Chadron State College racked up 610 yards of total offense and safety Brian Wood chipped in a 100-yard interception return as the Eagles raced past New Mexico Highlands 55-35 here Saturday afternoon in an entertaining Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest.
Chadron State, now 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the RMAC, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead. Highlands posted three touchdowns in the second quarter, and was behind by only 31-21 at halftime.
The Eagles were not to be denied, however. Wood intercepted a pass at the goal line early in the third quarter and took it to the opposite end of the field to regain the momentum for his team.
CSC head coach Jay Long said Wood may have run 200 yards during his long and winding jaunt. Early in the return, Wood faked a lateral to a teammate, but kept the ball himself and went the distance.
The 100-yard romp breaks the school record of 96 yards set by Larry Ruzicka against South Dakota-Springfield in 1971.
The fired-up Eagles added two more touchdown in the third period to build a 52-21 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Chadron State offense was productive both on the ground and through the air.
Senior Derek Jackson carried 19 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns and junior Kevin Coy rushed 17 times for 131 yards and another TD.
Jackson’s first two score were one-yard dives. The first was set up by his 76-yard romp and the second followed Wood’s 44-yard punt return. Jackson also scored on an eight-yard run in the second quarter after he’d dashed 43 yards.
CSC placekicker Will Morgan booted 27- and 25-yard field goals and made all seven extra points he attempted.
The Cowboys also had plenty of fireworks, led by junior tailback Rodolph Zleh, who scored four touchdowns on long plays,
Zleh initially took a screen pass 35 yards for his team’s first points and then reeled off runs of 26, 66 and 53 yards to paydirt. His final two jaunts were in the fourth quarter after the outcome had pretty well been decided, but certainly padded his rushing average, which was 23.4 yards on eight carries.
Highlands finished with 461 yards as the teams combined for 1,071 yards. It was the 10th time the Eagles have exceeded 600 yards in total offense.
Chadron State dominated time of possession—38 minutes, 22 seconds to 21:38—and scored on all seven red zone visits.
Ryan Wood, Brian’s twin, led the Eagles with 12 tackles, including nine solos, and recovered a fumble that led to a field goal.
First Downs 27 15
Total Net Yards 610 461
Rushes, Yards 61-381 25-307
Passing Yards 229 154
Passing 16-23-0 14-29-2
Return Yards 192 79
Punts, Average 3-42.7 5-39.2
Fumbles, Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties, Yards 7-99 4-35
Chadron State 14 17 21 3 —-55
N.M. Highlands 0 21 0 14 —-35
CSC—Derek Jackson 1 run (Will Morgan kick)
CSC—Jackson 1 run (Morgan kick)
CSC—Cole Thurness 45 pass from Dalton Holst (Morgan kick)
NMHU—Rodolph Zleh 35 pass from Danny Cameron (Luke Jones kick)
CSC—Morgan 27 field goal
NMHU—Guadalupe Moron 5 run (Jones kick)
CSC—Jackson 8 run (Morgan kick)
NMHU—Zleh 26 run (Jones kick)
CSC—Brian Wood 100 interception return (Morgan kick)
CSC—Colt Foster 7 pass from Holst (Morgan kick)
CSC—Kevin Coy 1 run (Morgan kick)
CSC—Morgan 25 field goal
NMHU—Zleh 66 run (Jones kick)
NMHU—Zleh 53 run (Jones kick)
Rushing: CSC—Derek Jackson 19-185, Kevin Coy 17-131, Brad Johnston 6-36, Priest Jennings 8-28, Jackson Dickerson 2-17, Matt Vinson 3-3, Cole Thurness 2-minus 4, Dalton Holst 4-minus 14. NMHU—Rodolph Zleh 8-187, Dione Alston 9-70, Guadalupe Moron 2-31, Corbin Baxter 2-14, Monte Harrington 2-10, Ramone Atkins 1-1, Danny Cameron 1-minus 6.
Passing: CSC—Dalton Holst, 14-20-0, 219 yards, 2 TDs; Matt Vinson 2-3-0, 10 yards. NMHU—Danny Cameron 14-28-0, 154 yards, 1 TD; JJ Anderson 0-1-1.
Receiving: CSC—Jackson Dickerson 6-95, Cole Thurness 4-67, Matt Reader 3-38, Colt Foster 2-19, Derek Jackson 1-6, Jack Dobyns 1-4. NMHU—Rodolph Zleh 3-48, James Mayden 2-44, DJ McFadden 2-24, J’Juan Mildrow 2-22, Corbin Baxter 2-4, Dione Alston 1-10, Monte Henderson 1-5, Louis Webb 1-minus 2.