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Eagles explode past Skyhawks 60-7

Eagles explode past Skyhawks 60-7

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The Chadron State Eagles rolled up 553 yards and scored nine touchdowns Saturday while romping past Fort Lewis 60-7 at Elliott Field. They are now 4-4 for the season and 4-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

The Eagles scored on their opening play, a 67-yard bomb from quarterback Dalton Holst to wide receiver Chad Mikelson as he streaked down the field pretty much wide open. CSC added a two-point conversion when Travis Wilson, a linebacker by trade, took the snap from center and ran for a two-point conversion.

Chadron State’s second pass was intercepted by the Skyhawks’ Jalani Blade, helping keep the Eagles off the scoreboard the remainder of the first quarter. However, they made up for lost time it in the second period, scoring five touchdowns while erupting for 35 points to take a 43-0 halftime lead.

The Eagles’ first two second quarter TDs came on pass plays. One was a five-yarder from Holst to inside receiver Cole Thurness after running back Jeydon Cox had caught a 31-yard toss and Mickelson grabbed a 16-yarder. The other came on a 20-yard hook up from Holst to Mikelson a couple of plays after Holst and Thurness had joined forces for a 37-yard pickup.

Fort Lewis fumbles deep in their own territory set the stage for two more Chadron State TDs. Cox ran 14 yards to the end zone the first time and freshman Brock Ping went the final five yards for the second score. The drives began at the Skyhawks’ 17- and 12-yard lines.

Defensive tackle Kobe Whipple and Wilson collected the loose pigskins for the Eagles.

Mickelson, who already had caught the two touchdown passes, closed out the second period onslaught while breaking several tackles during an electrifying 55-yard punt return to paydirt.

The Eagles added another touchdown in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Thurness after freshman tailback Dorian Collier, who was the game’s leading rusher with 15 carries for 120 yards, set it up with a 22-yard run.

The Skyhawks also scored in the third period, when defensive back Clayton Rutz picked off alternate quarterback Mason Hamilton’s pass along the north sidelines and took it 65 yards to the end zone.

Chadron State closed out the scoring in the fourth quarter when Ping dove two yards into the end zone after Hamilton, undaunted by the interception, connected with Ali Musa on a 45-yard strike and Gunnar Jones, who also was perfect on all eight extra points he attempted, kicked a 22-yard field goal.

The Eagles finished with 231 yards rushing and 322 passing. Holst, who is closing in on 11,000 yards passing in his career, completed 12 of 16 attempts for 258 yards. Mikelson had three receptions for 103 yards and Thurness four for 74.

Chadron State Head Coach Jay Long said the line had much to do with the Eagles’ offensive success, and also praised his defense for playing extra well. The Eagles had seven quarterback sacks totaling 56 yards. As a result, the winless Skyhawks had negative 25 yards rushing at the end of the game. They completed 10 of 18 passes for 51 yards, but finished with only 26 total net yards.

Skyhawks punter Matt Waid gave his team a boost by averaging 41.3 yards on 10 punts.

Long praised his entire team for executing the game plan well, and said the scoring gap allowed numerous players, both youngsters trying to make an impression and veterans, who have worked hard and stayed with the program, to finally get on the field.

Next up for the Eagles is Colorado School of Mines in Golden next Saturday. The Orediggers lost their first game this season 27-21 to Colorado Mesa on Saturday in Grand Junction.

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