Con Marshall Chadron Record BOX SCORE
Colorado School of Mines scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and continued to dominate much of the game while defeating Chadron State 34-7 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference clash in Golden on Saturday.
Quarterback John Matocha led the Orediggers by completing 23 of 31 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. All-star tailback Michael Zeman was the game’s leading rusher with 96 yards and scored Mines’ remaining two TDs. Mines is now 8-1 for the season and 6-1 in the conference.
Chadron State quarterback Dalton Holst completed 19 of 34 passes for 198 yards and the touchdown, but he was sacked seven times for minus 35 yards, and the Eagles finished with just 16 yards rushing.
Although they managed a first down on the game’s opening possession when Holst hit Montel Gladney with a 13-yard pass, the Eagles were their own worst enemy early when three motion penalties and a couple of short punts kept them from gaining momentum and helped Mines to favorable field position.
CSC’s only other first down in the opening half occurred when Mines was called for pass interference. The Eagles were forced to punt eight times in the opening 30 minutes.
Zeman scored the first touchdown on a 17-yard run with 9:17 left in the opening quarter. The Orediggers went ahead 14-0 less than three minutes later when Matocha competed an 11-yard pass to Josh Johnston two plays after he’d hit Joe Golter with a 36-yard toss.
The Orediggers also scored early in the second period when Tristan Smith carried a pass he caught in the flat 46 yards down the sideline to the end zone. They moved ahead 27-0 with five minutes remaining before halftime when Zeman took the snap from center and scored from the one to complete a 39-yard drive.
Chadron State Coach Jay Long said he was disappointed with the Eagles’ first half performance. He said they didn’t compete as well as usual, didn’t execute well and made too many mistakes.
“When you play a good team like Mines you have to play well, and we didn’t do that today, particularly in the first half,” Long noted. “We had more effort in the second half and had some success. We’ve got two games left and have got to be ready to play like I know we can.”
Both teams scored seven points in the second half. An interception by CSC senior safety Ju’Wan Murphy in the end zone after the Orediggers had driven 65 yards kept the Orediggers from scoring on their first possession of the second half.
Mines got its TD with a bit more than a minute left in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass from Matocha to Max McLeod, who also caught a 32-yard pass during the 50-yard drive.
Bolstered by Dorian Collier’s 37-yard return of the ensuing kickoff, the Eagles scored early in the fourth frame on a seven-yard pass from Holst to Cole Thurness. Prior to that, Holst had connected with Chad Mikelson on an 18-yard aerial.
Late in the game after the CSC defense forced the Orediggers to give up the ball at the one-yard line, Holst hit Mikelson with a 29-yard pass and Ahlonte Hair with tosses of 17 and 12 yards to reach the Mines’ 33 before the drive died.
The Eagles’ leading tacklers were linebacker Joey Geil with 12 and lineman Kien Martin with nine. Both Bobby Peele and Noah Kerchal had eight stops, Travis Wilson 7 and Brendan Brehmer and Brendan Hopkins six apiece.
Now 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the RMAC, the Eagles will host Western Oregon in a non-conference game this Saturday, Nov. 6 before wrapping up the season the following Saturday at Black Hills State.
First Downs 13 24
Total Net Yards 214 439
Rushes, Yards 25-16 43-129
Passing Yards 198 310
Passing 19-34-1 23-31-1
Return Yards 53 75
Punts, Average 9-33.4 5-41.0
Fumbles, Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties, Yards 6-50 6-75
Chadron State 0 0 0 7 —-7
Colorado Mines 14 13 7 0 —34
CSM—Michael Zeman 17 run (Jacob Click kick)
CSM—Josh Johnston 11 pass from John Matocha (Click kick)
CSM—Tristan Smith 46 pass from Matocha (kick failed)
CSM—Zeman 1 run (Click kick)
CSM—Max McLeod 11 pass from Matocha (Click kick)
CSC—Cole Thurness 7 pass from Dalton Holst (Gunner Jones kick)