The Chadron State College football team gets to try out its nifty new field again Saturday, when it hosts the Fort Lewis Skyhawks. Kickoff for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest will be at noon.
Prior to the game, the Eagles’ new football complex will be dedicated. That ceremony will begin at 10:30.
The Eagles are 1-1 after toppling Black Hills State 45-8 in their home- and season-opener on Sept. 1, but falling to Colorado State-Pueblo 34-13 on the road Saturday night.
Fort Lewis is 0-2 after New Mexico Highlands won 45-31 in that opener and Dixie State throttled the Skyhawks 31-3 last Saturday.
Despite losing to Highlands, the Skyhawks put up some impressive offensive statistics. They picked up 29 first downs, ran for 225 yards and threw for 324 for a total of 549 yards. Fort Lewis’ first touchdown came on a 49-yard pass play that capped a 99-yard drive.
But the upstart Highlands Cowboys, who bashed Adams State 65-37 last Saturday, scored three touchdowns in the second period against the Skyhawks and were ahead 38-17 midway in the third stanza.
Fort Lewis didn’t get much going against Dixie State. The Skyhawks managed just 77 yards rushing and 86 passing while giving up 475 yards to the homestanding Trailblazers. Fort Lewis’s only points came on a 35-yard field goal, and the Hawks were 2 of 16 on third-down conversions.
CSU-Pueblo had rolled up 573 yards against Dixie State in that opener on Sept. 1.
Fort Lewis was expected to have a top-notch defense this fall. Four Skyhawks were among the 13 players that the coaches placed on the RMAC preseason all-star team. They are linemen Chris Blanton and Georg Marpaung, linebacker Darrian Stickney and safety Donell Pleasant.
Guard Jeff Brinkley made the select offensive unit.
The Fort Lewis quarterback is Jake Lowry, a 5-11, 175-pound sophomore who was listed as both a quarterback and a receiver on last year’s roster and played sparingly.
In the game against New Mexico Highlands, Lowry rushed 14 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns, one of them on a 52-yard sprint, and completed 23 of 46 passes for 324 yards and two more TDs.
Lowry also was the rushing leader against Dixie State, but his 16 carries netted just 52 yards and he completed only eight of 24 passes for the 87 yards.
Fort Lewis jumped out to a 16-0 lead in last year’s season-opener against the Eagles in Durango. But the Eagles tallied the next 25 points and won 25-19. All three of CSC’s touchdowns were on pass plays.