BHSU to face Hardrockers for Homestake Trophy
SPEARFISH — The Black Hills State University football team looks to get its first win of the season Saturday night when it travels to Rapid City to take on rival South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the 133rd Black Hills Brawl for the Homestake trophy.
Saturday, the Yellow Jackets lost to Dixie State 41-38.
“That was a tough loss,” said John Reiners, BHSU’s head coach. “We have to find ways to get those injuries, especially when you’re that close. I’m proud of our guys, but I know they feel the same way; we didn’t get our ultimate goal and that was winning, so we have to keep searching and find a way to do that.”
The Yellow Jackets were down 28-14, at halftime, and 35-14 early in the third quarter, before outscoring the Trailblazers 24-0 to take the lead 38-35 with 2:16 left in the game.
Dixie State drove down the field and scored, and came away with the win, 41-38.
Tyler Hammons, in his first career start at quarterback, threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns.
“I thought he filled in very well. He came in and got his first start. Obviously he saw some time the week before, and I thought this week creating some stuff in the game plan to fit him helped, but I thought he managed the game well and made some really nice throws and did a nice job for his first start,” Reiners said.
Jack Walbye had two rushing scores, while Eriq Swiftwater caught two touchdowns, and Isaac Jefferson caught a score. Defensively, Austin Goddard led the Yellow Jackets with 12 tackles, while Josh Gurnaby had 10.
The Hardrockers (2-3) most recently fell, 41-14, to number 16 CSU-Pueblo.
Jake Sullivan threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns, while getting picked off twice by the ThunderWolves.
Isaiah Manley and Carson Hunt each caught a touchdown. Defensively, Will Carroll led the Hardrockers with 10 tackles.
Reiners said the Yellow Jackets’ defense has to find a way to shut down Sullivan.
“Everybody knows we are going to have to match a very good South Dakota Mines team. I’m talking defensively, we know who we have to stop. We have to stop #7 (Jake Sullivan),” said Reiners. “Sullivan is the heart and soul of their team, and he’s shown that every year that we played them. He has very capable guys beside him. He’s got running backs, good receivers, a good line, so they are going to help him, but ultimately
he’s going to be the guy that makes that offense tick, and we have to keep him from making big plays.”
Reiners said the rivalry between South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State is like no other rivalry game.
“Everybody knows what a rivalry game it is. Records never mattered. It’s a game of emotion; it’s a rivalry game. Until you’ve actually played in it, coached in it, maybe even went to it, you don’t understand the intensity and the rivalry of this thing until you actually are in it, and our young guys are going to find that out real quick,” said Reiners. “We have the trophy, and we want that trophy to stay in Spearfish.”
Reiners said offensively, the Yellow Jackets need to control the line of scrimmage and take care of the football.
“Notoriously in this game the team that turned the ball over the most is the team that did not come up victorious,” Reiners said.
The injury bug has hit the Yellow Jackets hard all season.
The Yellow Jackets currently have 16 players on the injured list. Eight of those are starters, and some of those players will be probable for Saturday’s game against the Hardrockers, and senior quarterback Ryan Hommel, who has missed the last two games with an injury, is listed as probable for Saturday’s game. Junior running back Payten Gilmore is also expected to see limited action against the Hardrockers.
“It’s been one of those years. We’ve been snakebit with the injury bug, but we are looking at other guys to step up and fill those roles, and that’s what our guys will do,” Reiners said.
One of those injured starters is senior linebacker Luis Bach, who is out for the season with a leg injury.
“You fill bad for a guy like Lewis and Jack Mazurie, both seniors, who really haven’t got to play this year for their senior year,” said Reiners. “That’s the hard part to see, but you have to have those younger guys step up and fill a role, and we know they are capable of doing that.
Game facts follow.
Last Meeting: Black Hills State defeated South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 25-24, in last year’s Black Hills Brawl for the Homestake trophy.
The Yellow Jackets trailed, 24-6, at halftime to their in-state rivals, but held the Hardrockers scoreless in the second half to retake the Homestake Trophy for the first time in three years.
Series History: This will be the 133rd all-time meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Hardrockers.
The rivalry is the longest running series in Division II.
Black Hills State is 59-62-11 all time against South Dakota Mines.
Under the Lights: The Black Hills Brawl this weekend will be played under the lights in Rapid City.
This is the second night game of the year for the Yellow Jackets. The opening game of the year between the Yellow Jackets and the Chadron State Eagles was played under the lights.
Temperature: The forecast shows Saturday’s temperature at kickoff to be 47 degrees, with a 1 percent chance of precipitation and a wind at 11 miles per hour.
Yellow Jacket fans may listen to the game on The Eagle, 95.9/96.3 FM, or live online at MyEagleCountry.com.
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