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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Hardrockers to face No. 5 Orediggers in Colorado

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Peterson celebrates

South Dakota Mines junior linebacker Cole Peterson celebrates after sacking Fort Lewis College sophomore quarterback Brayden Miller at O'Harra Stadium in Rapid City. The Hardrockers are at No. 5 Colorado Mines Saturday.

It's the battle of Mines on the football field, as South Dakota Mines takes on Colorado Mines Saturday in Golden, Colo.

Kickoff for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game is set for 12 p.m.

The Hardrockers have won two straight and are 2-2 in league play and 4-2 overall. It is their best start since the 2016 season, but it will also be their toughest challenge, as Colorado Mines is unbeaten at 6-0 and ranked fifth in Division II.

The Orediggers are coming off a 41-20 win over Black Hills State last week in Spearfish in a game that was tight in the first half, with Mines up 20-14.

South Dakota Mines head coach Charlie Flohr said they will have their hands full against one of the top teams in the country.

"Coach (Gregg) Brandon has done an unbelievable job to continue the tradition down there at Colorado Mines," he said. "We're just excited for the opportunity to go down there and play. It's a tough game and it means a lot to a lot of people. We know we are going to have to play our best to beat them."

Colorado Mines is scoring 38.5 points per game, and giving up 11.8 per game. Both are the best in the conference. The Oredigger defense also leads the RMAC and is 8th in the nation, allowing 238.7 yards per game.

Quarterback John Matocha is 12th in the nation in passing efficiency at 165.4. Last week against BHSU, he was 29-of-35 passing for 362 yards and four TDs.

Michael Zeman has 683 total rushing yards on the season, the second most in the RMAC. Tristan Smith is second in the RMAC in receptions and yards with 34 catches for 373 yards.

Nolan Reeve is their defensive leader, with 35 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 7 tackles for loss.

The Hardrocker offense is averaging 33.3 points per game, the fourth best in the RMAC.

Redshirt freshman Jayden Johannsen leads the team offensively with 374 yards rushing and seven TDs, while completing 99-of-158 passes for eight touchdowns. Over the last two weeks, Johannsen has 735 total yards and nine total touchdowns. Kaleb Roth has 304 yards rushing, averaging 5.8 yards a game.

Jeremiah Bridges and Isaiah Eastman both have 25 catches to lead the way, with Bridges scoring four TDs. Collin Zur has 22 catches.

Defensively, the Hardrockers have recorded 16 sacks, with eight coming last week.

Kyante Christian and Gavin Chaddock are in the top 10 with 5.5 and four sacks on the season. Christian has also 5.5 tackles for loss.

BHSU at No. 24 Colorado Western

The Black Hills State football team will face a Top 25 team for the second straight week, as the yellow Jackets take on No. 24 Western State Saturday in Gunnison, Colo.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Last Saturday BHSU fell to No. 5 Colorado Mines 41-20 at Lyle Hare Stadium in spearfish. The loss dropped the Yellow Jackets to 2-2 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play and 4-2 overall.

Western Colorado is 4-1 in league play and 5-1 overall. It's the first time in school history that the Mountaineers have been ranked nationally in the top 25. Western Colorado held off New Mexico Highlands 45-38 last week.

On the season defensively, the Mountaineers are allowing just 15.33 points per game, which is second in the RMAC (just behind of Colorado School of Mines). They are also second in the RMAC in total defense, allowing 269.8 yards per game. Individually, Robert Garlock leads the team with 37 tackles.

Offensively, running back Josh Cummings leads the team in rushing with 645 yards and leads the RMAC with 11 rushing touchdowns, tied for fifth in the nation. Deyvon Butler has rushed for 138 yards and one touchdown as well for the Mountaineers.

The Yellow Jackets offensively continue to be led by junior running back Matthew Collier who has 527 yards on the season, averaging 8.2 yards a carry. Quarterback Chance Eben has 230 yards rushing with five touchdowns while completing 68-of-117 passes for 694 yards and seven touchdowns.

Rapid City Stevens graduate Jamin Wurtz leads the team in receptions with 12 for 116 yards and one TD (last week against Colorado Mines), while Connor Boyd and Kielar Harpham both had 11 catches.

Defensively, Doodles Quinones leads the team with 64 tackles, as Jarrell Ganaway leads the team with three sacks for 25 yards.

Chadron State to face Adams State in Alamosa

The Chadron State College football team will be seeking to even its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record at Saturday when it meets the Adams State Grizzlies in Alamosa, Colo.

Kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

The Eagles, who are 2-4 for the season and 2-3 in league play, jumped out to a 10-0 lead last Saturday while hosting Colorado State-Pueblo, but the ThunderWolves scored the next six touchdowns and won 42-17.

Adams State is still seeking its first win at 0-4 in the RMAC and 0-6 overall. The Grizzlies opened with non-conference losses to Western New Mexico (35-17) and Eastern New Mexico (42-14) before beginning its RMAC schedule.

Last Saturday, Colorado Mesa stopped the Grizzlies 49-14.

The Grizzlies' leading rusher is Tyreik Campbell with 95 carries for 499 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback John Buksa has completed 58 of 124 passes for 867 yards and seven TDs. He has not been intercepted this season.

The Eagles are led by senior quarterback Dalton Holst, who has completed 107-of-193 passes for 1,343 yards and seven touchdowns. Elijah Miles has 410 yards rushing and three TDs, while St. Thomas More graduate Cole Thurness leads the way with 29 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Chad Mikelson has 21 receptions for 370 yards and three scores.

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