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No. 23 Diggers Squash Yellowjackets In RMAC Opener, 42-19

GOLDEN – The No. 23 Colorado School of Mines football team ran nearly 100 plays for 517 yards of total offense in cruising past Black Hills State by a 42-19 final on Saturday at Campbell Field in Golden.

Mines (3-0, 1-0 RMAC) amassed 29 first downs in the contest despite trailing in time of possession by a 31:03-to-28:57 margin.

BHSU (0-2, 0-1 RMAC) got on the board first after recovering a Mines fumble on the Yellowjacket 36-yard line, then Trent Butler scored from one yard out to cap off a 11-play, 64-yard drive to put the visitors ahead 7-0. 

The two teams traded punts before Mines staged a 15-play, 90-yard drive that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Matt Brown to David Pawelek that tied up the ballgame with no time remaining in the first quarter.

Henry Kaetzer then intercepted a Ward Anderson pass on the ensuing possession, setting Mines up nicely at the BHSU 41-yard line. Brown ran in from one-yard out to close out a seven-play drive and put Mines up 14-7 with 11:30 remaining in the second quarter.

BHSU went four plays before punting on the next possession. Mines then added to its lead when Tevin Champagne jumped the pile from one yard out to cap off a 10-play, 54-yard drive that put Mines up 21-7 with 6:55 remaining in the half. The score would hold until halftime.

BHSU opened up the third quarter with a bang by going 75 yards on three plays, including a 56-yard touchdown reception by Bryar DeSanti from Ward Anderson, cutting the lead to 21-13 after the PAT attempt was blocked by Rylan Hess

The two teams would trade punts until 5:32 remained on the scoreboard when Brown scored his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon, this one of the 11-yard variety, to increase the Oredigger lead to 28-13.

Pawelek added his second touchdown of the game with 11:50 remaining in the fourth quarter on a seven-yard pass from Brown to make it 35-13. Cody Renken then capped off his near-historic day with a 35-yard touchdown reception from Brown to push the lead to 42-13 with 8:27 remaining in the fourth.

BHSU added another DeSanti touchdown reception with 6:50 remaining to bring the score to its final at 42-19.

Brown finished 37-of-63 for 407 yards and three touchdowns through the air, while adding 19 yards and two rushing touchdowns for a total of 426 yards of total offense on the day. 

Renken finished with 14 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown – just one catch short of tying his school record for receptions in a game that was set in a 39-13 win over Western State on October 23, 2010. The Smithson Valley, Texas, native added 59 yards on returns for 229 all-purpose yards in the game. The fourth-quarter touchdown was Renken's first score since catching a 22-yarder from Clay Garcia in the first quarter of the season-opener against William Jewell in 2011. 

Fellow Smithson Valley, Texas, product Pawelek added 74 yards on eight receptions while notching two touchdowns, and sophomore Diamond Gillis added 63 yards on six receptions. 

As good as the offensive numbers were for the Orediggers, quite possibly the best performance of the day came from All-American punter Taylor Accardi, who averaged 54.7 yards on his seven punts, including a long of 68 yards. He had five of his punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line including one that he coffined to the Black Hills State one yard line and one that was downed at the Yellowjacket three yard line. He also knocked one out of bounds at the six yard line and added 58-yarder that was downed at the BHSU two yard line.

Fellow specialist Avery Llewellyn added a perfect 6-for-6 effort on extra points, while also booming all seven of his kickoffs into the end zone. All but two were not returnable.

Tyler Denson led the defense with 12 tackles (seven solo) with two tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Kaetzer and Ian McFadden registered seven tackles a piece, with Kaetzer adding an interception, and safeties Jarrad McKay and Ryan Wood each added six tackles and 0.5 tackle per loss.

Mines will head back out on the road for a matchup with New Mexico Highlands on Saturday in Las Vegas, N.M.

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