The Paw Print
The Adams State College Grizzlies played their first home game in nearly a month on Saturday, but home field advantage proved worthless as the Grizzlies lost their third consecutive game of the season to the Chadron State College Eagles by the final score of 21-10.
Overall, it was the Grizzlies’ fifth consecutive loss to the Eagles, who now lead the all-time series 18-4.
The battle of the top two defenses in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference fittingly saw plenty of defense in the first half, as the Grizzlies scored the only points on a 34-yard field goal by sophomore kicker David Van Voris with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter.
Each team was stymied by the opposing teams’ defense throughout the half, as the Grizzlies were forced to punt on all but two of their drives, including one drive that ended with an interception thrown by sophomore quarterback Trevor Eggleston.
The Eagles were forced to punt on all but one of their drives, as freshman kicker Michael Ziola missed a 43-yard field goal attempt wide left with 4:24 left in the second quarter.
The second half was a much different story, as the Eagles controlled the clock, due in large part to a strong effort from freshman Glen Clinton, who racked up 155 yards on 32 carries, and enabled the Eagles to hold onto the ball for an astonishing 22:45 seconds of the 30-minute half.
Overall, the Eagles controlled the ball for over 38 minutes during the game.
The Eagles took the ball 83 yards over 13 plays, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Dominic Morris.
The Eagles took a 7-3 lead on the Ziola extra point, grabbed the offensive momentum, and would hold onto the lead for the rest of the game.
The Grizzlies went three-and-out on their next drive, and regaining possession following the punt, the Eagles marched the ball 75 yards on only six plays before freshman quarterback Jonn McLain connected with wide-open freshman wide receiver Nathan Ross for a 63-yard touchdown strike that extended the Eagles’ lead to 14-3 entering the fourth quarter.
The offensive struggles continued for yet another week for the Grizzlies as they managed only one first down in the third quarter, one more in the fourth quarter, and have now scored only one offensive touchdown in their last 12 quarters of play. Overall, the Grizzlies were held to 145 yards of total offense by the top-ranked defense in the RMAC.
The only touchdown the Grizzlies were able to get came via a 46-yard fumble recovery by junior defensive back Fabrice Nolen, bringing the score to 14-10 with 8:09 remaining in the game.
The Eagles and Grizzlies were forced to punt on each of their next drives, and Nolen forced Clinton’s fifth fumble of the game on the next Eagles possession, only to see it recovered and carried 15 yards by junior wide receiver Brandon Gunter for the decisive touchdown with 1:30 left to play.
With the victory, the Eagles improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the RMAC going into Saturday’s matchup against co-RMAC leader CSU-Pueblo.
The Grizzlies fell to 1-3 overall and remain winless in the RMAC with a 0-2 mark. Their next game will come on Saturday at No. 17 Nebraska-Kearney, a team the Grizzlies have not beaten in six years. The Grizzlies have scored six points total in their last two games against the Lopers, and haven’t won in Kearney since 1991. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.