The second home game of the season for Mines football was a hard fought battle against a tough Tennessee team, No. 11 Carson-Newman.
“We worked really hard all week. It’s going to be an exciting game, since we are such a great passing team. We are going up against a high octane running game, so it’s going to be a battle of the offenses,” Predicted Mines freshmen Chantz Tanner before the game.
“It’s a great environment; it’s real pretty up here in Colorado. I’m just ready to play,” Commented Carson-Newman center, Derek Evans.
Despite blowing away South Dakota Mines in their season opener 72-6 last weekend, the Orediggers suffered a close defeat to Carson-Newman this Saturday at Campbell Field 27-24.
CSM’s defense started out slow when Carson-Newman ran for a touchdown on the second play of the game. Mines offense quickly returned the touchdown in the middle of the first quarter on a 10-yard Matt Brown run. Carson-Newman’s running plays led their drive back down the field. As Carson-Newman made steady progress towards the end zone, Mines defense forced a fourth down near midfield. A controversial face mask call on Mines led to another touchdown for Carson-Newman during their second drive.
With Mines offense heating up, quarterback, Matt Brown took advantage of the holes in the Carson-Newman defensive line with several long runs. However, Mines fans were disappointed when Brown threw an interception in the end zone, costing Mines possession of the ball and an additional touchdown. Defensively, Mines remained strong and held Carson Newman to three touchdowns in the first half. Carson Newman led 21-13 at the end of the first half.
At the start of the third quarter, the offense almost slipped up when wide receiver, Jimmy Ellis, fumbled the ball on the Carson-Newman fifteen yard line. Fortunately, wide receiver Diamond Gillis recovered the ball and ran it in for the touchdown. Brown drove up the center for the successful two point conversion, firing up the Mines crowd and tying the game at 21.
Carson-Newman kicker, Curt Duncan, hit a field goal from 26 out with five minutes to go in the third quarter. With Carson-Newman leading by 3, their defense stopped Mines on the 29 yard line. Mines tied the score up at 24 with an Avery Lewellyn field goal from 23 out, but with 5:39 remaining, Carson_Newman took the lead for good with a 38 yard field goal. With 59 seconds left, Lewellyn attempted a 46 yarder, but the kick fell short and ultimately so did the comeback. Mines defense kicked it into gear in the second half, only allowing Carson-Newman one field goal in the each of the last two quarters, while the offense matched the score. The game ended in a painful defeat 24-27.
Despite suffering a loss, Mines fans remain optimistic. Mines put on a show both offensively and defensively. Matt Brown ran for a total of 133 yards in the game in addition to throwing for 332 yards. Mines defense also forced seven fumbles, recovering four of them in addition to three sacks. Mines also successfully converted three fourth downs.
Next Saturday, Mines will play Black Hills State in Spearfish, South Dakota.