LAS VEGAS, NM — The South Dakota School of Mines football team came out on the wrong end of a high powered shootout Saturday afternoon as the Hardrockers fell short to New Mexico Highlands, 53-52, during an Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference matchup in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
It came down to the wire, with the Hardrockers having a chance to win on the last play of the game, but a 44-yard field goal was just off the mark as the desperate Cowboys snapped a five-game skid as well as ended the Hardrocker two-game win streak.
The Hardrockers led for a good portion of the game, but the Cowboys came back from an early two-TD deficit and then went up by 10 to open the fourth quarter. The Hardrockers erased the deficit and with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns along with a late field goal, took the lead, 52-45.
The Cowboys scored with 40 seconds left and converted a gutsy two-point conversion to take a 53-52 advantage which set up the dramatic finish.
Despite the outcome, it was another record-setting day as the Hardrockers broke six team or individual records and tied another in Saturday’s game.
SD Mines broke last week’s record of total yards, racking up 775 against the Cowboys.
The ‘Rockers also set a team record for most passing yards in a game which was also turned into an individual record for senior quarterback Jake Sullivan. Sullivan also set a record for most attempted passes in a game at 60 as well as most completed passes with 45.
The Hardrockers also broke the record for most first downs in a game, which was just broken two weeks ago against Black Hills State. Saturday’s new mark was 39.
Senior wide receiver Isaiah Manley also tied the record for single-game receptions hauling in 14 passes on Saturday and tied Marshal Davis from 2011.
Individually for the ‘Rockers, Sullivan was 45-60 for 592 yards (all records) and threw three touchdown passes which brings his career total up to 62 — which is also a record. Sullivan also added to his career passing yards record now at 8,079 yards.
Senior Connor Silveria, who set a national record last week (425 yards), led the Hardrockers again on Saturday with 123 yards, despite having to leave in the third quarter with an injury. He had 12 rushes in the game. Sullivan ran the ball 15 times for 27 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Zach Hoopman saw some quality time late in the game with 11 yards on eight rushes and the two fourth quarter TDs.
The Hardrocker receivers got plenty of action in the game with 10 different players catching passes. Manley led the way with 14 for 195 yards and a touchdown, followed by redshirt freshman Anthony Ullrich with seven catches for 77 yards and a score, sophomore Collin Zur hauled in four passes for 96 yards and sophomore Joe Luebers added 75 yards on five catches and a TD.
Sophomore Enis Sefa had the kicking duties in the game. He was 7-7 on extra points and was 1-2 on field goals making good on one from 20 yards out. He also racked up 543 yards on nine kickoffs with two touchbacks, averaging 60 yards a kick.
Defensively, freshman Adrian Eastman led the way for the ‘Rockers with 10 total tackles, broke up one pass and recovered a fumble. Sophomore Dominick Jackson collected six total tackles, forced a fumble and broke up two passes. Sophomore Justin Broekemeier also had six total tackles. Seniors Justin Banks and Andrew Karatepeyan were both credited with sacks in the game.
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