Sep 05, 2021 4:19 PM

Mistakes cost Eagles in season opening loss at Western Colorado

Posted Sep 05, 2021 4:19 PM

By: Kaleb Center, CSC Sports Information Director

Box Score

  GUNNISON, Colorado -- September 4, 2021 -- The Chadron State College football team lost 23-10 on Saturday afternoon at Gunnison, Colorado, to Western Colorado University in a game in which CSC was plagued with miscues.

"You can't win a football game with four turnovers and as many penalties as we had," said CSC Head Football Coach Jay Long. Your first game back, you're always going to have mistakes, and we had too many. We played sloppy."

The Eagles had all the momentum early, when on the first play of their second possession of the game, Elijah Myles broke free on a run up the middle and cruised 80 yards for a touchdown, making the score 7-0 in the first quarter.

After a defensive stop by the Eagles, the misfortunes began with a fumbled punt return by Cole Thurness which was recovered by the Mountaineers. That led to a 49-yard field goal make by Western kicker Alec Fonseca.

CSC took possession again, up 7-3, but a muffed punt formation snap inside CSC's own 20-yard-line led to three more points for Western.

Leading 7-6, CSC drove the ball inside the Mountaineers' 20-yard line in the second quarter to set up a 35-yard kick by Gunnar Jones and the Eagles went up 10-6.

CSC's Bobby Peele had an interception on a deep ball thrown by Western's Connor Desch, just before the half.

However, Desch led two second-quarter touchdown drives to take a 20-10 lead into the locker room.

"I thought our defense stopped the run fairly well," said Long. "When they moved the ball, it was because they found something down the field. When we watch film, though, we're going to see where we would have liked a few more takeaways."

The Mountaineers held CSC scoreless in the second half, with Fonseca hitting another field goal to go ahead 23-10.

Late in the fourth, a CSC drive stalled on the goal line which potentially could have put the Eagles back within one score. A fourth down pass to tight end Riley Schliep sailed high, ricocheted off the goalpost, and fell incomplete near the goal line, and Western salted away about three minutes of game time.

No statistics or complete play-by-play were available immediately following the game. A box score will be posted at chadroneagles.com, however, when one is generated by the host school.

"On opening weekend, half the teams win and half the teams lose," said Long. We're going to fix some things, and come back and play better. When we play sloppy that comes back on us. We have to be better. We're not going to win games if we play that undisciplined."