By Con Marshall Chadron Record BOX SCORE
The long Chadron State College winning streak over South Dakota Mines ended Saturday with a 28-7 loss in Rapid City.
The Hardrockers scored a touchdown in each quarter and limited the Eagles to just one score in the final game of the season for both teams. Mines finishes with a 7-4 record and the Eagles at 3-7.
Chadron State had won the last 15 games between the longtime rivals dating back to 1989 and including the seven that had been played since the Hardrockers joined the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The winner gains possession of the Eagle-Rock Trophy.
A majority of the recent games have been high-scoring affairs, but both teams’ defense played extra well Saturday.
The Hardrockers were paced by sophomore quarterback Jayden Johannsen, who completed 28 of 41 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 49 yards for his team’s second touchdown.
The Sioux Falls native, who is the only South Dakotan on the Hardrockers’ two-deep offensive depth chart, made big use of two senior receivers. Jeremiah Briggs caught 12 passes for 123 yards and Isaiah Eastman grabbed seven for 85. Both finished the season with more than 1,100 yards receiving.
Despite leading his team to victory, things weren’t always easy for Johannsen. He was sacked seven times for a negative 50 yards, five of them by Chadron State’s star of the game, sophomore lineman Hunter O’Connor.
A 6-foot-3, 255-pound product of Legacy High School at Broomfield, Colo., O’Connor became the fourth Chadron State defender to record of 14 quarterback sacks in a season.
The others are Scott Dolfi in 1994, Casey Beran in 1999 and Bill Teerlinck in 2002. O’Connor also was the game’s leading tackler Saturday with 13, all but one of them unassisted.
During his post-game interview Head Coach Jay Long said O’Conner and his defensive mates “kept us in the game as long as they could,” adding that the CSC offense “struggled, and was never in sync.”
The Eagles, who were forced to punt 10 times, finished with just 230 total net yards, their lowest since the season-opener, when Angelo State, now 11-0 for the season, limited CSC to 224 yards. For the year, the Eagles averaged of 339 yards of total offense.
The Hardrockers scored on the game’s first possession by driving 75 yards in eight plays. Johannsen connected with freshman Mason Galbreath on a 30-yard pass on the opening play, and another freshman, Ty Harris, ran the final 24 yards to the end zone. Chris Taylor kicked the first of his four extra points to make it 7-0.
The Eagles had to punt on their first three possessions, but immediately after the third, linebacker Joey Geil forced Johannsen to fumble and freshman teammate Ritchie McCormick recovered at midfield.
A facemask penalty against Mines netted the Eagles their initial first down. CSC was soon set back 10 yards for holding, but overcame it when quarterback Heath Beemiller connected with tight end Peter Krohn on two passes for 22 yards as the first quarter was ending.
Three plays into the second frame, the same pair teamed up on a four-yard toss for the Eagles’ touchdown. Gunnar Jones tied the score with his PAT.
The Hardrockers answered almost immediately. Johannsen completed three consecutive passes to Bridges for 24 yards, then dashed 49 yards up the middle to put his team ahead 14-7.
On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, the Eagles managed the game’s longest play. It was a 50-yard pass from Beemiller to freshman Tommy Thomas that put the ball on the Mines’ 36. However, the Orediggers soon stopped the drive by sacking the CSC quarterback and forcing another punt.
Late in the second quarter, the Eagles had another golden opportunity, when Mines punter Casey Knutsen fumbled the snap from center. Even though Knutsen recovered his bobble, it was Chadron State’s ball at the Hardrockers’ 29.
But, on the first play, Beemiller’s pass was intercepted by none other than Knutsen, who also plays safety, at his team’s one-yard line. After the hosts picked up a first down, O’Connor made one of his five sacks before Johannsen could unload the pass. It forced Knutsen to punt again, and the first half ended a couple of plays later.
Mines put together a 14-play, 88-yard scoring drive midway in the third quarter. Johannsen completed eight passes for 69 of those yards, including a 10-yarder to Eastman for the touchdown.
The Hardrockers went 87 yards in 10 plays for their final TD. Johannsen threw a 12-yard pass to Jake Leone for the score with 4:27 left to play.
The Eagles tried to get their passing game going in the fourth period, but completed just seven of 18 tosses, and had one of them picked off and returned 39 yards by Kaleb Tischler.
Beemiller completed 21 of 45 passes for 186 yards and was intercepted twice. Ahlonte Hair was the visitors’ leading receiver with eight catches for 72 yards.
Along with O’Connor, the Eagles’ busiest tacklers included senior safety Brendan Brehmer of Alliance with nine and Geil with eight. Harvey Reynolds and Tanner True both had seven.
First Downs 14 28
Total Net Yards 230 425
Rushes, Yards 22-44 42-121
Passing Yards 186 304
Passing 21-45-2 28-41-0
Return Yards 21 74
Punts, Average 10-43.9 5-40.4
Fumbles, Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties, Yards 8-75 4-55
Chadron State 0 7 0 0 —7
South Dakota Mines 7 7 7 7 –28
SDM—Ty Harris 24 run (Chris Taylor kick)
CSC—Peter Krohn 4 pass from Heath Beemiller (Gunnar Jones kick)
SDM—Jayden Johannsen 49 run (Taylor kick)
SDM—Isaiah Eastman 10 pass from Johannsen (Taylor kick)
SDM—Jake Leone 12 pass from Johannsen (Taylor kick)
Rushing: CSC—Jalen Starks 11-32, Rylan Aguallo 5-24, Jayden Cox 2-8, Heath Beemiller 40-minus 20. SDM—Ty Harris 11-51, Orlando Westbrook 9-39, Jayden Johannsen 17-31, Kaleb Roth 3-15, Casey Knutsen 1-minus 15.
Passing: CSC—Heath Beemiller 21-45-2, 186 yards, 1 TD. SDM—Jayden Johannsen 28-41-0, 304 yards, 2 TDs.
Receiving: CSC—Ahlonte Hair 8-72, Peter Krohn 5-37, Tommy Thomas 2-54, Ali Musa 2-7, Jamal Browder 1-8, Grant Swenson 1-7, Rylan Aguallo 1-3, Jaydon Cox 1-minus 2. SDM—Jeremiah Bridges 12-123, Isaiah Eastman 7-85, Jake Leone 4-41, Mason Galbreath 3-47, Kaleb Roth 2-8.
Tackles: CSC—Hunter O’Connor 12-1, 13; Brendan Brehmer 7-2, 9; Joey Geil 5-3, Harvey Reynolds 4-3, 7; Tanner True 3-4, 7. SDM—Hunter Newsom 3-5-8; Kyante Christian 3-4,7; Chandler Callejo 3-2, 5.