SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University’s football team sidelined archrival South Dakota School of Mines & Technology 48-28 at Lyle Hare Stadium, Saturday evening, and reclaimed the Homestake Trophy.
“I am just proud of our guys,” Yellow Jackets’ head coach John Reiners said. “We had to overcome some injuries and some things, and I thought our guys stepped up. We made the plays when we needed to.”
Black Hills State scored on its second possession when Chance Eben dove into the end zone to end a 6-yard run. Sean Dorney’s extra-point kick put the Yellow Jackets ahead 7-0.
South Dakota Mines went three-and-out, with the Yellow Jackets taking over at their 30-yard line. A nine-play drive ended on Payten Gilmore’s 1-yard touchdown run, and Dorney’s conversion boosted Black Hills State’s edge to 14-0 at quarter’s end.
Yellow Jacket Jarett Jenson caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Eben with 6 minutes 19 seconds left in the second quarter. A Dorney conversion made the score 21-0.
South Dakota Mines turned to its defense to get on the scoreboard. Will Carroll returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Enis Sefa added the conversion as the Hardrockers trailed only 21-7 at halftime.
“They’re not going to quit,” Reiners said in describing South Dakota Mines. “So we have to make sure we finish in the second half.”
The Yellow Jackets took the second-half kickoff and marched 75 yards on 15 plays. Gilmore caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Eben, and Dorney added the extra point as Black Hills State led 28-7.
South Dakota Mines’ next drive lasted only five plays. It ended when Black Hills State defensive lineman Devyn Vance returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown. A blocked kick kept the Yellow Jacket lead at 27 points (34-7).
The Hardrockers scored on their next drive when Ahmad Lewis entered the end zone on a 2-yard run. Sefa’s conversion brought South Dakota Mines within 34-14.
“The quick start in the second half was big because we have struggled with that,” Reiners said.
Gilmore’s 2-yard touchdown run, plys Dorney’s extra-point kick, gave Black Hills State a 41-14 lead with 12 minutes left.
South Dakota Mines scored the next two touchdowns. Carson Hunt caught a 30-yard scoring pass from Thomas Creese, and Lewis added a 3-yard run. Sefa kicked both extra points as the Hardrockers closed the gap to 41-28.
Gilmore added a 1-yard touchdown run with three minutes left. Dorney’s conversion made the score 48-28, which stood as the final.
“It just felt like our guys never let their guard down,” Reiners said. “I’m just proud of them for continuing to fight and get a hard-fought victory.”
South Dakota Mines claimed a 195-173 edge in net rushing yardage. Gilmore (134 yards for Black Hills State) and Lewis (185 yards for South Dakota Mines) paced their respective clubs.
The Yellow Jackets passed for 211 yards compared to 166 yards for South Dakota Mines.
Black Hills State’s Kielar Harpham caught seven passes for a team-high 81 yards. Hunt caught two passes for 55 yards in leading Hardrockers’ receivers.
Josh Gurnaby collected 11 total tackles (six solo and five assist) for the Yellow Jacket defense. South Dakota Mines received 18 total tackles (three solo and 15 assist) from Cole Peterson.
Statistical leaders follow.
Net rushing — Black Hills State: Payten Gilmore 34 carries for 134 yards, Nolan Susel 9-40, Chance Eben 6-5. South Dakota Mines: Ahmad Lewis 27-185.
Passing — Black Hills State: Eben 19 completions in 33 attempts, 211 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception. South Dakota Mines: Thomas Creese 14-23, 166 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions; Toby Smith 0-10, 0 yards.
Receiving — Black Hills State: Kielar Harpham 7 catches for 81 yards, Isaac Jefferson 5-37, Jarett Jenson 3-46. South Dakota Mines: Carson Hunt 2-55.
Total tackles — Black Hills State: Josh Gurnaby 11 (6 solo and 5 assist), Cole Miller 7 (6 solo and 1 assist), Cody Hooker 7 (3 solo and 4 assist), Kadim Phillip 7 (0 solo and 7 assist). South Dakota Mines: Cole Peterson 18 (3 solo and 15 assist).
Black Hills State is now 2-4 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, 2-4 overall, going into its Oct. 19 game at New Mexico Highlands.
South Dakota Mines fell to 0-5 in the conference, 1-5 overall. The Hardrockers return to the field Oct. 19 at Adams State.
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