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No. 18 Mines' Comeback Falls Short In 42-37 Loss At NMHU

LAS VEGAS, N.M. – The No. 18 Colorado School of Mines football team set more offensive records on Saturday, but this time they came in a losing cause as the Orediggers fell to New Mexico Highlands by a 42-37 final on Saturday at Perkins Stadium in Las Vegas, N.M.

Mines (3-1, 1-1 RMAC) outgained the Cowboys (3-1, 2-0 RMAC) by a 632-to-570 margin in the matchup, but four turnovers by the Orediggers proved to be costly in the end.

NMHU opened up the scoring with a 76-yard touchdown run by Vincent Venegas to go up 7-0 with 14:05 remaining in the first quarter.

Mines took the ball down the field on the ensuing possession and capped off an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Matt Brown to notch things up at 7-7 with 10:59 to play in the first quarter.

Two fumbles by Mines in the first quarter didn't result in any touchdowns for the Cowboys, but one came inside the NMHU 20 yard line and stalled a drive that had covered 53 yards.

NMHU went up 14-7 on a one-yard touchdown run by Jordan Campbell with 11:51 to go in the second quarter.

Mines again tied up the ballgame when Brown found sophomore wideout Diamond Gillis for a 34-yard touchdown to close out a six-play, 84-yard drive that took just 1:52 off the clock.

An interception by Mines in NMHU territory again stalled a drive that started with the ball on Mines' own 48 yard line. The Cowboys took advantage of the turnover and turned it into a touchdown pass from Emmanuel Lewis to John Webster, which put the home squad up 21-7 with 2:06 to play in the half.

An interception on the ensuing drive again stopped a drive in the Highlands side of the 50 yard line, and Lewis hit Trent Hicks for a 44-yard touchdown on the next play to go up 28-14 with 1:02 to play in the half.

Mines would get the ball to the NMHU 20 yard line on the next drive, but there would not be enough time to get the field goal unit on the field, ending the first half at 28-14 in favor of NMHU.

Mines would get on the board again with 8:50 to play in the third quarter on a 45-yard field goal by Avery Llewellyn to cut the lead to 28-17.

The Cowboys pushed their lead to 35-17 on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to De'joshua Johnson with 3:15 to go in the third quarter.

Brown would find Jerrod Doucet for a 14-yard touchdown to cap off an 11-play, 80-yard drive just seconds into the fourth quarter to trim the NMHU lead to 35-24.

Lewis found Kevon Williams for a 36-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession to move their lead to 42-24 with 13:07 to play in the fourth quarter.

Mines took their next possession 80 yards on 12 plays and hit paydirt on a pass from Brown to Doucet for a seven-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 42-31.

With just 3:06 to play, Brown found senior Cody Renken for a 13-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 42-37. The two-point attempt would be no good, leaving the score at 42-37.

Mines would force a punt and had one last chance for a score, but Brown's pass attempt to Doucet would fall incomplete at the 50-yard line on a 4th-and-8 with 31 seconds remaining, giving NMHU its second win over the Orediggers in the last two seasons.

Brown would go into the record books in four statistical categories in the contest after finishing 52-of-80 for 606 yards and four touchdowns through the air. His 606 passing yards broke the school record of 506 yards set by David Pesek against New Mexico Highlands in 2009. His 80 pass attempts broke a school record of 65 set by Clay Garcia against New Mexico Highlands last season and his 52 completions broke the school record of 45 set by current quarterback coach Chad Friehauf during his Harlon Hill award-winning campaign against Pittsburg State in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2004. Brown also broke Friehauf's record of 559 yards of total offense in the game with 600 on Saturday.

He also added a scoring run in the first quarter to finish with five total touchdowns for the second-straight game.

The Orediggers set RMAC records for team attempts and completions, breaking the attempts record of 74 that Western New Mexico set against Nebraska-Kearney on October 29, 2011. Mines' 52 completions broke the conference record of 45 that was set by Fort Lewis against Nebraska-Kearney on October 12, 2001.

Brown's marks for attempts and completions also set new conference marks, with his attempts total topping the previous record of 74 set by Andrew Webb of Fort Lewis and David Ingram of Western New Mexico.

The completions mark broke Friehauf's school record, which was also the highest in RMAC history.  

Doucet led the receiving corps with a school-record 16 receptions for 212 yards and two touchdowns. His 16 receptions broke a school record set by Renken against Western State in 2010.

Renken added 12 catches for 145 yards and a touchdown while David Pawelek added 12 catches for 120 yards. Gillis finished with six receptions for 72 yards and a score.

Ian McFadden led the defense with nine tackles (seven solo) while also adding 0.5 tackle for loss and one pass break up.

Kelly Zimmerman added eight stops (six solo) and 1.0 tackle for loss while Henry Kaetzer finished with eight tackles and Jarrad McKay finished with seven stops tackles. Kaetzer added his third interception of the season in the game.

Mines will return home for a Homecoming clash against Western New Mexico next Saturday, September 29. Kickoff is slated for noon at Campbell Field in Golden. 

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