After scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter, the Eagles defeated the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers in Rapid City, South Dakota, coming back to win in the final for the fourth time this season.
Leading 29-13 midway through the 2nd quarter, SDSM scored 30 unanswered points to retake the lead 43-29 in the fourth quarter. Sullivan threw for three touchdowns during that stretch.
Trailing Chadron 50-46, Mine’s quarterback Jake Sullivan, senior of Rapid City, drove the Hardrocker’s offense down to the CSC 25-yard line with just eight seconds remaining in the game. Sullivan then completed a 24-yard pass to Anthony Ullrich, freshman of San Diego, but Tyler Lewis, junior of Arvada, Colorado, forced the ball out of the receiver’s hands at the 1-yard line, and Travis Wilson, junior of Fresno, California, recovered the ball to preserve the victory for the Eagles.
Chadron started the game strong, scoring on each of their first-quarter drives to take a 22-6 lead into the second. Following a 70-yard touchdown reception by Cole Thurness to pull the Eagles ahead 29-13, however, the Hardrockers scored 30 unanswered points to overtake Chadron 43-29 in the fourth quarter.
Sullivan threw for three touchdowns during the stretch.
Chadron was eventually able to stop the bleeding as quarterback Dalton Holst, sophomore of Gillette, Wyoming, found wide receiver Tevon Wright for a 22-yard TD to pull within one score of the Hardrockers.
Following a Mines’ three-and-out on the next drive, the Eagles drove 54 yards on eight plays and Stevann Brown, junior of Casper, Wyoming took the ball in from 1-yard out to tie the contest 43-43.
Down 46-43 shortly thereafter, due to a Mines’ field goal, Chadron’s Brown once again found the end zone, this time from 30-yards out to give the Eagles their final lead of the day.
CSC’s strong rushing attack played a major role in the road victory as CSC relied on its backs throughout the game.
“We were battling strong wind conditions, and with our offensive line playing so well, we felt comfortable running the ball late in the game,” Head Coach Jay Long said.
Kevin Coy, senior of Davenport, Florida, rushed for a career high 210 yards and added two touchdowns in the game.
“I credit all of the offensive lineman for all of the tremendous work that they have put in over the course of this season,” Coy said.
Overall, CSC’s rushing attack earned 351 yards and five touchdowns.
CSC quarterback Holst continued his ride atop the record books for career passing yards per game, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns to improve his average to 226.4 through 20 games.
The Eagles’ defense created four turnovers on the day with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Safety Tyree Fryar, junior of Burlington, New Jersey, led the Eagles with 14 tackles. Demetrious McFadden, junior of Pahokee, Florida, and Deandre Barthwell, junior of Westland, Michigan, both intercepted passes from Sullivan.
CSC travels to Golden, Colorado, Saturday to take on top-seeded Colorado School of Mines.
Having lost to Dixie State over the weekend, CSM sits with a 9-1 record. A win on Saturday could earn CSC a bid in the playoffs.
“We are just focusing on what we do best and what we need to improve on,” Long said regarding going into their final game with the playoffs on the line.
CSC currently has a 7-2 record and sits at third in the RMAC behind Colorado School of Mines and CSU Pueblo. The game, scheduled to begin at noon will be aired on ESPN3.