DURANGO, Colo. – Both Nathan Ross and Glen Clinton scored two touchdowns and the defense forced four turnovers that were converted into points as the Chadron State College football team defeated Fort Lewis 45-20 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game here Saturday.
The Eagles are now 8-2 for the season and 6-2 in the RMAC with only a home date with Colorado Mines this Saturday remaining on the regular season schedule. A win over the Orediggers would put the Eagles, who are ranked third in the Super Region 4, in the Division II playoffs.
Although the Eagles jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the opening period, Fort Lewis cut the margin to 14-13 early in the second quarter. However, the Eagles soon took control and scored 31 points unanswered points before the Skyhawks added a touchdown in the final minute.
Fort Lewis, which is winless in nine games, opened the scoring on a 32-yard field goal after the Skyhawks’ Mike Campbell picked off a Chadron State pass. That was the Eagles’ only turnover.
Chadron State retaliated almost immediately after Ross returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards. Two plays later, CSC inside receiver Chapman Ham, who was a quarterback at Central High School in Rapid City, took a handoff on a reverse and threw a pass over the Fort Lewis defense that Ross caught and turned into a 48-yard touchdown.
Ross finished with six catches for 130 yards.
Trelan Taylor, who also came up with two interceptions and recovered a Fort Lewis fumble, set up the Eagles’ second touchdown when he swiped a Fort Lewis pass after it had glanced off the intended receiver’s hands and he returned the theft 15 yards to the Skyhawks’ 30. Quarterback Jonn McLain scored three plays later on a four-yard run.
Fort Lewis capped an 80-yard drive on the opening play off the second quarter when Doyle Bode caught a six-yard pass from quarterback Jason Fitzgerald.
The Eagles went three plays and out, leading to a 22-yard field goal by Andrews that cut CSC’s lead to a single point.
But CSC scored on its final three possessions before halftime to take a 31-13 lead.
The first two scores were set up by Fort Lewis fumbles.
Linebacker Kevin Lindholm claimed the first bobble at the Skyhawks 23. Following an incomplete pass, Clinton broke free for a touchdown.
Taylor soon recovered a Fort Lewis fumble that CSC converted into a 36-yard field goal by Alex Ferdinand. The Eagles also scored on 43-yard pass from McLain to Ross with 67 seconds left before halftime.
Clinton carried on seven consecutive plays for 69 yards and a touchdown on his four-yard jaunt midway in the third quarter. He finished the game with 14 carries for 109 yards to give him 1,180 yards rushing this season.
CSC added a three-yard touchdown run by Michael Madkins with 6:06 left in the final period. The 38-yard drive was preceded by Taylor’s second pass interception and his 25-yard return.
Fort Lewis concluded the scoring with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that saw Fitzpatrick run the final three yards. Fitzpatrick started at quarterback in place of senior standout Tim Jenkins, who suffered a shoulder injury the previous week.
The Eagles finished with 419 yards in total offense. McLain, who directed CSC’s third period touchdown drive then retired to the bench along with many of the other CSC starters, completed 11 of 15 tosses for 241 yards
Fitzpatrick hit on 15 of 25 passes for 99 yards while tailback Josh Beacham carried 13 times for 111 yards to account for a bulk of their team’s 293 yards of total offense.
CSC 14 17 7 7 – 45
FLC 3 10 0 7 – 20
FLC—Stephen Andrews 32 field goal.
CSC—Nathan Ross 48 pass from Chapman Ham (Alex Ferdinand kick)
CSC—Jonn McLain 4 run (Ferdinand kick)
FLC—Doyle Bode 6 pass from Jason Fitzpatrick (Andrews kick)
FLC—Andrews 22 field goal
CSC—Glen Clinton 23 run (Ferdinand kick)
CSC—Ferdinand 36 field goal
CSC—Ross 43 pass from McLain (Ferdinand kick)
CSC—Clinton 4 run (Ferdinand kick)
CSC—Michael Madkins 3 run (Ferdinand kick).
FLC—Fitzpatrick 3 run (Andrews kick)