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BHSU vs Fort Lewis
BHSU Athletics
BHSU vs Fort Lewis
Yellow Jackets fall in defensive battle to Fort Lewis; Tech beats Dixie State
BHSU Athletics at BHSU.edu - September 10, 2017

SPEARFISH, S.D. – A second consecutive comeback came up short, as the Black Hills State University football team fell to Fort Lewis, 17-13, on Saturday afternoon. The game was part of Swarm Days, and the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees were honored at halftime.

The game turned into a defensive battle, with the Yellow Jackets (1-1, 1-1 RMAC) holding Fort Lewis (1-1, 1-1 RMAC) to just 211 total yards, including just 84 passing yards.

The Green and Gold took the lead with 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Quarterback Ryan Hommel scored his first rushing touchdown of the season, taking it 80 yards down the field to put the Yellow Jackets ahead, 6-0, after a failed two-point conversion try. 

During the first drive of the second quarter for BHSU, Dominic Cochrane intercepted a Hommel pass and returned it to the six-yard line. A play later, PJ Hall punched it in for the Skyhawks from two yards out to take a 7-6 lead. As time expired on the half, FLC knocked through a 23-yard field goal, and took a 10-6 lead into the break.

Stats at halftime were essentially even, with Fort Lewis tallying 156 total yards, and the Yellow Jackets recording 160 total yards.

As the second half ticked on, both teams' defenses held firm, with Fort Lewis giving up just one first down, and Black Hills State allowing none, through two drives a piece. The Yellow Jackets got the ball for their third possession of the half at the FLC 42 after forcing a three-and-out. Ben Sjobakken, who came in to replace the injured Hommel, immediately hit Erick Hairston-Belcher for a 42 yard touchdown, and gave BHSU a 13-10 lead.

With less than nine minutes remaining on the clock, Sjobakken was intercepted by Donell Pleasant, who ran the ball back for the go-ahead touchdown. After the extra-point, Fort Lewis led, 17-13. Despite the Yellow Jacket defense forcing the Skyhawks to go three-and-out on three consecutive drives, the offense was unable to get it going, and Fort Lewis pulled out the win.

Ryan Hommel finished with 63 yards passing and led the team with 91 yards rushing. He had one interception, and scored one rushing touchdown. Ben Sjobakken finished with 126 yards passing and one touchdown. He threw two interceptions. Hairston-Belcher led the Yellow Jackets with 50 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Defensively, Austin Goddard and Jarrell Ganaway each recorded a sack. Thayer Sauter led the team with 10 total tackles, including four solo, and three for losses. Chris James had three pass breakups.

PJ Hall led the Skyhawks with 46 yards rushing and a touchdown. Isiah Mayberry, Pleasant, and Cochrane recorded interceptions, while Frank Larriva had FLC's lone sack.

The Yellow Jackets still lead the series with the Skyhawks, owning a 4-2 record against Fort Lewis.

The Green and Gold will next go on the road. Black Hills State plays Dixie State on Saturday, September 16. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, the South Dakota School of Mines picked up a 35-14 win over Dixie State Saturday.

Quarterback Jake Sullivan finished 19 of 33 for 223 yards as the Hardrockers are now 2-0 on the season.



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