Diggers Claim Nyikos Cup For Third-Straight Season With 34-7 Win Over CMU
GOLDEN – The Colorado School of Mines football team held visiting Colorado Mesa to 35 rushing yards on 34 carries and forced six turnovers in posting a 34-7 win over the Mavericks on Saturday afternoon at Campbell Field in Golden.
Mines (5-3, 3-3 RMAC) picked off two CMU (3-5, 3-3 RMAC) passes and recovered four of the Mavericks' seven fumbles on the day in addition to holding the RMAC's second-ranked rush offense to its lowest yardage output of the season by 89 yards. Jake Cimolino, the RMAC's leading rusher in terms of yards, yards per carry and touchdowns entering the game, was held to 24 yards on 14 carries for an average of 1.7 yards per rush.
The Orediggers posted a 388-to-280 advantage in offensive yardage while the defense added 12 tackles for loss and four sacks in allowing just seven points. The win gave Mines its third-straight win in the Nyikos Cup series, and fourth-straight win over the Mavericks overall. Since the inception of the Nyikos Cup in 2010, the Orediggers have outscored CMU by a total of 108-37 over the three-game series.
Tyler Denson led the defensive unit once again with 10 tackles (four solo) with a sack for a loss of nine yards. The junior also picked off a pass and posted 3.5 tackles for a loss one week after notching 19 stops against CSU-Pueblo.
Billy Sprague followed with seven tackles, while Chad McGraw and Jarrad McKay added six stops apiece. McGraw added 2.0 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles to bring his team-leading number in the latter category to seven. In all, nine different players recorded at least 0.5 tackle for loss.
Sophomore Matt Brown finished 32-of-49 for 304 yards and a touchdown through the air with a pair of interceptions. Brown eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing plateau for the season and upped his number of total touchdowns on the season to 29.
David Pawelek led the receiving corps with nine grabs for 107 yards, including a long of 44. Jimmy Ellis and Jerrod Doucet each added six receptions for a combined 100 yards, while Doucet added a one-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Zack Newnam carried nine times for 33 yards and put Mines up 17-0 with a three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and Brown added 26 yards on the ground for 330 yards of total offense.
Avery Llewellyn finished 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on PAT's while booting three of his seven kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback. Taylor Accardi boosted his NCAA-leading punting average with an average of 55.0 yards on four punts on Saturday, including a long of 59.
Doucet's one-yard touchdown reception with 7:47 remaining in the first quarter capped off a 12-play, 72-yard drive, and served as the game's lone score until Llewellyn knocked in a 37-yard field goal with six seconds remaining in the opening quarter which put Mines up 10-0.
Newnam then rumbled in from three yards out to put Mines up 17-0 with 14:00 to go in the second stanza. The score moved to 24-0 when Nate Behrends scored his first-career touchdown by recovering a Cody Renken fumble in the end zone with 16 seconds to go before halftime.
Llewellyn closed out a sloppy third quarter that featured a combined four turnovers with a 34-yard field goal with 37 seconds showing on the clock.
Kole Kadavy gave the game its signature moment when he intercepted a Deke Cisco pass and returned it 73 yards for a touchdown to put Mines up 34-0 with 11:23 to play in regulation.
The Orediggers' shutout bid was squashed when Cisco found Turmour Battle for a 62-yard touchdown with 2:11 remaining which brought the game to its final score at 34-7.
The Orediggers will head out on the road next weekend for a matchup with Western State on Saturday in Gunnison.