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DURANGO, CO — The South Dakota School of Mines football team had a challenging day Saturday, taking on the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks during a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference matchup in Durango, Colo. Despite a solid first half, the Hardrockers fell to a dangerous Fort Lewis opponent, 44-35.
Despite a solid first half for the visitors in which the Hardrockers held a 26-21 advantage, the Skyhawks capitalized on some turnovers and used the third quarter to take the lead, 30-26, and held strong in the fourth quarter against a determined charge, and outscored the visitors, 14-9, to squeak out the win.
The two RMAC squad traded 14 points in the first quarter. Fort Lewis drew first blood on a seven play 53 yard drive capped off by a 14-yard TD pass from Jake Lowry to Ta’Jon Mondy with the PAT tacked on after.
Fort Lewis scored on the ensuing drive when Lowry hooked up with Arealous Hughes on 54-yard reception and score. PAT was good and the home team led 14-7.
On the kickoff, LaBrie set the Hardrocker offense up nicely on an 80-yard kickoff return that Sullivan turned into six points on a QB-keeper at the 3:15 mark. Sefa’s extra point knotted the game 14-14.
The SD Mines defense came up big to open the second quarter sacking Lowry in the end zone for a safety and then tacked on seven more points on the following drive when senior running back Kevin Thompson made good on a sweep up the left side of the field and in for a 48-yard rushing touchdown. Sefa’s extra point gave SD Mines a 23-14 edge with 10:31 to go in the half.
The Skyhawks found some momentum at the end of the quarter scoring a touchdown with 3:22 on the clock thanks to a 61-yard run from Tyler Telphy. The point after made the score, 23-21, in favor of the ‘Rockers.
The Hardrockers were able to get Sefa into field goal range with 44 ticks remaining in the second quarter and made good on 25-yard attempt and went into halftime up by five, 26-21.
In the third quarter, Fort Lewis regained the lead thanks to three field goals from Ben Raybon. He was good from 25, 44 and 46 yards. The Skyhawks led 30-26 to close out the third quarter.
The home team added seven points to open the fourth quarter using a six-play 30-yard drive that ended when Lowry scrambled into the end zone at the 12:15 mark. The PAT was on the mark as the Skyhawks led by 11 points, 37-26.
Sefa would add 31-yard field goal with 9:51 remaining in the game and the Hardrocker defense made some critical stops to give the Hardrockers some opportunities to tie the game, down by eight points, 37-29, but the Skyhawks sealed the win when their defense was able to take an interception back into the end zone with 1:26 left on the clock to extend their lead, 44-29.
The Hardrockers added a final touchdown with zeros on the scoreboard when Sullivan found Colin Zur in the back of the end zone on a 27-yard reception to make the final score, 44-35.
SD Mines tallied 361 yards of total offense, racking up 196 through the air and 165 the ground. Fort Lewis racked up 254 rushing and 137 passing for 391 yards of total offense.
Sullivan finished the game completing 13 of 33 passes for 196 yards and two scores. He also rushed the ball 18 times for 38 yards and a score.
Thompson led the ground game with seven carries for 53 yards and a score while senior Dorian Cowart had 46 yards on nine carries.
LaBrie paced the Hardrocker receivers with four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown and Cowart caught four passes for 39 yards.
Defensively for SD Mines, sophomore Harris Beemiller led the team with nine tackles and senior Blake Stone collected eight. Both defenders were credited with one tackle for a loss. Senior EJ DeVeaux recorded a forced fumble.