SPEARFISH – Before the season, Josh Breske set up two goals for his team; have a fall GPA of 3.0 and win six games.
Black Hills State achieved one of those goals on Saturday by beating Fort Lewis 75-0 to clinch its first winning season in six years and set a program record for runs scored and margin of victory at Lyle Hare Stadium.
“It’s monumental for our football program,” said Breske, the Yellowjackets head coach. “The last winning seasons we had were in 2016 and 2010. We said we needed a winning season, and six games was something we had planned for in fall camp…achieving one of our goals is huge for our team. Now we will readjust this objective next week.
The Yellow Jackets (6-3 overall, 4-3 RMAC) dominated the line of scrimmage, amassing 350 rushing yards on 45 carries for an average of 7.8 yards per carry.
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Nolan Susel received the most touches and finished with 10 carries for 72 yards and two touchdowns, while nine Yellow Jackets carried the ball in the contest.
“We keep the legs fresh in the backfield,” Susel said. “As soon as a person is tired, there is no stall between us. It’s a great testament to our running game that we have the point guards and we can all get in and out.
Cameron Goods added eight carries for 88 yards, Isaiah Pressley rushed five times for 63 yards and a touchdown, Chance Eben rushed eight times for 55 yards, and Riley Bennett added nine carries for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Eben took the majority of snaps at quarterback and completed 8 of 14 passes for 91 yards and three touchdowns. Aidan Willard came on after halftime and completed 7 of 8 passes for 192 yards and touchdowns for 65 and 83 yards.
The Yellow Jackets finished with 633 total rushing yards and scored on 11 of 12 drives, taking a knee on the final play of the game. The performance encouraged Breske offensively as the team snapped a three-game losing streak.
“I’m not very impressed with how they executed, because I know they can execute, I’m just more encouraged,” Breske said. “I’m proud that we got it all together in one day, on offense, defense and special teams. The three phases of the match, we played well at the same time.
Black Hills State also proved defensively dominant to record its first shutout since Oct. 14, 2017, against Western Colorado.
Nikolas Arnold helped set the tone on the defensive line with five tackles, including 2 1/2 tackles for loss, and two sacks. He said the goose egg on the scoreboard has solidified the work of the defense and the team this offseason.
“When I came here we weren’t good at all,” the junior said. “It feels good to get the shutout and set the scoring record for our school. I remember when we blew ourselves up like that, so that’s great and it feels good.
BHSU finished the game with 13 tackles for a loss of 44 yards and seven sacks for a loss of 29 yards. Breske credited Arnold for his leadership of a talented and dedicated defensive line.
“Nik is a dominant player in this league and is an All-Conference type of player,” Breske said. “He works from Sunday to Friday to put himself in a position to play well on Saturday. I’m really happy with our online D game, and Nik is leading this group.
Black Hills State started the game on a high with a three-and-out by their defense and responded with a scored drive, capped off by a 9-yard touchdown by Nolan Susel to take a 7-0 lead with 9: 14 to do. in the first trimester.
The Jackets repeated the process to take a 14-0 lead with 6:03 left in the quarter on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Eben to Hasaan Williams.
BHSU added another score in the first quarter on a 45-yard field goal from Coleman Chapman to make it 17-0 with 2:45 left in the frame.
In the second quarter, BHSU added three more touchdowns to take a 37-0 halftime lead. Eben threw a pair of touchdowns during the period with a 16-yard pass to John Noordsy and an 11-yard pass to Williams. Susel scored his second TD as halftime expired on a 3-yard run.
Willard had a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter with an 83-yard throw to Jamin Wurtz and a 65-yard pass to TJ Chukwurah. Riley Bennett added a 7-yard rushing touchdown in the frame and the Yellow Jackets led 58-0 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Nicc Quinones added an 85-yard pick six to stop the Skyhawks’ best drive of the day (0-8, 0-7) and give BHSU a 65-0 lead with 13:31 left. . .
Isaiah Pressley added a 6-yard rushing touchdown with 11:07 left to give his team a 72-0 lead. and Chapman closed the scoring with a 47-yard field goal with 4:53 remaining that gave BHSU a 75-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets return next week to Adams State (2-7, 2-5 RMAC) in Alamosa, Colorado.
“We have to build that momentum next week,” Breske said. “Adams State is a pretty dangerous team that beat Mesa last week and had a three-point game with SD Mines today. We have to make sure we keep improving this coming week.”
Contact Alex Dodd at [email protected]