Adams State overcame a sluggish first half, but got a 91-yard punt return from senior Addie Brown midway in the fourth quarter en route to dealing the Chadron State Eagles a 31-30 heartbreaker in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game here Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles had a chance to pull the game out of the fire, but missed a 24-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining.
Chadron State jumped out to a 16-0 first quarter lead and was still on top 23-7 at halftime after limiting the Grizzlies to 64 total net yards. However, Adams State outscored the Eagles 24-7 in the second half.
Chadron State scored on its opening possession when Kevin Coy‘s 11-yard run capped a 75-yard drive. The Eagles went ahead 14-0 four minutes later after recovering an Adams State fumble and Matt Wood hit Colt Foster, both redshirt freshmen from Hemingford, with a seven-yard pass in the end zone.
The Eagles closed out the first quarter on Will Morgan‘s 41-yard field goal.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second period. The Grizzlies scored first on a four-yard pass from Steton Stallworth to Chad Hovasse, but the Eagles answered on Derek Jackson‘s two-yard run.
Stallworth, a freshman who had thrown just one collegiate pass entering the game, connected on passes of 25 yards to Phil Romero and 37 yards to Hovasse to set up his touchdown on a one-yard sneak just 74 seconds into the second half.
Adams State also got a 39-yard field goal from Zach Cimaglia midway in the third period to close the gap to 23-17.
The fourth quarter was filled with dramatics. Aided by two major penalties against the Eagles, Adams State drove 89 yards and scored on a Stallworth’s 3-yard pass to Romero with 9:42 remaining to make the score 30-24.
Just two minutes later, Brown, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior, tied the count on his 91-yard punt return. Cimaglia’s extra point proved to be the winning margin.
The Eagles were stymied again on their next possession and turned the ball over at midfield. The Grizzlies drove to the CSC 27 and passed on third and five. The ball was tipped and the Eagles’ third redshirt freshman from Hemingford, Brady Turek, intercepted it, giving CSC possession at its 40.
Vinson’s passes of 20 yards to Foster and 14 and 18 yards to Matt Reader, punched the ball to the Adams State eight. However, three rushing plays netted the Eagles just a yard and they were forced to try the short field goal that was wide right.
The Eagles out-yarded the Grizzlies 447 to 233 and had zero turnovers while Adams State had three. But, Chadron State was assessed 16 penalties for 166 yards and Adams State just three for 25. Ten of CSC’s penalties for 105 yards came in the second half.
Vinson completed 25 of 39 passes for 222 yards and was not sacked. Stallworth was nine of 17 for 84 yards and was sacked four times. Coy led Chadron State with 13 rushes for 91. Corey Brown, no relation to Addie Brown, carried 26 times for 120 for the Grizzlies.
Both teams are now 1-3 for the season.
The Eagles will play their next three games at home with nationally-ranked Humboldt State of California visiting this coming Saturday for a noon kickoff.
Chadron State 16 7 7 0 —-30
Adams State 0 7 10 14 —-31
CSC—Kevin Coy 11 run (Will Morgan kick)
CSC—Colt Foster 7 pass from Matt Wood (pass failed)
CSC—Morgan 41 field goal.
ASU—Chad Hovasse 4 pass from Stetson Stallworth (Zach Cimaglia kick)
CSC—Derek Jackson 2 run (Morgan kick)
ASU—Stallworth 1 run (Cimaglia kick)
ASU—Cimaglia 39 field goal
CSC—Max Gray 13 pass from Matt Vinson (Morgan kick)
ASU—Phil Romero 3 pass from Stallworth (Cimaglia kick)
ASU—Addie Brown 91 punt return (Cimaglia kick)