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RAPID CITY, SD — The South Dakota School of Mines football team racked up 665 yards of total offense on the way to a 52-14 victory over New Mexico Highlands University Saturday afternoon during a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference matchup on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City, S.D.
It was fairly competitive in the early goings, but the Hardrockers unleashed an impressive offensive effort to go along with a stout defense to earn their third win of the season and get back to .500. SD Mines is now 3-3 on the year and 2-3 in the RMAC.
SD Mines broke the early 0-0 stalemate when Edensky Lormeus hauled in a 41-yard pass from quarterback Jake Sullivan for the first score of the game on a four-play 73 yard drive with 6:23 to go in the opening period.
The Cowboys countered on the next drive when running back Rodolph Zieh broke through the secondary and scored on a 65-yard running play. Luke Jones added an extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:59 to play.
The Hardrockers answered right back with a four-play 50-yard drive capped off by a six-yard rushing TD from running back Kevin Thompson, Enis Sefa, who was a perfect 7-7, added the PAT to give the home team the 14-7 edge at the 3:28 mark of the first quarter.
Sefa added a 34-yard field goal with 11 ticks left in the first quarter to give the ‘Rockers a 17-7 advantage.
New Mexico Highlands kept things interesting to open the second quarter when Ramone Atkins found the end zone from 16 yards out. Jones added the point after to pull within three points at the 12:18 mark, 17-14.From there on in, it was all Hardrockers.
SD Mines wide receiver Jermaine Williams hauled in a pass and sprinted for an 85-yard touchdown reception at the 6:40 mark, followed by a touchdown from Kevin Thompson from one yard out with just 22 ticks left in the first half. The Hardrockers went into halftime with a 31-14 advantage.
The ‘Rockers poured it on in the third quarter with a touchdown reception by Carson Hunt from 39 yards out (11:16) and then Sullivan ran in for a 14-yard score at the 6:32 mark. Sefa provided the extra point to give SD Mines a 45-14 lead.
The ‘Rockers’ persistence in the final frame gave them a final score at the 1:55 mark when Antony Wright finished off an 11-play 80-yard surge with a one-yard rushing touchdown. Sefa again added the extra point and the Hardrockers enjoyed a 52-14 edge that was the eventual outcome.
The ‘Rockers had a very balanced offensive game, earning 331 yard through the air and added 349 on the ground. The Cowboys tallied just 272 yards of total offense, settling for 132 passing and 140 rushing. SD Mines had 95 offensive plays on the day and was close to a team record (101). The Hardrockers also came away with 508 yards on kickoffs, booting the ball nine times during the game (averaged 56.4 yards).
Individually, Sullivan had an outstanding day, making good on 15-33 passes for 281 yards and three TD passes. Thomas Creese also saw time as the signal caller, going 5-7 for 53 yards.
Sullivan also ran the ball well Saturday, racking up 101 yards on 10 carries and one score. Dorian Cowart had nine rushes for 86 yards, Wright added 43 yards on nine carries and Thompson tacked on 38 yards from 12 carries and two scores.
SD Mines’ Jared Stangler had most of the kicking duties Saturday, recording eight kickoffs for 460 yards to go along with four punts for 143 yards. He averaged 35.8 yards on his punts, dropping two inside the 20 (long of 45).
Linebacker Antyjuan Rodriquez led the ‘Rocker defense with nine total tackles and a pass breakup. Harrison Beemiller and Blake Stone each had seven tackles and Triston Brown came up with an interception returned 10 yards.
“Thanks to ‘Rocker Nation for coming out and providing great JUICE for the Hardrockers today at Dunham Field,” said Hardrocker football head coach Zach Tinker. “This was really a complete game performance on all three phases that we can build off of moving forward. We are certainly going to be challenged next week by Colorado Mines and look forward to seeing our fans again Saturday for another ‘Juice-Full’ afternoon of Hardrocker football.”
The Hardrockers will play host to Colorado School of Mines Saturday in a 1 p.m. RMAC matchup at O’Harra Stadium.