SPEARFISH — Black Hills State University’s football team endured a very rough second half Saturday dropping a 48-31 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference decision to Chadron State at Lyle Hare Stadium. 

It marked the 2019 home opener for the Yellow Jackets.

“We started to try to do too much,” Yellow Jackets head coach John Reiners said in describing a second half that started with his team leading 17-0. 

“Whether it was on offense or defense, just do your job. Those things catch up to you. They (Eagles) got some momentum and kind of rode it,” Reiners said.

Sean Dorney kicked a 36-yard field goal to end the game’s first drive and put Black Hills State ahead 3-0. 

The Yellow Jackets began the second quarter on Chadron State’s 1-yard line. 

Payten Gilmore’s run on the next play, plus Dorney’s kick, extended the Black Hills State edge to 10-0.

Black Hills State began a subsequent possession on its 35-yard line. 

Jarett Jenson (11-yard catch) and Gilmore (19-yard catch) recorded first downs as the Yellow Jackets reached the Chadron 30-yard line.

The drive ended four plays later when Kielar Harpham caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Tovar. 

Dorney’s point after kick gave the Yellow Jackets a 17-0 halftime advantage.

Chadron State scored on its opening drive of the third quarter. 

Elijah Myles’ 18-yard touchdown run and Colton Dolder’s kick brought the visiting Eagles within 17-7.

Black Hills State responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Jenson snared a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tovar to end the drive. Dorney added the extra point to make the score 24-7.

Chadron State needed only six plays to cut into the lead. 

Tevon Wright caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Dalton Holst to end the drive. 

An unsuccessful conversion try kept the score at 24-13.

Eagles’ cornerback Demetrius McFadden intercepted a pass to give Chadron State possession at midfield. 

Brandon Fullerton’s 28-yard touchdown catch from Holst came three plays later, but a failed converstion try kept the score at 24-19.

Chadron State took the lead early in the fourth quarter. 

Wright caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Holst, and Colt Foster caught the two-point conversion pass as the Eagles moved ahead 27-24.

The Eagles scored touchdowns on their next two possessions to extend their advantage to 41-24. 

Myles found the end zone on runs of 1 and 19 yards.

Black Hills State trailed 48-24 before Nolan Susel scored on a 13-yard run. Dorney’s kick made the final score 48-31.

Chadron State (1-0 in the conference, 1-0 overall) claimed a 327-264 edge in passing yardage. Tovar completed 22 of 35 passes in his Black Hills State debut but suffered three interceptions.

Holst threw for 327 yards for Chadron State. His efforts included four touchdown passes.

Harpham caught nine passes for 147 yards to pace Yellow Jacket receivers. Wright’s efforts for Chadron State featured five catches for 86 yards. 

Black Hills State outrushed the Eagles by a 178-176 margin. 

Gilmore gained 87 net yards for Black Hills State. Chadron State go 138 rushing yards from Myles.

“Across the board, we’ve got to be a better second-half team,” Reiners said. “In my mind, it was more just a couple of mental and some discipline mistakes on both offense and defense that we can correct.”

Statistical leaders follow.

RushingBlack Hills State: Payten Gilmore 22 carries for 87 yards, Andre Renteria 15-59, Nolan Susel 3-41. Chadron State: Elijah Myles 19-138.

PassingBlack Hills State: Andrew Tovar 22 completions in 35 attempts, 264 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. Chadron State: Dalton Holst 22-30, 327 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.

ReceivingBlack Hills State: Kielar Harpham 9 catches for 147 yards, Jordan Pace 4-28, Gilmore 2-28. Chadron State: Tevon Wright 5-86.

Total tacklesBlack Hills State: Josh Gurnaby 17 (6 solo and 11 assist), Sam Garcia 10 (3 solo and 7 assist), Kyle Kettlehut 8 (1 solo and 7 assist). Chadron State: Travis Wilson 16 (6 solo and 10 assist).

Black Hills State (0-1 in the conference, 0-1 overall) will visit Colorado Mines next Saturday, Sept. 14.

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