Payten Gilmore scored three touchdowns and broke the single game rushing record as the Black Hills State University football team earned its first win of the season with a 42-7 win over New Mexico Highlands University Saturday at a snowy Lyle Hare Stadium.
Gilmore, who missed two games with an injury before returning last week against South Dakota School of Mines, ran for 248 yards, four yards better than Phydell Paris's effort against Highlands in 2016. He averaged 11.3 yards a carry and scored on touchdown runs of 4, 23 and 60 yards.
BHSU coach John Reiners said that anytime you get a win, it is one thing, but if you can get a record-setting performance and the win, it's that much more special.
"Payten is a kid who has worked hard all year following an icon at Black Hills State with Phydell Paris," he said. "He's just doing what he does; he just works hard. Kudos to our O-line, kudos to our receivers ... everybody. I thought our guys a tremendous job."
Black Hills State dominated the Cowboys from the start, leading 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and 28-7 at halftime.
Reiners said his team did a good job of executing on offense and defense, and their mentality of persevering came through.
"They've had their backs against the wall, not finishing games, and the offense being on point one game and the defense another game, and just not playing well like last week against Tech," he said. "But these guys have never given up. They had a great week of practice and just refocused. New Mexico Highlands was their whole focus."
It was defense that got the Jackets going as Kolten Johnson intercepted NMHU quarterback Danny Cameron on the third play of the game to set up the BHSU offense went 42 yards in five plays, culminating in a 26-yard pass from Ryan Hommel to Zane Lindsey.
The second Cowboy possession ended in a Johnson forced turnover as well, this time a fumble. Once again, the Yellow Jackets made sure to take advantage of the field position, going 42 yards in four plays, as Gilmore scored his first touchdown of the day, a 4-yard rush, to put BHSU up 14-0. NMHU was able to score with 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter to narrow the score to 14-7.
The Yellow Jackets came right back and scored on their first drive of the second quarter. Gilmore rushed 33 yards on the first play of the possession, and on the following snap, ran 23 yards into the end zone, giving BHSU a 21-7 lead with 13:03 left in the first half.
For the next 12 minutes, neither team was able to move the ball productively, but after Johnson and Austin Goddard sacked the quarterback twice to force a turnover on downs, Black Hills State got the ball back with 19 seconds to play in the half and wasted no time putting more points on the board, taking the ball 56 yards in 19 seconds, with Dylan Reiners catching a 45-yard pass from Hommel to give the Yellow Jackets a 28-7 lead at halftime.
Despite the snow buildup on the field, BHSU opened the second half with a first possession score to keep the momentum going. Gilmore broke out for a 60-yard touchdown. On the following Yellow Jacket drive, Gilmore set up the offense with a 43-yard rush on the initial snap. Jack Walbye came in as the back on the second play, and rushed it in from 22 yards out, putting the Jackets up 42-7.
The fourth quarter was scoreless, as the Yellow Jacket defense kept the Cowboys off the board for the final 45 minutes of the game to earn the elusive first victory of the season.
For one of the few times in the last couple of seasons, the Yellow Jackets didn't play from behind.
"When we can execute early in the game and take advantage of opportunities, you're not playing behind the sticks, you're playing with a lead rather than playing from behind," Reiners said. "It played into our guys favor."
Hommel threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns, while Lindsey (64 yards) and Reiners (45 yards) caught a score. Walbye finished with 33 yards rushing and a touchdown. Defensively, Goddard led the Yellow Jackets with 11 total tackles, recording 2.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks. Josh Gurnaby had 10 tackles.
For the Cowboys, Danny Cameron threw for 23 yards and a touchdown, which Jason Aguirre caught. Dione Alston had 118 rushing yards.
The Yellow Jackets, 1-6, stay home Saturday when they host Colorado Mesa University.
Christion leads South Dakota State by Youngstown State 36-7
BROOKINGS — Taryn Christion threw for one touchdown and ran for two more, setting a Missouri Valley Conference record for total offense, and South Dakota State rolled to a 36-7 win over Youngstown State on Saturday.
Christion connected with Cade Johnson for a 23-yard score three minutes into the game and added scoring runs of 49 and 11 yards in the fourth quarter. The long touchdown gave Christion 10,969 yards of total offense, passing 10,952 by Matt Brown of Illinois State from 2009-12. C.J. Wilson, who had 119 yards on 16 carries, added a 48-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
After the Jackrabbits (4-1, 2-1 MVC) opened the scoring, they missed their extra point and the Penguins (2-4, 1-2) took the lead with a 78-yard drive, capped by a 27-yard pass from Montgomery VanGorder to Christian Turner.
The Jacks, the fifth-ranked FCS team, responded with a go-ahead field goal on the next drive and pushed the lead to 16-7 on Mikey Daniel's 1-yard TD run in the final minute of the first half.
Dunne's 5 TDs lead Northern Iowa past South Dakota, 42-28
VERMILLION, — Eli Dunne threw for 257 yards and four touchdowns, ran for a fifth and piloted Northern Iowa to a 42-28 Missouri Valley Conference victory over South Dakota on Saturday night.
The Coyotes took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and held a 13-7 advantage after Austin Simmons hit Kai Henry with a touchdown pass from 3 yards out.
Dunne answered with two touchdowns in the final minute of the first half, hitting Marcus Weymiller with a 9-yard strike to take the lead, 14-13, and after South Dakota (3-3, 2-1) fumbled the ensuing kickoff Dunne scored from the 1 with 18 seconds left.
Brandon Thull scored from the 2 and Simmons connected for a two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21, but the Panthers (3-3, 2-1) scored three touchdowns in under five minutes to put the game out of reach.