Nov 14, 2021 3:52 PM

Eagles crush rival Black Hills State 57-6 to finish season on record setting day

Posted Nov 14, 2021 3:52 PM

By: Con Marshall

  The Chadron State College offense was in high gear and both the defense and the special teams provided lots of help as the Eagles closed out their season with a 57-6 win over Black Hills State in Spearfish on Saturday. 

The victory boosted CSC's record to 6-5 overall and 5-4 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Black Hills finishes at 4-7 and 2-7.

The Eagles rolled up 492 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns while the defense came up with six takeaways and placekicker Gunnar Jones made all three of his field goal attempts and all six of his extra point tries.

Sophomore Jeydon Cox, the game's leading rusher with 12 carries for 99 yards, got the Eagles off to a fast start by scoring on a 29-yard run on their first possession.  Midway in the opening quarter, Jahvonte Hair intercepted a Black Hills pass and returned it 31 yards to set up the first of Jones' field goal, a 29-yarder.

Shortly afterwards, Black Hills ran the ball for two first downs, then posted its only touchdown on a 42-yard pass from quarterback Chance Eben to running back Nolan Susel that made the score 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Eagles scored three touchdowns in the second period take a 30-6 halftime lead. The first came on a one-yard shovel pass from quarterback Dalton Holst to Cole Thurness, both of whom wrapped up their careers Saturday with some outstanding numbers that enhanced their places in the CSC record books.

Cox went 17 yards up the middle for his second touchdown in the middle of the second stanza and with 2:18 left before halftime Holst connected with wide receiver Ahlonte Hair for a 71-yard scoring strike that capped a 99-yard drive after the Yellow Jackets had downed their punt on the CSC one.

Jones kicked field goals of 43 and 30 yards to open the scoring in the third period.  The first was preceded by a 24-yard end-around pass from wide receiver Mikelson to tight end Peter Krohn, and the second was preceded by cornerback Bobby Peele's interception.  It was Peele's sixth pick this fall and ninth in 15 games with the Eagles.

As the third frame was drawing to a close, Holst connected on a 38-yard scoring pass to Mikelson, who got wide open behind the Black Hills defenders, putting the Eagles ahead 43-6.

Holst and Thurness, both seniors and CSC stalwarts the past five years, counting last year's COVID-shortened season, hooked up on a 32-yard pass early in the fourth quarter and completed the drive two plays later with a four-yard toss.

Holst finished the day by completing 16 of 22 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns, giving the Gillette, Wyo., product 11,461 yards and 97 touchdowns through the air, both Chadron State career records. The old marks belonged to Jonn McLain, the Eagles' signal caller 2010-14.  

Thurness was the Eagles' leading receiver Saturday with eight catches for 99 yards and two TDs, allowing him to also rank among the school record-holders.  The Rapid City native finished with 193 receptions to break Cory Brooks' record of 188 dating back to 1992-95, and caught seven TD passes this season to match Tevon Wright's career record of 26 that was set in 2019.    

CSC also scored with 5:55 remaining when alternate quarterback Mason Hamilton hit Krohn with an 11-yard pass in the end zone. 

Three Eagles besides Peele intercepted passes Saturday. The others were Jahvonte HairNoah Kerchal and Hunter O'Connor.

The oddest occurrence of the day saw a Black Hills punt hit one of the Yellow Jackets linemen at the line of scrimmage and bound 44 yards toward the Eagles' goal line where freshman linebacker Saxon Wright claimed it to set up Cox's second touchdown jaunt. 

Linebacker Joey Geil, the Eagles' leading tackler for the fifth straight game, also recovered a Black Hills' fumble.  Several teammates also were busy tacklers.  Travis Wilson was involved in nine, Wright and Tayven Bray had eight apiece and Brendan Brehmer seven.