowns in last year’s shoot out, but Chadron State led only once--49-45 some 48 seconds into the fourth quarter. Adams State owned a 45-42 halftime margin. Neither team scored in the third period and both tallied 20 points in the fourth.

The Grizzlies piled up 658 total net yards compared to the Eagles’ 466. But Chadron State more than made up the difference on kickoff returns. Jackson Dickerson returned seven kickoffs for 201 yards and Stevann Brown returned three for 116 yards. Their total of 10 KO returns for 317 yards set a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record.

Quarterbacks generally compile some outlandish stats in game when at least 120 points are scored. Last year’s contest was no exception. The Grizzlies’ Nick Rooney completed 32 of 44 passes for 386 yards and six touchdowns. CSC Defensive Coordinator Craig Jersild said Rooney was probably the most dangerous quarterback the Eagles faced last fall. Thankfully, he’s graduated.

The Eagles’ Dalton Holst didn’t connect on nearly as many aerials, but his 12 completions netted 205 yards and five touchdowns. And, he’s ringing up big numbers again this season. Read on.

The Grizzlies will come to town with a 3-2 record after being defeated by Colorado Mines 41-10 in the opener, then toppling New Mexico Highlands 41-27, Black Hills State 45-31 and Western Colorado 38-31, the latter by scoring a touchdown with 29 seconds remaining.

This past Saturday while Western Colorado nipped the Eagles 33-32, Fort Lewis caged the Grizzlies 28-9, both at least mild upsets.

The Adams State offense managed just 29 yards rushing and two quarterbacks completed 17 of 42 passes for 172 yards versus the Skyhawks. The previous week, the Grizzlies rushed for 110 yards and threw for 370 against Western Colorado.

Through five games this season, Chadron State is averaging 454.8 yards of offense and Adams State 402.8. The Eagles’ Holst has completed 115 of 215 passes for 1,428 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Adams’ quarterback John Buksa, a 6-0, 180-pound junior, is No. 2 on the RMAC passing list with 87 completions on 179 attempts for 1,268 yards and 12 TDs. His favorite target is Tariq Bitson, a 6-2, 200 senior, with 34 catches for 713 yards and nine touchdowns, each of them the best in the conference.

The Grizzlies’ Alani Puputau, a 6-2, 235-pound junior, leads the RMAC with 7.5 quarterback sacks. CSC linebacker Travis Wilson is the conference’s busiest tackler with 57, including 34 that are unassisted. The Eagles’ other inside linebacker is fourth with 49 stops, 27 of them solos.

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