Colorado Mesa scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and led the entire game, but the Chadron State Eagles also shoved their offense into high gear Saturday during a wild and wooly shootout that saw 1,045 yards and 80 points rung up. The final score of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference clash was 47-33.
Each team ran 75 plays with Mesa accumulating 513 yards and Chadron State 532.
Mesa quarterback Sean Rubalcaba completed 25 of 42 passes for 396 yards and touchdowns covering 50 and 81 yards to Virnel Moon. The Eagles used two quarterbacks who combined to complete 25 of 43 passes for 433 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Starter TD Stein completed 13 of 20 attempts for 175 yards, including a 76-yard TD hookup with Marcus Brown for Chadron State. Matt Vinson took over early in the second half and connected on 12 of 23 passes for 258 yards and a 69-yard touchdown play with Brandon Ferguson to wrap up the game’s fireworks.
After the Mavericks jumped out to their 14-0 lead, the Eagles retaliated with the Stein-to-Brown bomb. Mesa answered less than five minutes later with the 81-yard strike from Rubalcaba to Moon.
With four minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Eagles turned a blocked punt into a touchdown for the third game in a row, including the 2015 season finale. Jack Dobyns blocked the punt and Zecharie James took it 25 yards to the end zone.
Ryan Sheehan’s 31-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining gave the Mavericks a 24-13 halftime lead.
Sheehan also kicked field goals of 37 and 32 yards in the third period before Chadron State’s Jackson scored on a two-yard burst to cap a 56-yard drive, making the score 30-20.
Both teams scored two touchdowns and Sheehan kicked his fourth field goal—a 22-yarder—in the fourth quarter.
Mesa got its TDs on a one-yard run by Dorian Williams and a 22-yard return by Dustin Rivas after he intercepted Vinson’s pass to give the hosts a 44-20 lead. Rivas also swiped two more CSC passes, including one in the end zone to kill an early threat.
Having the pass picked off didn’t thwart Vinson’s outlook. He teamed up with Gray for the 92-yard pass play on the Eagles’ next possession and then connected with Fullerton with 75 seconds left on the clock.
Rubalcaba was the game’s leading rusher with 10 carries for 55 yards. David Tann added 49 yards on 11 carries for the Mavericks, now 2-0. Kevin Coy paced the Eagles, 1-1, with nine carries for 49 yards.
Gray finished with 12 receptions for 190 yards to lead all receivers, but 10 Mavericks caught passes, with Moon’s five receptions for 161 yards setting the pace.
Chadron State 0 13 7 13 —-33
Colorado Mesa 14 10 6 17 —-47