FHSU scores school record 63 in rout of SD Mines
The Fort Hays State University football team used three defensive turnovers and 537 offensive yards in a 63-17 rout of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on Saturday at Lewis Field Stadium.
For the Tigers (5-4, 3-4 MIAA), the 63 points scored set a new school record for points in a single-collegiate game, breaking the previous mark of 62, set against Mesa State in 1995 and Wayne State (Neb.) in 1997.
Keaton Callins' 60-yard punt return after the second offensive series for SDSMT set up a Drew O'Brien extra point to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead, and the team never looked back.
Callins finished the day with a career-high 109 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown on six catches in addition to the punt return yardage. His 169 all-purpose yards were a team high as well.
SDSMT's Devon Jones hit a 25 yard field goal shortly after, but the Tigers would answer back with two touchdowns in less than three minutes to pull ahead, 21-3.
With just less than four minutes to go in the first, DeAndre James nearly broke another special teams' return for the Tigers, taking SDSMT's kickoff out of the endzone and back to the visitor's 19-yard line for an 81 yard return. James' run set up a three play, 19 yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by Andre Smith.
After SDSMT punted on the ensuing drive, FHSU's Treveon Albert hooked up with Ed Williams at the 1:01 mark for a 79-yard touchdown catch. Williams finished the day with two catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
South Dakota Mines answered on the first drive of the second quarter, manufacturing a 13-play, 70-yard drive to pull within 11. That, however, was as close as the Hardrockers' would come the rest of the afternoon.
Later in the half, Albert found Callins for a one-handed 32 yard grab, setting up a 27 yard touchdown scamper by the quarterback two plays later. O'Brien's fourth extra point of the day gave the Tigers a 28-10 advantage that stood until half.
The Tigers would pick up where they left off after the break, as Andre Smith's second rushing touchdown of the day came at the end of a seven-play, 58 yard drive that took just over three minutes.
Andre Smith had just 28 rushing yards on the day, but his two touchdowns led all running backs. The Tigers did have three rushers top the 50-yard mark, as Ed Smith netted 72 for the day, followed by Josh Beachum's 58 yards and Kenneth Iheme's 52 yards.
Callins' second touchdown of the day - a 20 yard strike from Albert - came just 52 seconds after an SDSMT touchdown, putting the score at 42-17 with 6:45 to go in the third.
Iheme would get into the scorers' column just minutes into the fourth quarter, when on 1st and 10 from the South Dakota Mines' 38 yard line, the redshirt freshman found and opening and dashed into the endzone.
The Tigers would regain possession on the ensuing kick-off, when a pooch kick by Cameron Owens went untouched until FHSU dived on the ball at the SDSMT 28. The Tigers would score just four plays later as Edin Kovac tossed his second touchdown of the season - a 10 yard dart to tight end Zack Gaughan.
Kovac's second score of the night came on the next Tiger drive, as the Tucson, Ariz., native found Evan Jennings on a 34-yard breakaway. O'Brian's point after attempt was good, giving the Tigers the new single-game record for a collegiate contest.
Albert completed 11-of-20 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, Kovak had 47 yards and two touchdowns after entering the game in the fourth quarter.
All-in-all, seven Tigers scored nine offensive touchdowns on the day.
Defensively, Michael Jordan led the team with 10 tackles while intercepting his third pass in five games.
Michael Terry was close behind Jordan, finishing with nine tackles while adding an interception of his own. Including Terry, five Tigers had tackles for losses in the game, while Zach Nash's interception was his second of the season.
Fort Hays State hits the road next week for an MIAA matchup at Central Missouri. The game in Warrensburg, Mo., is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.