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Long ready to face his old team

CHADRON – A long-time rivalry with some special dynamics will be renewed Saturday when the Chadron State Eagles host Black Hills State in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game. Kickoff will be at 1 p.m.

Although the Eagles and the Yellow Jackets have not played one another since 1995, they have met 68 times on the gridiron dating back to 1912. Although the differences are small, CSC has not played any other rival more often. Next are Wayne State and Peru State (66), South Dakota Mines (64) and Nebraska-Kearney (61).

The rivalry is being revived after Black Hills State joined the RMAC a year ago and is playing its first season in the conference. CSC enters the game at 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the RMAC while Black Hills is 1-4 and 1-3.

The game will have an interesting sidelight.

Jay Long, who is in his first year as the Chadron State head coach, was on the Black Hills football coaching staff for nine years, including the last three as the head mentor, before he was lured back to his alma mater in February.

Long's replacement at Black Hills is John Reiners. He was the head track coach at CSC for 10 years and had been an assistant football coach at his alma mater for 15 years before he joined the Black Hills State staff in 2009, when Long became that school's head coach.

Immediately after Long accepted the position at CSC, Black Hills announced that Reiners was the Yellow Jackets' new head coach.

Reiners said renewing the rivalry has created much excitement at Spearfish. He said a bus load of fans and many others are planning to attend the game following a pregame luncheon at a Chadron restaurant.

"It's great for both teams to have an opponent in such close proximity," Reiners noted.

Both teams are coming off heart-breaking losses. While Colorado State-Pueblo was nipping the Eagles 45-38 in overtime Saturday, Adams State edged the Yellow Jackets 20-17 by scoring the game's final 13 points on field goals of 52 and 53 yards and a 44-yard touchdown drive that began when the Yellow Jackets fumbled the ball away.

The winning TD was scored with 63 seconds remaining.

Two weeks prior to that, Black Hills fought back from a 28-16 deficit by scoring two touchdowns in the fourth period, only to lose to Colorado Mesa 31-29 when the Mavericks booted a 17-yard field goal with nine seconds left.

"We're five points and about a minute away from being 3-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall," Reiners said. "We've been hanging with teams, but need to get a W. We know we'll have our work cut out for us on Saturday, but I'm pretty pleased with the way we've been playing."

Black Hills' victory was a 21-7 win over Western State. Idaho State, a Football Championship Series team, topped the Jackets 38-5 in the season opener, and Colorado Mines won 42-19 in the RMAC opener on Sept. 15.

Injuries hit the Yellow Jackets hard during the preseason, when four players suffered major knee injuries and another broke his ankle. Among those injured was Drew Nelson, the team's leading rusher from the 2011 season.

Through five games, Black Hills has rushed for just 398 yards. However, quarterback Ward Anderson, a sophomore from Wheatland, Wyo., has completed 103 of 204 passes for 1,067 yards and five touchdowns.

Despite throwing two interceptions late in the game against Adams State, Anderson has been picked off just four times. His leading receiver is Daniel Hancock, who has 34 catches for 345 yards.

Reiners said the team's best offensive lineman is left tackle D.J. Toczek, a 6-4, 280-pound sophomore from Martin, S.D. He was a freshman on the 2009 Chadron State team.

The Black Hills roster also includes two former Chadron High standouts. Luke Janssen is a special teams player and alternate safety and Brady Roes is a linebacker who is recovering from hernia surgery.

Chadron State may be without starting wide receiver Travis Reeves of Chadron after he sustained a shoulder injury against Pueblo. Safety Pierre Etchemendy is expected back after sitting out the last two games because of a mild concussion.

The Eagles continue to have a balanced offense. Led by Glen Clinton's 694 yards rushing in six games, CSC has gained 1,147 yards on the ground. They have thrown for 1,026.

The Eagles' secondary has a 10 to 2 bulge in pass interceptions.

Coach Long said Monday that while the loss to Pueblo was a bitter pill to swallow, he believes the Eagles stand a good chance of making the playoffs if they can win the remainder of their games.

Their only other loss was to Montana State in the season-opener. The Bobcats are 6-0 and No. 2 in the Football Championship Series ratings.
The probable starters:
Chadron State Offense
Wide receivers-Allan Schmaltz, 6-2, 210, Sr., and Nathan Ross, 5-11, 185, Jr.
Inside receivers-Chapman Ham, 6-2, 235, Jr., and Cody Roes, 6-2, 217, Sr.
Tackles-Garrett Gilkey, 6-7, 320, Sr., and Jake McCrary, 6-4, 260, Jr.
Guards-Mike Lorenzo, 6-2, 270, So., and Brandon Ratcliff, 6-0, 275, Sr.
Center-Sam Parker, 6-1, 280, So.
Quarterback-Jon McLain, 5-11, 185, So.
Tailback-Glen Clinton, 5-10, 200, Jr.
Placekicker-Alex Ferdinand, 5-10, 185, So.
Chadron State Defense
Ends-Keifer Burke, 6-3, 280, Sr., and Zach Sandstrom, 6-1, 255, So.
Nose tackle-Jan Karlos Medina, 6-3, 280, Sr.
Outside linebackers-Shea Koch, 6-1, 220, So., and Kevin Lindholm, 6-2, 220, Sr.
Middle linebacker-Kyle McCarthy, 6-1, 235, R-Fr.
Cornerbacks-Conor Casey, 6-2, 220, So., and Lane Haller, 6-3, 205, So.
Safetys-Bruce Huebner, 5-10, 190, Sr.; Trelan Taylor, 5-10, 195, Jr.; and Pierre Etchemendy, 6-1 200, Jr., or Clint Sasse, 5-11, 215, Jr.
Punter-Josh Borm, 6-0, 190, So.
Black Hills State Offense
Receivers-Daniel Hancock, 6-0, 178, Sr.; Lucas Baker, 5-10, 160, R-Fr.; and Alex Anderson, 6-2, 197, R-Fr.
Tight end-Reed Reuman, 6-3, 225, Jr.
Tackles-D.J. Toczek, 6-3, 280, So., and Matt Field, 6-5, 320, So.
Guards-Tonn Tetrault, 6-3, 300, Jr., and Matt Maidl, 6-2, 257, Sr.
Center-Andrew Blaylock, 6-0, 270, R-Fr.
Quarterback-Ward Anderson, 6-1, 187, So.
Tailback-Bryar DeSanti, 5-7, 166, Jr.
Placekicker-Devin Rounds, 6-8, 189, Sr.
Black Hills State Defense
Linemen-Boone Bowker, 6-1, 227, So.; Sterling Boylan, 6-3, 284, Sr.; and Aaron Olson, 6-2, 240, So.
Linebackers-Ryan Lee, 6-1, 209, Sr.; Randall Hill, 5-10, 225, Sr.; and Trent Turbiville, 6-2, 210, Sr.
Defensive backs-Joey Brown, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Scott Sonderstrom, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Scott Boner, 5-10, 200, Jr.; Neil Novak, 6-1, 197, Jr.; and Darick Eisenbraun, 6-0, 190, So.
Punter-Levi Millikin, 6-1, 173, Sr.

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