By: Kaleb Center, CSC Sports Information Director
CHADRON, Neb. – April 24, 2021 – Chadron State College football players were in for a treat on Saturday, when they were able to conduct a scrimmage against outside competition. The Wayne State College Wildcats were in town for what was termed by the coaches as a "joint practice."
Several skill competitions started off the day, beginning at 11 a.m. Wide receivers and defensive backs went one-on-one in a receiving challenge, while offensive and defensive linemen locked horns at the other end of the field in "fit drills".
Later, the drills grew more comprehensive, involving multiple positions at once. Entire offensive lines lined up against their defensive counterparts, while the skill players participated in seven-on-seven competition.
Just before noon, the CSC Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2020 inductees were introduced, and the student senate presented its Homecoming Court from the fall semester.
When play resumed, each team lined up its best 11 players and took turns on offense, simulating several live-game scenarios. With the caveat that quarterbacks not be tackled, the Wildcats and Eagles ran drives starting at their own 25-yard line, their own 1, their opponents' 40, and their own 35.
Judging by the scoring and the yardage, it seemed both defenses had the upper hand in the game.
Wayne scored first on a safety, after the ball was placed on the Eagles' own 1-yard line. CSC quarterback Dalton Holst took the snap, handed the ball to the running back who was overwhelmed by the WSC linemen in the end zone.
Midway, through the first quarter, the Wildcats took the ball at the CSC 40, and drove it 18 yards before missing a 39-yard field goal.
The Wildcats claimed the only turnover moments later, when Kevin Ransom intercepted a pass thrown by CSC's Tyler Hyland about 40 yards downfield.
WSC went ahead 5-0 on a 28-yard field goal by No. Alex Powders. The field goal was set up by a 36-yard pass from quarterback Tavian Willis, to Taurean Grady.
Wayne went on top 12-0 on a 48-yard run by Jacob Keiser, who took a Wildcat snap from center, broke to his left and went the distance to the endzone with 5:49 left in the second quarter.
Chadron State finally scored late in the tussle on a 21-yard field goal by Drake Holden. It was set up when Ali Musa, made a spectacular diving catch of a 35-yard pass thrown by Tyler Hyland. After the catch was made, an official threw a flag for pass interference. That moved the ball to the WSC 9, half the distance to the goal line.
While the Wildcats could technically claim victory, the Eagles sacked the Wayne quarterbacks three times, and allowed none on offense.
The Eagles also had a 32-yard pass completion late in the game with freshman Mason Hamilton, throwing to Grant Swenson, who also caught a 12-yard pass earlier in the game and also had receptions of six and four yards.
CSC starting quarterback Dalton Holst, as well as starting running back Elijah Myles, each played only one series, before calling it a day.
"We ran a lot of different scenarios," said CSC Head Football Coach Jay Long. "We're going to have some great film to evaluate, with cameras from every direction. Hopefully, the NCAA looks at letting us do some type of scrimmage like this in the future. You had some really good players out there going against each other, with different techniques that you can't practice against when it's Eagles versus Eagles. Our defense came out and played."
"It was fun," said sophomore defensive lineman Gabe Perkins. I didn't get the opportunity to play at Northern Colorado, so it was good to get out there with my brothers again. I'm always striving to be a better player, so getting to see the film, and finding out what we can do better, is important.
Coach Long noted that Saturday was officially the last day of the spring practice season which has involved 40 practices since February.