Brown, Renken Combine With Defense To Lead Mines Past FLC, 58-16
DURANGO – Matt Brown threw for five touchdown passes, including four to Cody Renken, to lead the Colorado School of Mines football team to a 58-16 win at Fort Lewis during the Skyhawks' Homecoming game on Saturday at Dennison Memorial Field in Durango.
Mines (4-2, 2-2 RMAC) kept the offensive tempo up the entire contest in amassing 100 plays for a total of 566 yards, while the Mines defense caused three turnovers and limited FLC to a 3-for-16 effort on third downs in posting its sixth-straight win over the Skyhawks (0-5, 0-4 RMAC).
The Skyhawks opened up the scoring with 4:40 to go in the first with an 18-yard field goal by Eric Garcia-Henderson to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
The Orediggers were limited to just 52 yards of offense on 22 plays during the first stanza, but the offense blew up in the second quarter to the tune of 28 plays for 258 yards, including four unanswered scoring tosses from Brown to Renken during the period.
Brown posted a 16-for-23 passing line with 233 yards in addition to the four scoring tosses, while Renken's four trips to paydirt came on a total of five receptions and 84 yards during the quarter.
The duo connected on plays of 18, seven, 17 and 19 yards during the quarter and three Avery Llewellyn extra points would be good, giving Mines its 27-3 lead at the break. Three of the four scoring drives in the quarter would involve seven or more plays and all covered at least 54 yards.
Two of the Orediggers' signature defensive plays of the game also happened during the quarter, including an interception by Ryan Wood when Mines had a 7-3 lead that set up the second of four Brown-to-Renken connections. After a Brown interception at the Mines' 41 yard line, the defense came up huge again by stopping the Skyhawks on four-straight plays, including a 4th-and-1 on the Mines 32 when Chad McGraw hurried Skyhawk quarterback Tim Jenkins, causing his pass attempt to fall incomplete.
Llewellyn opened up the scoring in the second half with a 29-yard field goal to push the Oredigger lead to 30-7 with 8:53 remaining in the third quarter.
Brown added his fifth touchdown pass of the contest on a four-yarder to Diamond Gillis with 4:36 remaining in the quarter to push the Mines' lead to 37-3.
FLC then scored its first touchdown of the contest on a five-yard pass from Jenkins to Jonathan Price with 1:26 remaining in the quarter.
After a second Brown interception, this time in the waning moments of the third quarter, Billy Sprague and the Oredigger defensive unit again hurried Jenkins on fourth down which caused his pass to be incomplete. The Orediggers took over on their own 38 yard line, and capped off an 11-play, 62-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run by Zack Newnam – the first of his career.
An interception by Shawn Kobylinski on the ensuing drive set Mines up nicely at the FLC 23, and the offense then moved five plays and 20 yards for another score by Newnam, who rumbled in from three yards out. The senior's second score of the day put Mines up 51-9 with 7:42 to play in the game.
Jenkins, the reigning NFFCC Player of the Week, connected with Ethan Klassen for his second scoring toss of the day, this time for 75 yards, to trim Mines' lead to 51-16 with 7:41 to play.
Mines would put an exclamation point on the game with a 12-play drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by Joe Schneider to bring the game to its final score at 58-16.
Brown finished the contest 40-of-59 for 415 yards and five scores to mark his third game of the season with five total touchdowns. The September RMAC Athlete of the Month added 19 yards on the ground for 434 yards of total offense after entering the contest as the top player in the country for the category.
Renken finished with 11 receptions for 124 yards and career-high four touchdowns to finish one score off the school record for touchdown receptions. Dayven Johnston holds the school record with five touchdown catches against Fort Hays State in 2001. His four second-quarter touchdowns ties the RMAC record for touchdown receptions in a quarter set by Chris Perry of Adams State in 1995.
Jerrod Doucet posted his third-straight big game with 14 receptions for 115 yards. Doucet recorded 25 receptions for 273 yards and four touchdowns combined in his two games prior to Saturday.
David Pawelek entered the contest as the RMAC leader in catches and yards, and added to those totals with 89 yards on six receptions while Gillis posted seven catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Newnam led the ground attack with 46 yards on 13 carries while adding the first two scoring runs of his career.
McGraw, Kole Kadavy and Jarrad McKay spearheaded the defensive efforts with seven stops apiece. Kadavy posted 2.5 sacks for a total loss of nine yards, while McGraw added 0.5 tackle for loss and three quarterback hurries.
McKay, making his first start at corner, posted three solo stops and a pass breakup.
Kobylinski and Wood each added an interception while Sprague and Tyler Denson added six and five stops, respectively.
Taylor Accardi, the nation's leading punter, averaged 44.0 yards on four kicks, including one inside the Skyhawk 20 yard line and one touchback. Llewellyn posted four touchbacks on his 10 kickoffs while finishing 1-for-1 on field goal attempts and 7-of-8 on extra points.
Mines will return home next Saturday when the squad hosts AFCA-No. 2 CSU-Pueblo at Campbell Field in Golden. CSUP defeated Chadron State, 45-38, on Saturday in overtime.