CSC Football Team To Play Skyhawks

Lynni Talady/CSC Sports Information

After racking up a comfortable 45-35 triumph over Adams State last Saturday afternoon on the road, the Chadron State football team will be at home Saturday to take on the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks in another Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference clash. Kickoff will be at noon.

CSC Head Coach Jay Long said he is proud of the Eagles’ performance at Adams State, noting that they executed the game plan well while jumping out to 36-14 halftime lead and out-yarding the Grizzlies 523 to 289 yards. The win improved the Eagles’ record to 3-3 in the RMAC and 3-4 overall.

Quarterback Dalton Holst had an outstanding game, completing 16 of 28 passes for 248 yards and throwing touchdowns to four different receivers. It was the second time Holst had pitched four TD passes during his career.

Holst, a 6-3, 195-pound senior from Gillette, also picked up five first downs while carrying the ball seven times for 70 yards, a career-high. He noted that running the ball so much “really isn’t my game,” but he was glad he could take advantage of the opportunities.

All told, the Eagles rushed for 275 yards, led by sophomore tailback Jeydon Cox, who carried 17 times for 122 yards, while also catching three passes for 20 yards and returning three kickoffs for 72 yards, giving him 214 all-purpose yards.

Long said the offensive line deserves much credit for the Eagles’ output. He was particularly pleased that the Eagles maintained possession of the ball the final seven and a half minutes to clinch the outcome after Adams State had reduced the lead to 10 points.

Defensively, the Eagles gave up just 15 first downs, but yielded long touchdowns in the second half on a 70-yard run by alternate quarterback Brad Smith and a 51-yard pass from Smith to standout Bryce Hamilton. Those plays accounted for 42 percent of the Grizzlies’ offense.

It’s been a long season for Fort Lewis. The Skyhawks are 0-7 and have been outscored 358 to 41 points. They have scored more than seven points in just one game and the opponents have tallied at least 42 in each game.

Just three seniors are listed as probable starters on offense and only one on defense. The defensive leaders include sophomore linebackers Jayden Helms and Fred Mady. They rank first and third in tackles in the conference this fall. Helms is credited with 88 and Mady with 64 to go with three fumble recoveries.

The Eagles are no longer at full strength on defense. Linebacker Jeremiah Makahununiu, the team’s leading tackler through the first five games, has been lost for the season and tackle Trevon Smith was sidelined by a blindside block at Adams State.

Makahununiu was having an all-star season before he was injured. He led the Eagles with 52 tackles and returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown late in the game during the 46-16 win over New Mexico Highlands on Oct. 2 before being injured early in the next game against Colorado State-Pueblo.

Sophomore Joey Geil has filled in admirably for Makahununiu, making 11 tackles against Pueblo and seven against Adams State, both team highs, but now the Eagles have less depth at linebacker.

Thankfully, another defensive tackle, Kobe Whipple, who missed the Adams State trip, is available again to help replace Smith.

Long said leading rusher Elijah Myles is improving, but it’s doubtful he will play Saturday. He’s missed the last two games, but Cox and freshman Dorian Collier have excelled while taking up the slack

During halftime Saturday, the seven former Chadron State athletes who will be inducted into the Eagles’ Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday evening will be introduced to the crowd. They are ex-football players Rob Evans and Austin Forster, both of Gordon, Marvin Jackson of Cheyenne and Aaron Turner of Golden, Colo., along with volleyball players Kelly Kraus Randle of Denver and Alicia Wardyn Clark of the York area and basketball player Elijah Collins of Aurora, Ill.

All of them starred for the Eagles about 20 years ago.

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