Tilt With Adams Could Be Hotly Contested


Photo Courtesy/Zachary Carlson/CSC Sports Information

Two teams with identical 1-5 records will meet for a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest on Saturday, when Adams State invades Elliott Field at Chadron State College for a noon kickoff.

Both the Grizzlies and Eagles have defeated Fort Lewis by lopsided margins and hope to get in the winner’s circle more often during the second half of the season. That means Saturday’s game could be a hotly-contested affair.
Adams State defeated Fort Lewis 52-17 on Sept. 24, while Chadron State was a 56-3 winner in Durango last Saturday. The only other common opponent the teams have had is RMAC leader Colorado Mines. The Orediggers caged the Grizzlies 84-10, and Mines won 45-9 over the Eagles.

During the Grizzlies’ non-conference schedule, Western New Mexico won 34-20 and West Texas State prevailed 34-19. In RMAC action the last two weeks, New Mexico Highlands has edged Adams State 23-21 and Colorado State-Pueblo won 52-20.

Angelo State of Texas, now 6-0, won 35-0 and Utah Tech won 56-10 during the Eagles’ non-conference slate. In CSC’s first two RMAC games, Black Hills State took a 32-23 decision and Western Colorado was a 56-28 winner.

With quarterback Dalton Holst throwing four touchdown passes and running for a career-high 70 yards, Chadron State won last year’s clash with Adams State 45-35 in Alamosa. The Eagles ran 75 plays, 22 more than their hosts and out-yarded them 523-289.

The Grizzles were at a disadvantage when they took the field a year ago. Their top three quarterbacks were unable to play because of COVID protocol. That meant senior tight end Brad Smith, no relation to the Eagles’ long-time and highly-successful coach by the same name, was the signal caller for the first time in his collegiate career.

Smith proved to be a formidable athlete, sprinting 70 yards for a touchdown and also throwing passes of 27 and 51 yards to Bryce Hampton for touchdowns. Hampton, who played both offense and defense, also picked off one of Holst’s passes and ran 25 yards with it to the end zone.

Chadron State had quarterback woes this past September, losing both junior Heath Beemiller and sophomore Mason Hamilton to injuries. However, redshirt freshman Preston Pearson has remained unscathed as the starter in the two October games while completing 39 of 56 passes (69.3%) for 488 yards and four TDs.

The left-hander from Kearney had 70 yards added to his passing total this week after the stats were changed because the 70-yard romp for a touchdown by teammate Jamal Browder came off a short toss from Pearson instead of via a handoff as it was originally recorded.

That means the Eagles rushed for 283 yards and threw for 308 against Fort Lewis for a total of 592 yards.

Pearson is listed as the probable starter again this Saturday. Hamilton is said to be out for the season because of a separated left shoulder. Beemiller is recovering from a knee injury and has been attending practices this week but may not be ready to return for game action.

At halftime of Saturday’s game, the 10 individuals who are being inducted into the CSC Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday evening will be introduced. The inductees include John Axtell, who was the “Voice of the Eagles” for 28 of the 35 years that he has been a renowned news and sports reporter and announcer in Chadron.

The other inductees are former Chadron State athletes. Among them are five seniors on the 2004 football team—Mitch Barry (Chadron), Shawn Eisenreich (Gordon), Bryce Flammang (Cambridge) Casey Haldeman (Douglas, Wyo.) and Layne Sievers (Randolph). Others include two All-American track and field athletes—Joel Duffield (Morrill) and Jacqueline Wells Hobbs (Albion)–along with basketball standout Bec Kyba Ray (British Columbia) and regional champion breakaway roper Jennifer Nelson Gale (Hartford, S.D.).

Barry and Sievers still live in or near their hometowns, Eisenreich and Flammang are teachers and coaches in Casper, Haldeman resides in Vancouver, Wash., Duffield lives in Mitchell, six or so miles from Morrill, Wells is a physician in Seward, Kyba is the athletic director at Thedford and Nelson lives at Humboldt, S.D., only 10 miles from Hartford.

Eisenreich, Flammang, Duffield and Sievers are all married to women they met at CSC. Kyba is married to the brother of a basketball teammate at CSC.

The inductees have 16 kids—four boys and a dozen girls.