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    BHSU FB: Jackets fall in tightly contested battle to Orediggers to wrap up season

    GOLDEN, Colo. - The Black Hills State University football team fell to CO School of Mines, 41-33, to conclude the 2017 season on Saturday afternoon.

    Phydell Paris eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the season for the third-consecutive year, and Erick Hairston-Belcher caught two touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets (4-6, 4-6 RMAC) in a tightly contested battle to wrap up the season. The team was 14-of-20 on third downs during the game.

    "This team has been a resilient team all year, and it was no different today," said head coach John Reiners. "There were some great things that happened in the game, and I'm proud of these guys."

    Black Hills State started the game with the ball, and on its opening drive, marched 75 yards down the field. The possession culminated in a Paris one-yard rushing touchdown to give the visitors a 6-0 lead. The Orediggers responded with a 79-yard scoring drive of their own, and after knocking the extra point through, took a 7-6 lead with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter.

    After the CO Mines defense began the second quarter with a pick-6 to take a 14-6 lead, the Yellow Jackets went 75 yards in three plays. Erick Hairston-Belcher caught a 42-yard pass from Hommel for a touchdown, drawing BHSU within one point, at 14-13, with 12:24 remaining in the half. However, with 13 seconds remaining, the Orediggers scored again, taking a 21-13 lead into the break.

    On the second play of the second half, CO Mines scored a 74-yard touchdown to go up two scores. However, the Yellow Jackets took over, and once again marched 75 yards down the field to score on a 27-yard rush by Payten Gilmore. The Green and Gold defense forced an Oredigger punt on the following possession, giving the ball back to the BHSU offense, who took advantage, driving 71 yards, culminating in a Hommel one-yard rushing touchdown. With three minutes remaining in the third, the Yellow Jackets once again drew within two points, at 28-26.

    The fourth quarter began with each team scoring on their first drive, to keep the difference two points with 8:23 remaining in the game. With 2:33 left, CO Mines scored another touchdown, but the PAT was no good, keeping it a one-score game at 41-33. The Yellow Jackets had a final drive to tie the game, but Hommel was picked off with one minute remaining, to seal the game for the Orediggers.

    Hommel finished with 319 yards, two passing touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. He threw four interceptions. Hairston-Belcher caught 10 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, while Shandon Jones had 123 receiving yards for his third 100+ receiving game this year. Paris finished with 91 yards, eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for the third-consecutive year. Paris finishes his career at Black Hills State with a school record 4,144 rushing yards. Defensively, Thayer Sauter finished with 10 tackles, bringing his season total to 99 total tackles. Jarrell Ganaway finished the game with five tackles and a sack. 

    Cody Limmer finished with 214 yards and three touchdowns for the Orediggers. The league's leading rusher, Cameron Mayberry, had 110 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Kohlschmidt finished with 14 total tackles, while Braden, Stephon, Angieri, and Mahan each had an interception.

    The Green and Gold finish the 2017 season with a 4-6 record. They shut out an opponent (Western State; 40-0) for the first time since 2012, and defeated rival South Dakota Mines in comeback fashion, 25-24. Follow the Yellow Jackets in the offseason at and on social media @bhsuathletics.

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