Mistakes cost Mavs for second week in a row
For the second week in a row, mistakes cost the Mesa State College football team a much-needed victory.
The offense failed to take advantage of a couple scoring opportunities, the defense allowed a season-high 198 rushing yards and the special teams gave up a 98-yard kickoff return.
It all contributed to Chadron State’s 27-16 victory Saturday at Stocker Stadium, leaving the Mavericks (6-4, 6-2 RMAC) searching for answers to a season that started out with a lot of hope.
“You can blame a lot of different things, but it takes a whole team effort,” Mesa State senior linebacker Ryan Kadavy said. “If you don’t win in all three phases of the game, you don’t win the game usually.
That’s what happened today. They got big plays on us and we didn’t on them.
“We’ve got to get ready for next week. We need to salvage this season as much as we can. You always want to go to the playoffs.”
Despite Chadron’s ability to run the ball and Maurice Threatt’s 98-yard kickoff return, the Mavericks had two possessions inside the Chadron 20 and came up with nothing.
“(This loss) is hard,” Vigil said. “We worked so hard in the off-season and to see where we’re at is not where we wanted to be. It’s disappointing.
“We have at least one more. We’re a bunch of fighters. We’ll be ready to go.”
Mesa State plays Nebraska-Kearney at 1 p.m. (MST) in Kearney, Neb.
The Lopers (6-4, 6-2 RMAC) turned the ball over four times and allowed the Colorado School of Mines to rush for a season-high 221 rushing yards in the Orediggers’ 37-20 victory on Saturday in Golden.
“They’ve been kicking everyone’s butts but Chadron (and Mines),” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “They are a good team. There is a lot of parity in this conference. We knew that going in.
“Their freshman quarterback (Jake Spitzlberger) is doing a good job. They’ve always had a great defense. They have a lot going for them.”
Mesa and Kearney began the season with hopes of challenging Chadron State for the RMAC title and going to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Now, both teams are left looking to finish the regular season with a victory and a spot in the Dixie Rotary Bowl on Dec. 6 in St. George, Utah.
Mesa can go to the bowl with a victory, but the Mavericks have only won once in Kearney. That was in 2003 when they won the RMAC title and qualified for the playoffs.
The Lopers need to defeat Mesa State and need New Mexico Highlands to defeat the Colorado School of Mines to go to the Rotary Bowl.
The RMAC representative will likely play Western Washington (5-4). The Vikings are sitting in second place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.