The Colorado School of Mines Football team opened the season Saturday against the William Jewell College Cardinals in an offensive explosion. There is perhaps no better way to start the season than by routing an opponent by the score of 57-16.
The Orediggers started the game off in style, scoring two touchdowns in just under four minutes. After opening with the ball, they covered 78 yards in 10 plays, completing the drive with a touchdown pass from Matt Brown to Diamond Gillis. Mines’ second touchdown was set up by a Cardinal fumble on the William Jewell 40-yard-line and was capped off with a 40 yard pass from Brown to David Pawelek. Following a 50-yard touchdown pass by William Jewell, the Orediggers scored on a three-yard run by Dan Palmer. At the end of the first quarter, Mines led 20-7.
Ian McFadden blocked a field goal to start the second quarter, with Ryan Wood recovering the ball at the Orediggers 29-yard-line. Brown hit receiver Cody Renken for a 58-yard completion to highlight the drive, taking the team to the eight-yard-line before the Orediggers settled for an Avery Llewellyn 25-yard field goal.
Back on defense, Henry Kaetzer intercepted Cardinals quarterback Sean Shelton on Mines’ three yard line, setting up a five-minute drive covering 97 yards in 13 plays, and finishing with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Gillis. The Cardinals answered with a field goal as time expired in the first half to put the score at 30-10 in favor of the Orediggers at half time.
After deferring to start the game, the Cardinals reached the red zone on the opening possession of the third quarter, but on a captivating fourth down, the Orediggers stifled any hope for a comeback, preventing the Cardinals from scoring.
With 5:18 left in the third, Mines drove the ball 36 yards in 1:36 and scored on a Tevin Champagne three-yard run. William Jewell scored on their next drive, recovering their own fumble in the end zone. The Orediggers continued to light up the scoreboard as Brown hit Champagne for a 25-yard touchdown to make the score heading into the fourth 44-16.
On the first drive of the fourth, with the game clearly out of reach, Champagne scored yet again, this time on a four-yard rush.
During the game, the Oredigger defense held when needed and even though it allowed 474 yards of offense by the Cardinals, those yards only resulted in 16 points. The Oredigger offense racked up a total of 690 yards in an offensive showcase, breaking the school record of 686 yards set during the historic 2004 season.
Brown finished the game 23-30 with 358 yards passing and four touchdowns. Champagne scored three touchdowns and Gillis accounted for two. On the defensive side, Alex Laudenslager led the team with eight total tackles, Kelly Zimmerman recorded seven total tackles and one forced fumble, and Chris Pinson, Sam Frazier, and Billy Sprague each recorded one sack.
Next up for the Orediggers is an away game at the South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday, September 8 at 6 pm.