RAPID CITY, S.D.– South Dakota Mines, a member of NCAA Division II Independent, raced to a 45-0 halftime lead over Dakota State (S.D.) Saturday afternoon at the O'Harra Stadium. The Hardrockers never trailed in the game as the Trojans dropped a 69-25 defeat in a battle of former conferences (South Dakota Intercollegiate and Dakota Athletic Conference) foes.
Dakota State dipped their overall record to 2-5. SDM improved their overall record to 5-3 and 50-27-1 series record over the Trojans.
South Dakota Mines opened the drive on their own 31-yardline and marched toward to the end zone. The Trojans prevented the Hardrockers from scoring as Ben Kullos intercepted Evan Sanders' pass on DSU's 1-yardline with twelve minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
DSU committed a turnover in their first drive of the game on their own 4-yardline. The Hardrockers scored off of DSU's turnover as Sanders threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Derek Graves with 11:11 left in the opening quarter. Devon Jones added a PAT kick to give SDM a 7-0 lead.
The Hardrockers added two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter – a 3-yard touchdown run by De'Andre Bolden with 5:36 left and a 1-yard touchdown run by Kevin Thompson with 1:58 remaining. Jones converted both PAT kicks to extend Hardrockers' lead to 21-0.
South Dakota Mines outscored the Trojans 24-0 in the second quarter, expanding their lead to 45-0 by intermission.
Dakota State got on board to kick off the second-half. The Trojans started their drive on their own 25-yardline and converted four first-downs. Cole Whisenhunt connected to Kris Dearie for a 26-yard touchdown pass for Trojans' first touchdown of the game with 12:46 left in the third quarter. The PAT kick by Tanner Hubbard was no good as the Trojans trailed 45-6. DSU recorded eight plays for 75 yards in 2:14 in the scoring drive.
Jones kicked a 53-yard field goal with 10:04 remaining in the third quarter as Hardrockers' lead grew to 48-6.
The Trojans quickly scored on the ensuing drive. Dearie rushed for a 5-yard touchdown run and Hubbard added a successful PAT kick to trim Hardrockers' lead to 48-13 with 8:20 left in the third quarter. DSU used five plays for 69 yards in 1:44.
SDM made it 55-13 after Ben Broeker threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Berke with less than eight minutes left in the third quarter (Jones' PAT kick was good).
On the next drive, DSU scored their third touchdown in the third quarter. The Trojans converted five first-downs, including four consecutive first-downs, on their scoring drive. Whisenhunt threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ely with 6:07 left in the third. Hubbard's PAT kick was blocked as the Hardrockers held a 55-19 lead.
Broeker recorded a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bolden as SDM expanded their lead to 62-19 with 1:21 left in the third quarter (Jones' PAT kick was good).
The Trojans outscored the Hardrockers 19-17 in the third quarter.
DSU used 12 plays for 95 yards in 3:30 for their next scoring drive. Whisenhunt connected to Ely for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 10:24 left in the fourth quarter. Hubbard's PAT kick was successful as the Trojans cut SDM's lead to 62-25.
The Hardrockers extended their lead to 69-25 as Broeker rushed for 46-yard touchdown with near six minutes remaining in the game (Jones' PAT kick was good).
Whisenhunt completed 31 passes – tied DSU school record for most completions in a single game with Brandon Large and Daryl Fletcher – in 49 attempts for 291 yards for the Trojans. He recorded three touchdowns and three interceptions. Whisenhunt added 17 rushes for 119 yards. Dylan VandeGarde recorded nine rushes for 35 yards. Dearie had six rushes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Ely had 10 receptions for 122 yards with two touchdowns for DSU. He also completed a pass for 14 yards. Dearie added nine catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Chad John and Tyler Poggemeyer each led the Trojans with 10 tackles. John, Perry King and Ronnie Jorgensen each had a quarterback sack. Preston Powell added nine tackles. Austin Ross and Kullos each had an interception.
Sanders went 19-for-28 with 278 yards and four touchdowns for SDM. He had an interception. Broeker was 6-for-9 for 113 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Bolden rushed 11 times for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Hardrockers. Chris Sawdey added 12 rushes for 72 yards.
Marshall Davis recorded seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown for South Dakota Mines. Xavier Matthews had two catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Brian Smith had eight tackles for SDM. Kayhan Karatakelli and Patrick Shaw each had seven tackles. Shaw, Brandon Pierce and Josh Thomas each had an interception.
The game accumulated a total of 1,133 offensive yards – 624 yards by the Hardrockers and 509 yards by the Trojans. SDM outrushed DSU 233-204. The Hardrockers had 391 passing yards compnared to the Trojans' 305 passing yards.
The Trojans recorded 30 first-downs in the game, while SDM had 28 first-downs.
South Dakota Mines held the ball for 30 minutes and 38 seconds. DSU had a time possession of 29 minutes and 17 seconds.
DSU is currently in a three-way tie (Valley City State and Jamestown) for first-place with a 2-1 conference record in the NSAA football standings after Jamestown (N.D.) defeated at Valley City State (N.D.) 16-13 Saturday. The Trojans travel to Mayville, N.D. to take on Mayville State (N.D.). Kick-off is set for 3 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field.