Chadron State kicks off the 2017 season September 2 and leading up to kickoff we’ll be looking ahead at who the Eagles will be facing in our annual opponent preview series. Today, the Western State Mountaineers.
Week 3: Western State
Site: Mountaineer Bowl – Gunnison, CO
Date: September 16
Radio: 97.5 & 105.9 FM
Internet Stream: panhandlepost.com
Last Year’s Game: Western State 24, Chadron State 15
In a rugged, physical football game at Elliott Field the Western State Mountaineers used its running game and superstar Austin Ekeler to defeat the Eagles 24-15. Ekeler bruised his way to 283 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns helping the Mountaineer offense rack up 19 rushing first downs and dominate time of possession by over 6:30.
The Mountaineers built a 17-0 lead before CSC would strike with a 15-yard touchdown pass from back-up quarterback Matt Vinson to May Gray halfway through the second quarter. WSCU held a 17-8 halftime lead but a two yard touchdown run from Kevin Coy midway through the third quarter capped an 11-play drive that got CSC within two, 17-15. Ekeler raced away for a 69-yard touchdown with just over seven minutes left in the game to put Western up by what turned out to be the final score 24-15.
Western and CSC were using back-up quarterbacks the entire afternoon due to injuries. Western starter and the school’s all-time leading passer Brett Arrivey was out, leaving Spencer Shook and Cameron Shumway to run the offense. The pair combined for only 30 yards passing on 6/8 throws, but rushed for nearly 90 yards and ran a deceptive read-option scheme that frustrated the CSC defense.
The 2017 Mountaineers
Losing several key players to graduation Western State is not picked as high in the RMAC pre-season poll as last year’s #4 ranking. WSCU check in at #7 this fall and did not land a player on the pre-season All-RMAC team.
The series shifts again this fall with Chadron State venturing back into the Colorado high country to play at the world’s highest elevation football stadium where the Eagles won a terrific and close game in 2015.
Voice of the Eagles Dave Collins had a visit with WSCU Head Coach and former CSC assistant Jas Baines at RMAC Media Day to preview the 2017 Mountaineers and the game with CSC.
WSCU Coach Jas Baines