The Oredigger football team struck early and often on Saturday October, 12, dismantling the Fort Lewis College defense en route to a 51-16 win.
It took CSM little more than two minutes to march down the field on their opening possession and set up an 11-yard Dan Palmer touchdown run. Fort Lewis responded a few minutes later with a 22-yard field goal to narrow the gap to 7-3 in favor of CSM, but Mines answered right back with their own 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a short strike to the endzone from Joe Schneider to Diamond Gillis.
After two consecutive Fort Lewis three-and-outs brought the game into the second quarter, Schneider put the Orediggers in the endzone again, this time on a three-yard quarterback keeper. The Fort Lewis offense gained some temporary life in the latter part of the second quarter, scoring 13 unanswered points before halftime and cutting the Mines lead to 21-16 as both teams headed to the locker room.
Any momentum Fort Lewis had built up disappeared quickly though, as Mines converted their first two possessions of the second half into a swift ten points on a seven-yard Schneider run and a 29-yard Avery Llewellyn field goal. Schneider found the endzone once more before the third quarter expired, this time on a 23 yard pass to Alex Waner.
Heading into the final quarter of play, the Orediggers held a solid 38-16 lead, but that did not cause the offense to let off the gas. Even after Schneider, the day’s starting quarterback, was replaced with Matt Brown, the offense continued to roll down the field. After a 32-yard kick by Llewellyn and a 63-yard run by Brown gave CSM the commanding 48-16 lead, the Mines defense forced a Fort Lewis fumble deep within their own territory, which set up the 34-yard Llewellyn field goal that provided the game’s final score of 51-16 Mines.
Despite only a 43.2 completion percentage by Schneider, he still had a very solid day with 290 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and another 61 yards and two scores rushing. A fantastic, balanced performance was put on by the rest of the offense as well; with five different rushers and 11 different receivers all contributing towards CSM’s 600 yards of total offense.
The Orediggers will look to keep their momentum going next weekend as they attempt to spoil CSU-Pueblo’s perfect season on their home turf. At 6-0 (4-0 RMAC) and currently ranked #5 in the nation, Pueblo will be Mines’ toughest test of the season. That game kicks off at 6 p.m. in Pueblo on Saturday, October 19th.