College football

Isaiah Manley, of South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, runs the ball during a game against Western State Colorado University at O'Harra Stadium.

You've heard this before. While driving through a small town: “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.”

The same could be said when watching football in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

“Don’t blink or you’ll miss a touchdown.”

And you don’t have to go very far to see some offensive prowess with the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers, when they are healthy. Behind senior quarterback Jake Sullivan, they can sling it with anybody.

In his last two games, Sullivan has completed 78-of-114 passes for 1,017 yards and eight TDs.

Unfortunately for the Hardrockers, they lost both games.

Two weeks ago the Mines offense set a school record with 775 total yards, breaking the mark they set the week before.

Last week at No. 6 Colorado School of Mines, the Hardrockers went toe-to-toe with the Orediggers in the first half, leading once, before trailing 49-42 at halftime.

Unfortunately for SD Mines, the Orediggers scored 35 points in the third period and didn’t allow any.

South Dakota Mines, Colorado Mines and fellow RMAC foe Adams State have put up some video-game numbers on offense, especially with their passing attacks. Let’s just say the three teams are good at chucking the football and catching it.

Let’s go stat crazy:

• Colorado Mines is second in the country in passing yards with 333.2 per game. The Hardrockers are fifth at 326.8 and Adams State is seventh at 320.9.

• Adams State receiver Chad Hovasse leads the country in receiving yards at 1,198. Colorado Mines’ Peter Anderson is second at 1,154, Isaiah Manley of SD Mines is sixth at 1,016 and Brody Oliver is Colorado Mines is seventh at 1,005.

• Hovasse leads the country with catches per game at 10.8, and his teammate, Marquese Surrell, is tied for third at 8.5. Manley is fifth at 8.1.

• Hovasse leads the country in total receptions with 94 and Manley is second with 73.

• Oliver leads the country in touchdown receptions with 19, Hovasse is second with 18 and Manley is tied for fourth with 11.

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• Isaac Harker of Colorado Mines leads the country in touchdown passes with 34, while Nick Rooney of Adams State is second with 30 and Sullivan is tied for eighth with 24.

• Rooney is third in the nation in completions per game at 26.33 and Sullivan is fourth at 26.22.

• Harker is second in the country in completion percentage at .686.

• Harker is third in passing yardage at 2,874. Sullivan is fourth at 2,864 and Rooney is fifth at 2,755.

• Harker is fourth in passing yardage per game at 319.3. Sullivan is sixth at 318.2 and Rooney is seventh at 306.1.

It’s not just a passing and receiving league, there are a couple of outstanding rushers as well, led by SD Mines’ Connor Silveria and Colorado Mines’ Cameron Mayberry.

• Silveria is fifth in the country in yards per game at 143.9 (he missed one game with injury). He is seventh in total yards rushing at 1,153 and Mayberry is eighth at 1,151.

Gabe Watson of Sioux Falls leads both categories with 1,702 yards and 189.1 per game.

Add it all up and the RMAC is also among the nation’s best.

• Colorado Mine is first in the country in total yards at 552.3 per game. South Dakota Mines is second at 548.7. Last week the Hardrockers led the way.

• South Dakota Mines leads the country in first downs with 261.

• Colorado Mines is second in the country in scoring at 50.6 points a game, with SD Mines is sixth at 44.0 per contest.

As you can guess, the RMAC is an offensive conference. Not so much on defense, although Colorado State-Pueblo is doing its best to hang around in the Top 10 in a couple categories.

The ThunderWolves are sixth in the country in points allowed at 14.2 and ninth in yards allowed at 259.3 per game. Colorado Mines is 48th in points allowed and no other league team makes the top 50 in yards allowed.

Look for the 4-5 Hardrockers to stay among the nation’s leaders on offense for the rest of the season, as they close with a pair of home games — Saturday against a good 6-2 Chadron State College squad and Nov. 10 against one-win Fort Lewis.

If you like offense, O’Harra Stadium is the place to be. Just don’t blink. You might miss a touchdown.

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.