The Black Hills State football team hung with unbeaten and No. 5 Colorado School of Mines in the first half, before the Orediggers pulled away in the second half for a 41-20 win Saturday at Lyle Hare Stadium in Spearfish.
Colorado Mines jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the first half before the Jackets rallied for two touchdowns to cut the lead to six at halftime. But Mines jumped back in front by double digits with two touchdowns in the third quarter and never looked back.
The loss dropped the Yellow Jackets to 2-2 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play and 4-2 overall. Mines moved to 4-0 in league play and 6-0 on the season.
Colorado Mines scored 10 points in each of the first two quarters on a pair of touchdown passes from John Matocha to Josh Johnston, 25 and 22 yards, while Jacob Click had field goals of 28 and 31 yards.
Down 20-0, BHSU got on the board with a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Matchew Collier.
The Yellow Jackets defense kept the Orediggers at bay the rest of the first half, giving the offense the opportunity to score one more time before the half. On their final drive of the first half, Collier got BHSU into striking distance with a 49-yard rush before Chance Eben found Kieler Harpham in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown as they went into the locker room down 20-14.
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Out of the half, CSM drove down to the BHSU 10 on their first drive, but missed a field goal attempt, keeping it a 20-14 game. They would find the end zone on their next two drives — on another Motocha to Johnston TD pass from 29 yards and a 30-yard scoring pass from Motocha to Tristan Smith — to take a 34-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Yellow Jackets scored to open the fourth on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jamin Wurtz to pull the score back to within two possessions at 34-20 with over 11 minutes left to play.
BHSU stopped the Orediggers on their ensuing drive to get the ball back with about 10 minutes to go, but ended up getting stopped by the CSM defense.
Mines would answer with a 13-yartd TD run by Michael Zeman with 2:55 to play to seal the win.
Colorado Mines finished with 514 yards of total offense as Motocha had a huge game with 362 yards passing and four TDs, completing 29-of-35 passes. Zeman added 116 yards rushing on 29 carries.
Smith caught 10 passes for 117 yards and Johnston added six receptions for 91 yards and the three scores.
The Yellow Jackets totaled 278 yards of total offense, including 183 rushing. Collier led the rushing attack with a touchdown on 125 yards, his fourth game this season with 100-plus rushing yards.
Wurtz and Harpham each had a receiving touchdown, as Wurtz hauled in five passes for 30 yards and Harpham four for 24 yards.
Chance Eben was 11 of 25 passing for 95 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 50 yards on the ground on 12 runs.
The Yellow Jackets head to Gunnison, Colo. to take on Western Colorado on Saturday at 1 p.m.
CSU-Pueblo pulls away to beat Chadron State
Chadron State scored the first 10 points, and despite giving up a 54-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the second quarter, trailed Colorado State-Pueblo by just 14-10 at halftime.
However, with a brisk west wind at their backs, the ThunderWolves tallied 28 points in the third period and defeated the Eagles 42-17 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game played in Chadron, Neb., on Saturday afternoon.
Now 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference, the Wolves outgained the Eagles 410 to 330 yards, and were aided by three pass interceptions and a strip fumble that they converted into a touchdown on the next play.
“We can’t turn the ball over to a good team like Pueblo and expect to win,” Chadron State Coach Jay Long said. “I’m disappointed. I don’t know what else to say. We did a good job early in the game, but a lot of things went wrong in the third quarter.”
The Eagles are now 2-4 for the season and 2-3 in the RMAC.
Chadron State drove the opening kickoff 66 yards in eight plays before settling for a 26-yard field goal by Gunnar Jones.
The Eagles went ahead 10-0 early in the second quarter after CSC quarterback Dalton Holst connected with Ali Musa on a 46-yard pass that carried to the Pueblo 14. Alternate tailback Dorian Collier scored six plays later on fourth and goal from the one.
The Wolves drove 80 yards in 12 plays for their first touchdown, which came on a 3-yard pass from quarterback Devin Williams to Nick Bingham.
Williams completed four straight passes, the longest a 14-yarder, before connecting with Matt Fine on a 56-yarder for the go-ahead touchdown with just nine seconds left on the clock.
The ThunderWolves also got the third period off to a great start. Chadron State’s first pass of the quarter was picked off by linebacker Patrick Howell and returned 23 yards to the end zone.
Pueblo tailback Michael Roots scored the Wolves’ next three touchdowns, giving his team a 42-10 lead and the end of the third.
Roots, a 5-11, 211-pound senior, finished with 20 carries for 136 yards and four receptions for 37 yards.
The Eagles posted the only points in the fourth frame, when sophomore tailback Jeydon Cox went the final yard after the Wolves’ punt from out of their own end zone went just 10 yards and the Eagles took over on the visitors’ 11.
With the Eagles forced to play without their leading ball carrier, Elijah Myles, because of an injury, Cox took up a lot of the slack. The 5-8, 170-pound sophomore rushed 18 times for 110 yards and caught six passes for 58.
Holst completed 17 of 29 passes for 181 yards, but was intercepted three times after throwing just two picks in 163 attempts entering the game.
Williams completed 23 of 31 passes for 219 yards. Nick Williams, apparently no relation, was the Wolves’ leading receiver with eight catches for 57 yards.