RAPID CITY — Black Hills State University started its football season Saturday evening and fell 34-17 to South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. O’Harra Stadium hosted the contest.
“We didn’t deserve to win with the way we played,” Yellow Jackets’ head coach Josh Breske said. He added South Dakota Mines played a good game, and Black Hills State did not do so well.
The Yellow Jackets scored on their second possession. Chance Eben found the end zone on a 14-yard run, and Jacob Parks’ extra point kick put Black Hills State ahead 7-0.
South Dakota Mines took over at its 25-yard line and reached the Black Hills State 11. A field goal try was not successful, and the Yellow Jackets retained the lead at quarter’s end.
“We completed some balls (passes), and our run game seemed to be working at that point,” Breske said in describing the opening quarter.
The home standing Hardrockers got on the board in the second quarter on Jayden Johannsen’s 3-yard touchdown run. Enis Sefa’s kick pulled South Dakota Mines into a 7-7 tie.
South Dakota Mines was forced to punt on its next possession but recovered a fumble on the Yellow Jackets’ 25-yard line. Sefa kicked a 38-yard field goal as the Hardrockers led 10-7.
Scott Sellers intercepted a pass as South Dakota Mines took over at the Black Hills State 18-yard line. Isaiah Eastman caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Johannsen two plays later; Sefa’s kick pushed the Hardrockers ahead 17-7.
Black Hills State went three-and-out; the Hardrockers took over at the Yellow Jacket 42. Ahmad Lewis sprinted 42 yards for a touchdown, and Sefa’s kick increased the South Dakota Mines advantage to 24-7 at halftime.
“I think we got worn down a little bit,” Breske said when asked about the Hardrockers’ offensive line.
Yellow Jacket Cole Miller recovered a fumble and returned the ball to the South Dakota Mines 22. Eben lofted a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mitch McKibbin, and Parks’ kick brought Black Hills State within 24-14.
The Hardrockers reached the Black Hills State 18-yard line, but a field goal try missed the mark.
Black Hills State drove from its 20-yard line to the Hardrockers’ 5. Parks kicked a 22-yard field goal as the Yellow Jackets trailed only 24-17 going into the final quarter.
Sefa booted a 23-yard field goal early in the frame as the Hardrockers went ahead 27-17.
Lewis’ 17-yard touchdown run and Sefa’s kick gave South Dakota Mines a 34-17 lead midway through the frame. That stood as the final score.
Eben threw for 103 yards and a touchdown for Black Hills State. Keilar Harpham had one catch for 47 yards before a shoulder injury forced him out of the contest.
Susel paced the Yellow Jackets’ running game by gaining 61 net yards. Ryder Blair collected seven total tackles (five solo and two assist) to lead the defense.
“The biggest thing is that we can’t fall apart as a team over one loss,” Breske said. He cited the importance of “looking in the mirror” and said he could have done some things better.
“They did a good job of getting to our quarterback,” Breske said in describing South Dakota Mines’ defense. He added the Hardrockers matched up well with the Yellow Jackets’ tight ends.
Breske said the team needs to continue working on the sport’s mental aspect as well as the physical.
Statistical leaders follow.
Passing — BHSU: Chance Eben 7 completions in 28 attempts for 103 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception. SD Mines: Jayden Johannssen 15 for 22, 149 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions.
Net rushing — BHSU: Nolan Susel 17 carries for 61 yards, Andre Renteria 3-19, Eben 10-17. SD Mines: Ahmad Lewis 26 carries for 171 yards.
Receiving — BHSU: Keilar Harpham 1 catch for 47 yards, Hasaan Williams 2-19, Mitch McKibbin 1-12. SD Mines: Lewis 5-60.
Total tackles — BHSU: Ryder Blair 7, Brady Morris 5, Joseph Castillo 5, Dylon Case 5. SD Mines: Cole Peterson 7.
Black Hills State, 0-1, will host Colorado Mesa in its home opener Saturday.
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