Nothing seems to be able to stop the Colorado School of Mines football lately. The academic equivalent of this feat, in which the Orediggers have outscored their opponents 276-133, would be like getting 100% scores on every Principles of Chemistry exam. The trend continued Saturday as Mines defeated the Western State Mascots 39-13 at the Mountaineer Bowl in Gunnison, CO.
The Mines offense, averaging 39.2 points per game, continued to roll Saturday as they jumped out to a 39-0 lead after two quarters of play. Quarterback Clay Garcia, recently named the RMAC Football Academic Player of the Year, threw for 33 yards on 29-40 passing attempts. This is the fifth game on the season that Garcia has thrown for over 300 yards as he is on pace to finish with over 3300 passing yards.
Senior Cody Renken led the Orediggers with 15 receptions for 110 yards and Robbin Vinnola had a breakout game as he added 98 yards on 7 catches. On the ground, Dan Palmer led the team with 52 yards on 11 carries.
The Orediggers took no time in getting on the board. Garcia and company took only 6 plays and 2:35 to cover 75 yards to take a 7-0 lead. The defense responded by forcing a three-and-out on the Mascots and after the ensuing punt, Mines marched another 65 yards, this time in 7 plays, that ended in a two-yard touchdown reception for junior Dan Palmer. After another three-and-out by Western State, the offense delivered once again, and by the end of the first quarter, the Orediggers had outscored the Mascots 19-0 and out gained them 174-15.
For head coach Bob Stitt and his staff, it would have been hard to imagine a better first half for both his offensive and defensive units. In 7 offensive possessions, the Orediggers scored six touchdowns. The seventh drive? It was halted by the conclusion of the first half.
Defensively, Mines forced five punts and a turnover on downs by the end of the first half. Four of the six Mascots drives consisted of only three plays and the longest drive lasted only 38 yards.
Western State was outmatched Saturday against Mines, but the broke the chance of a shutout early in the third quarter on a 21 yards reception by Lukas Adams. For the Mascots, the struggles continue. The loss sends them to 1-5 in the RMAC and 1-7 overall.
For Mines, the pursuit of postseason play continues. The Orediggers improve to 6-0 in RMAC play and 7-1 overall as they chase the RMAC title, something they have not won since 2004. The win is also the second for CSM since being ranked in the top 25 nationally for Division II football. They currently stand at #20 and are one of only two teams in the RMAC that are ranked in the top 25. The other is Nebraska-Kearney, which stands at #12 who will travel to Golden November 13 to face the Colorado School of Mines in the final game of the season in what could be a showdown to determine the 2010 RMAC champion.
Mines has now won their past seven games and will return to Campbell Field for a home game against Adams State University October 30.