Eagles snag overtime win from Mesa

Wide receiver, Nathan Ross, sophomore of San Diego, Calif., pushes his way through his opponents during the football game against Mesa State, Saturday. — Photo by Kinley Q. Nichols

Wide receiver, Nathan Ross, sophomore of San Diego, Calif., pushes his way through his opponents during the football game against Mesa State, Saturday. — Photo by Kinley Q. Nichols

Emotions were high last Saturday at Elliot Field, when the Eagles hosted Colorado Mesa University. Not only was it the final game of the season, but for 10 seniors, it was also the final game of their Chadron career.

Early on it seemed as though the season would end on a sour note. Penalties and turnovers plagued the Eagles in the first half and the found themselves trailing by 7 at the break.

Colorado Mesa opened up the second half by recovering a surprise onside kick. At this point it looked like the bad luck would continue for the Eagles, but after a quick three and out, the offense got their chance when Chapman Ham, sophomore of Rapid City, S.D., tied the game for the Eagles with a 15-yard touchdown catch. The score capped off a quick five play, 84-yard drive and was set up by a 44-yard pass from Gorsuch to receiver, Jeff Alcorn, senior, of Chadron.

After a pair of field goals, the final quarter would start with both teams tied at 10. Early in the fourth quarter, it looked as if the Mavericks would take the lead with a 29-yard field goal, but offensive tackle Garrett Gilkey, junior, of Sandwich, Ill., broke through the line and blocked the kick. This gave the Eagles plenty of momentum heading into the ensuing possession.

With the tides appearing to swing their way, quarterback Brandon Gorsuch, junior of Rapid City, S.D.,  and the offense marched 80-yards downfield in just over five minutes, and scored the go ahead touchdown. Wide receiver Allan Schmaltz, junior, of Rapid City, S.D., was able to jump over the line and into the end zone to polish off the impressive nine-play drive.

After a good kick return and a penalty, Colorado Mesa was set up in great position to quickly tie the game. On their second play, Mesa quarterback, Robert Felberg, junior from Aurora, Colo., connected with sophomore receiver, Nathan Neville, of Littleton, Colo., for 35-yards and a touchdown. With less then nine minutes left in the game the score was tied 17-17.

After an eight-play drive ended in a punt, the Eagles would have to play solid defense to keep the Mavericks out of the endzone and give themselves one last chance at the win. CSC’s defense managed to force a punt, giving the offensive squad just under two minutes to score with 75 yards of green space between them and the end zone. After running six plays, the offense was unable to get into position for a score. The fourth quarter would end in a tie, sending the game into overtime.

After winning the coin toss, Colorado Mesa elected to play defense and gave the Eagles the first opportunity in overtime. After two nice runs by sophomore Glen Clinton, of Cody, Wyo., and a personal foul penalty by Mesa, the Eagles found themselves with a first and goal situation from the five yard line. After an incomplete pass, quarterback Gorsuch hit Alcorn, who was able to stretch the ball over the goal line for the touchdown. After the extra point, CSC was up 24-17

Now it was the Eagles turn to play defense. On the first play of the drive, junior, Keifer Burke, of Brady, got into the backfield and tackled the ball carrier for a three-yard loss. The Eagles defense would break up passes on second and third down, forcing the Mavericks into a fourth and long situation that would decide the game. After a timeout, the Mavericks threw for the first down, but the pass fell incomplete, giving the Eagles a 24-17 victory.

With the win, the Eagles finished the season with a 6-5 record. The Eagles placed fourth in the RMAC with a 6-3 in-conference record.

 

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