CHADRON, Neb. — September 15, 2018 — Chadron State converted a fumble recovery, a blocked punt and an interception into fourth quarter touchdowns to rally past the Fort Lewis Skyhawks 31-21 here Saturday afternoon in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference donnybrook.
Although Chadron State led 10-7 at halftime, Fort Lewis took the lead twice before the Eagles posted two unconventional touchdowns in the final 5 minutes and 14 seconds to seal the victory.
“Everything we preach is that we’re an effort-first football team,” said Eagles’ head coach Jay Long. “We proved that today. We got big plays late in the game from all three segments—defense, special teams and offense—to make it happen. I’m extremely proud of how our guys finished the game.”
Fort Lewis went on top 14-10 midway in the third quarter when defensive end Lorenzo Tanner sacked CSC quarterback TD Stein and forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Isiah Mayberry in the end zone.
But despite temperatures in the mid-90s, the Eagles’ aggressive play helped them score three times in the last quarter and improve their record to 2-1.
The first of the game-changing plays occurred with 16 seconds left in the third frame when linebacker Tyler Lewis forced Skyhawks’ quarterback Nick McNamee to fumble and end Calder Forcella claimed the loose pigskin at the Fort Lewis 31.
After a 19-yard pass to tight end Baylor Hayes moved the ball to the nine, Eagles’ quarterback Dalton Holstand wide receiver Brandon Fullerton connected for a touchdown on the second play of the fourth period. Carson Reed’s extra point put CSC ahead 17-14.
The Skyhawks proved to be a tough customer. They drove 75 yards in a 14-play drive that included five penalties, four of them against Chadron State, and finally scored on McNamee’s one-yard toss to senior Mason Hatton. Hogan Keasler’s conversion put the Colorado team back in the lead 21-17.
Hatton’s 20-yard reception had helped launch the drive.
Although Holst completed passes of 24 yards to Jackson Dickerson and 11 yards to Cole Thurness on the Eagles’ next possession, they couldn’t sustain the drive and turned the ball back to Fort Lewis on downs.
The Skyhawks’ offense also sputtered and they were forced to punt from their own 17. Bryant Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Alliance whose spirited play in practice last week earned him a spot of the special teams, blocked the punt and Dickerson caught the ball in the end zone for a Chadron State touchdown and a 24-21 lead with 5:08 to play.
Each team also was forced to punt on its next possession. That allowed Fort Lewis to get the ball again at its own 15 with 1:54 remaining. On its second play, McNamee tried to hit a teammate in the flat, but CSC cornerback DeAndre Barthwell jumped in front of the intended receiver, batted the ball in the air, grabbed it on the fly and took it 21 yards to the end zone to clinch the outcome.
Fort Lewis outgained the Eagles 426 to 372.
Sophomore Brayden Lucero spearheaded the Skyhawks’ rushing game with 16 carries for 125 yards while senior Kevin Coy had 23 rushes for 77 yards to pace the Eagles.
The teams’ primary quarterbacks, as things turned out, had similar statistics. Both threw two touchdowns, Holst completed 19 of 34 passes for 221 yards and McNamee connected on 22 of 38 for 263 yards.
McNamee was playing in just his second game in two years, according to a Fort Lewis coach. McNamee took over midway in first quarter after starter Jake Lowry was sacked by Lewis, hobbled off the field, but was eventually taken to the Chadron Hospital to have his leg checked.
Hatton caught eight passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while Xavier Thibodeaux had three catches for 86 for the visitors.
Fullerton had five receptions for 92 yards, Dickerson six for 60, Cole Thurness four for 52 and Tevon Wrightthree for 33, including a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second period to cap a 68-yard drive that saw Holst complete four consecutive passes for 49 yards to get it started.
The game produced two double-digit tacklers. Donell Pleasant, an all-RMAC preseason choice, took part in 14 stops for the Skyhawks and Keenan Johnson had 11 for the Eagles.
First Downs 22 25
Total Net Yards 426 372
Rushes, Yards 30-100 49-116
Passing Yards 326 256
Passing 24-42-1 22-39-0
Return Yards 75 130
Punts, Average 6-31.8 6-37.0
Fumbles, Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties, Yards 9-70 10-72
|Score by quarter||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Total|
CSC—Carson Reed 39 field goal
CSC—Tevon Wright 11 pass from Dalton Holst (Reed kick)
FLC—Mason Hatton 4 pass from Nick McNamee (Hogan Keasler kick)
FLC—Isiah Mayberry fumble recovery in end zone (Kaesler kick)
CSC—Brandon Fullerton 9 pass from Dalton Holst (Reed kick)
FLC—Hatton 1 pass from McNamee (Keasler kick)
CSC—Jackson Dickerson recovered block punt in end zone (Reed kick)
CSC—DeAndre Barthwell 21 interception return (Reed kick)
Rushing: FLC—Brayden Lucero 16-125, TJ Telphy 4-4, Nick McNameee 6-minus 6, Jake Lowry 2-minus 14, team 2-minus 9. CSC—Kevin Coy 23-77, Elijah Myles 10-25, Stevann Brown 3-18, TD Stein 8-6, Dalton Holst 4-minus 8, team 1-minus 1.
Passing: FLC—Jake McNamee 22-39-1, 263 yards, 2 TDs; Jake Lowry 2-3-0, 63 yards. CSC—Dalton Holst 19-34-0, 221 yards, 2 TDs; TD Stein 3-5-0, 35 yards.
Receiving: FLC—Mason Hatton 8-61, Xavier Thibodeaux 6-86, Parker Strahler 3-67, Ta’Jon Mondy-Smith 3-53, Arealus Hughes 3-34, Brayen Lucero 3-15, TJ Telphy 1-10. CSC—Jackson Dickerson 6-60, Brandon Fullerton 5-92, Cole Thurness 4-52, Tevon Wright 3-33, Baylor Hayes 2-25, Stevann Brown 1-minus 1, Kevin Coy 1-minus 5.
Kickoff Returns: FLC—Ethan Williams 3-54, Sam Morse 1-21. CSC—Stevann Brown 30-93. Punt Returns—FLC—none. CSC—Jackson Dickerson 10-17. Interception Returns—CSC—DeAndre Barthwell 1-21.
Tackles: FLC—Donell Pleasant 9-5, 14; Dre Cortez 3-7, 10; Lorenzo Tanner 6-2-8; Isiah Mayberry 3-4-7. CSC—Keenan Johnson 7-4-11; Tyree Fryer 7-1, 8; Tyler Lewis 6-2-8; Richard Harbor 3-2, 5; DeAndre Barthwell 3-2, 5.