CHADRON, Neb. — October 14, 2021 — The Chadron State College football team will be seeking to even its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record at Saturday when it meets the Adams State Grizzlies in Alamosa, Colo. Kickoff will be at 1 o’clock.
The Eagles, who are 2-4 for the season and 2-3 in league play, jumped out to a 10-0 lead last Saturday while hosting Colorado State-Pueblo, but the ThunderWolves scored the next six touchdowns and won 42-17.
Four turnovers—three interceptions and a fumble by the Eagles—helped Pueblo to its fourth straight RMAC victory of the season.
“It’s hard to overcome that many turnovers,” CSC Coach Jay Long noted. “They gave Pueblo lots of momentum. We had a few bad plays and they made some good plays. That was the difference.”
Long noted that two sophomores, who because of injuries saw more action than usual, played extra well for the Eagles.
One was Jeydon Cox, who took over at tailback when starter Elijah Myles was unable to play because of a knee injury he’d sustained the previous Saturday at New Mexico Highlands. A 5-8, 180-pound native of Jackson, Wyo., Cox averaged 6.1 yards while rushing 18 times for 110 yards. He also caught six passes for 58 yards to lead the Eagles in both categories.
Cox’s performance wasn’t a surprise. As a true freshman during the Eagles’ abbreviated 4-game season a year ago, he averaged 7.6 yards on 32 carries. And at Jackson High School, he became the first Wyoming player to rush for more than 2,000 yards two years in a row.
On the defensive side Saturday, linebacker Joey Geil was among the leaders after assuming a larger role when the Eagles’ leading tackler for the season, Jeremiah Makahununiu, was sidelined early in the game. Geil, an all-stater at Casper’s Kelly Walsh High his senior year, participated in 11 tackles Saturday.
As the season enters its second half, Adams State is still seeking its first win. The Grizzlies opened with non-conference losses to Western New Mexico (35-17) and Eastern New Mexico (42-14) before beginning its RMAC schedule.
Western Colorado defeated the Grizzlies 24-10, two weeks after the Mountaineers had downed the Eagles 23-10. Adams State then came out on the short end of two donnybrooks against the conference members from South Dakota. Black Hills State won at home in 51-48 in double overtime and South Dakota Mines pulled out a 45-42 decision in Rapid City the next Saturday.
Last Saturday, Colorado Mesa caged the Grizzlies 49-14. The Eagles have played South Dakota Mines, winning 31-24, but also lost to Mesa 24-17. CSC will wrap up its season by visiting Black Hills State on Nov. 13.
The Grizzlies’ leading rusher is Tyreik Campbell, a 5-11, 210-pound senior, with 95 carries for 499 yards and four touchdowns. The quarterback is John Buksa, a 6-0, 202-pound senior who has completed 58 of 124 passes for 867 yards and seven TDs, and has not been intercepted this season.
Nine of the Adams State offensive starters are seniors, but only four of the defensive starters are using their final year of eligibility.
The head coach is Jarrell Harrison, who has been on the Grizzlies’ staff since 2016, and was elevated to the head job in January of this year. He was a starting safety for the Missouri Tigers during his playing days.
Chadron State owns a 25-6 margin in the all-time series. Since Jay Long took over as the Eagles’ head mentor in 2012, CSC has a 6-2 edge. Some of the games have been high-scoring shootouts. The Eagles won 45-31 in 2014 and 73-26 in 2017.
But Adams State has dealt the Eagles a couple heart-breakers. The Grizzlies won 31-30 in 2016 and 65-62 in 2018, the last time the teams met in Alamosa. The latter game included 167 offensive snaps, 58 first downs, 1,224 total net yards, and 18 touchdowns. A 27-yard field goal that the Grizzlies kicked in the second quarter proved to be the difference.
Chadron State won 42-23 in 2019, the last time the teams met.