Chadron wins wild one over Lopers

The Chadron State and Nebraska-Kearney rivalry usually produces close, exciting games. Saturday’s contest was no exception as two blocked field goals by two Chadron State offensive linemen helped propel the Eagles to their nail biting 17-14 win over Nebraska-Kearney at Elliott Field.
Sophomore Shane Dennehy blocked Geoff Carnahan’s 57-yard attempt in the third quarter and junior Ben Puffer got his hands on Carnahan’s potential game-tying field goal attempt with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter to keep the Eagles’ Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win streak alive at 21.
The victory is Chadron State’s 10th in the last 13 games with UNK and eight of those victories have been by eight or fewer points.
After CSC’s John Ritzen raced 27 yards on a shovel pass from quarterback Joe McLain to the end zone to give the Eagles a 17-14 lead, the UNK offense came out firing. On the drive, the Lopers converted three third downs and were at the CSC 30-yard line before Terrence Newman caused UNK’s Rustin Dring to fumble. Cory Beran recovered the ball at the 25 and the Eagles’ offense looked to drain the remaining 6 minutes and 8 seconds. However, the UNK defense stood tall and forced the Eagles to punt after three plays.
On the ensuing possession, the Lopers took over at their 38-yard line but quickly jumped into CSC territory after a 15-yard facemask call. Quarterback Jake Spitzlberger then completed a pass to Kyle Kaiser for a 10-yard gain. On the next play, Spitzlberger ran up the middle for nine yards and Travis Wegener rushed for three yards to the CSC 24 to get a first down. But the Eagles’ defense forced Spitzlberger into two incomplete passes and Austin Bailey sacked him for a 2-yard loss to set up Carnahan’s 42-yard field goal attempt with 45 seconds left that Puffer blocked.
The Eagles took over the ball at the 25-yard line and McLain went to a knee for the final three plays to seal the win.
Chadron State, now 4-1 and 3-0 in the RMAC,  UNK falls to 2-3 and 2-1 in the RMAC.