The Orediggers’ season finale went as well as anyone could have hoped as Mines shut out the Chadron State Eagles 23-0 to finish second place in the RMAC.
After the first of numerous strong defensive showings to start the game, Mines capitalized on their very first possession of the game, marching down the field to set up a 24-yard Avery Llewellyn field goal. The Chadron defense stepped up the rest of the quarter, and neither team put up more points in the frame to leave the score at 3-0 in favor of CSM going into the second.
However, on the opening play of the second quarter, Kole Kadavy took an intercepted Eagles’ pass 33-yards back to the endzone to give the Orediggers the 10-0 lead. When Chadron was forced to punt once again, the Oredigger offense drove down the field in just over three minutes and put the ball in the endzone on a 6-yard Matt Brown run. Already up 17-0, the Mines offense would manage to string together one more impressive drive before the half, setting up a 37-yard Llewellyn kick to push the score to 20-0 at halftime.
Both defenses played tremendously in the second half, as the normally explosive Mines offense was held to only three more points the rest of the game. However, 23 points would prove to be more than enough, as the Oredigger defense played an outstanding game, holding scoreless a Chadron State team that averaged 37.6 points per game coming into the day.
The 23-0 win was huge for the Orediggers (8-3, 7-2 RMAC), as it put them into a tie with Chadron State (8-3, 7-2 RMAC) for second in the RMAC with Mines owning the tiebreaker due to owning the head-to-head win. Coming in to the week, the Eagles had been projected as the eighth ranked team in the NCAA Super Region Four, which would give them a slim shot at making the postseason, but that spot could potentially belong to CSM after today’s win. That will not be known for certain until the NCAA’s newest DII football rankings are released on Monday, November 18th.
Whether the Orediggers will get the opportunity to continue into the postseason or not, they have certainly put together a fine season, finishing with a record of 8-3, including 7-2 in the RMAC which was good enough for a second place finish in the conference.