Mines crushes Western 48-33

{gallery}1112/i7/football{/gallery}All Photos Steven Wooldridge

For the second straight week, the Mines football team raced out to an early lead before struggling to hold on as they let their opponent climb back into the game. But for the second straight week, the Orediggers held on long enough to claim the victory as they outscored Western State College 48-33 Saturday at Campbell Field in Golden.

Quarterback Clay Garcia threw for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns and Diamond Gillis had nine receptions for 112 total yards in a game where the Orediggers scored more points (48) in four quarters than they had in the previous nine spanning three games (41).

Mines started off the game with a bit of trickery in the form of a 20 yard halfback pass from Gillis, a former quarterback converted to wide receiver, to true freshman Tevin Champagne. 40 yards later, Garcia found a wide open Eric Shannon in the corner of the endzone for the early 7-0 lead.

Western State did not roll over, though, as the one-win Mountaineers quickly responded with 10 points to go ahead 10-7 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.

After falling behind, the Orediggers went on a 27-3 run over the next 17 minutes, capped by a seven yard touchdown rumble by Dan Palmer with less than one minute to play in the half. The lone three points by Western State came on a 50 yard field goal that just cleared the crossbar.

In the second half, the Orediggers kept the Mountaineers at arm’s length. Western State closed to within two possessions on three different occasions, but Mines responded each time, scoring twice more in the game at crucial times.

Trailing 41-27 early in the fourth, Western State held Mines to a three-and-out and got the ball deep in their own territory with the opportunity to close the gap to seven points for the first time since the second quarter. However, Oredigger Justin Neal intercepted WSC quarterback Jamie Jensen on a deep pass at the WSC 41 and returned it 39 yards to the two yard line. One Dan Palmer touchdown run later, Mines was once again ahead by three scores and never looked back.

Western State, averaging only 13.5 points per game this season, torched the Oredigger defense for 441 total yards, with 172 on the ground. Jenson finished the game with 269 passing yards and a career high four touchdown passes. Their 33 points was the highest point total for the Mountaineers since September of 2009.

Mines finished the game with 48 points, 339 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Palmer had three touchdowns on only 71 yards. It was the third time this season Palmer had a triple touchdown day.

A total of seven separate Mines receivers caught passes and three had touchdown receptions. Gillis led the Orediggers with 112 yards, Jordan Ward had 81 yards and a touchdown, and Matt Brown had 50 yards and a touchdown, Tevin Champagne had 28 yards and David Pawelek had 26. Dan Palmer had 22 yards while Shannon added 20 yards and a touchdown to round out the receiving.

On the defensive side, Neal and Henry Kaetzer each had an interception while Jarrod Mckay led Mines in tackles with eight. Neal, Kaetzer and Alex Vigil each had seven while Taylor Jeski, Ryan Wood, and Kelly Zimmerman had six apiece.

The Orediggers have now won two games in a row and improve to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the RMAC. They are currently in third place in the conference. Mines continues play 1:00 pm next Saturday at Adams State’s Rex Field in Alamosa, CO.

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