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    SD Mines FB: Hardrockers blank Simon Fraser

    RAPID CITY, S.D. --- The South Dakota School of Mines football team brought the momentum from its big Great Northwest Conference victory last week at Central Washington home to Rapid City as the Hardrockers earned another conference win, shutting out Simon Fraser University, 19-0, on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium.

    It was the first time the Hardrockers have blanked an opponent since 2008 when SD Mines trounced Trinity Bible College (N.D.), 70-0. It wasn’t nearly as high scoring this time out, but it was a win none-the-less as SD Mines improves to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the GNAC.

    SD Mines drew first blood using a lengthy 20-play, 86-yard drive that consumed almost eight minutes. Hardrocker placekicker Robbie Joe Gerarden made good on a 24-yard field goal to put the home team on top, 3-0, with 3:37 left in the first quarter.

    The Hardrockers scored in the second quarter after senior quarterback Trent McKinney scrambled and broke for the end zone resulting in a 35-yard touchdown run with 11:58 to go in the half. A failed two-point conversion put SD Mines up, 9-0.

    SD Mines scored again right before halftime on a six play drive that lasted just over a minute. It was capped off by a 19-yard TD pass from McKinney to senior wide receiver Kevin Mills as the Hardrockers went into the locker room with a 16-0 advantage after Gerarden made good on the PAT.

    Gerarden added a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter to account from all the Hardrockers scoring.

    SD Mines was well balanced on offense finished with 478 yards (222 rushing, 254 passing) while the Clan tallied 310 (183, 127). The Hardrockers also collected 28 first downs while SFU recorded 16.

    Individually for the Hardrockers, McKinney led the ground game with 119 rushing yards and made good on 29-38 passes for 228 yards. Freshman running back Devin Nixon had 20 rushes for 74 yards.

    Sophomore Daniel Ziegler had a busy day, catching nine passes for 81 yards while Mills hauled in eight receptions for 64 yards.

    The Hardrocker defense was led by sophomore safety Witerson Brutus who finished with 7.5 tackles, including one sack. Junior linebacker Troy Kurtz contributed with 6.5 tackles and recovered a fumble and senior cornerback John Tyler had five tackles. Sophomore safety Jordan Copeland had five tackles and had a big interception, picking off a pass in the end zone to help preserve the shutout.

    South Dakota Mines will face its biggest test of the season next, taking on Azusa Pacific Saturday in Azusa, Calif.

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