(Neb.)-Haller's interception gives Eagles double overtime win
ROLLA, Mo. – During the duration of the Chadron State College football preseason camp, head coach Jay Long repeatedly said his team is looking for its identity.
On Thursday night against Missouri Science and Technology, they found it after Lane Haller returned an interception 79 yards in the second overtime to lift the Eagles to a wild 40-34 victory over the Miners. It was the Eagles' first win in eight tries against a team from Missouri.
Haller, who also had a key interception early in the fourth quarter, blocked a punt and added eight tackles, summed up his winning TD succinctly following the game.
"It was a blur running down the sideline," Haller said. "Really, I don't remember much. I knew that if I scored, the game was over and that was the only thing on my mind. I wouldn't have gone that far without my teammates blocking for me, though. I'll never forget them celebrating with me in the end zone."
It took the Eagles a while to earn that celebration, though.
Chadron State trailed 27-20 after S&T tailback Zenel Hudson scored a 2-yard touchdown with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Miners also threatened on their previous drive but Haller picked off a pass from quarterback Reed Brown.
After Hudson's TD run, the Eagles responded with a fine drive of their own. Glen Clinton, who rushed for 140 yards and scored three touchdowns, ran 55 yards on the Statue of Liberty play to set Chadron State up deep in Miner territory. A few plays later, quarterback Jonn McLain, who completed 37 of 58 passes for 341 yards, hit Cody Roes for a 12-yard touchdown with 44 seconds to play to tie the game at 27-27.
"Our team just finds a way to win," Long said. "We had a lot of things go wrong tonight but we also had a lot of things go right because our guys refuse to quit. They earned that Eagle on their helmets tonight."
The late fireworks weren't over. Missouri S&T's Melvin Stovall returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards to put the Miners in solid field position. They continued to march to the Eagles' 29-yard line but Adam Peden's 46-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
Both teams scored quickly in the opening overtime session. The Eagles scored on their third play when Roes ran in from seven yards out and Missouri S&T scored on four plays when Hudson barreled in for a 1-yard TD.
The second overtime was a different story. On third down, Haller picked off Brown, who threw for 365 yards, for the second time and used a legion of CSC blockers on the sideline to run in for a 79-yard TD.
Both teams were playing in their season openers and plenty of strange plays happened. The Eagles missed two field goals, botched a punt late in the fourth quarter and allowed two receivers go over 90 yards. However, the Eagles also made winning plays. Dylan Furrier recovered two fumbles, Haller added two interceptions and a blocked punt and both Nathan Ross and Travis Reeves combined for 14 receptions and 183 yards.
The Eagles finished with 500 yards of total offense. S&T had 504.
Four CSC defenders had double-digit tacklers. Pierre Etchemendy led the way with 14, Furrier had 13, Tyler Wright, who was making his first career start, had 12 and Shea Koch had 10.
CSC 7 0 13 7 13 – 40
S&T 7 3 7 10 7 – 34
CSC – Glen Clinton 1 run (Alex Ferdinand kick)
S&T – Melvin Stovall 26 pass from Reed Brown (Adam Peden kick)
S&T – Peden 37 field goal
S&T – Ben Matthews 40 pass from Reed Brown (Peden kick)
CSC – Clinton 3 run (kick failed)
CSC – Clinton 2 run (Randy Wentz kick)
S&T – Adam Peden 40 field goal
S&T – Zenel Hudson 2 run (Peden kick)
CSC – Cody Roes 12 pass from Jonn McLain (Wentz kick)
CSC – Cody Roes 7 pass from McLain (Wentz kick)
S&T – Hudson 1 run (Peden kick)
CSC – Lane Haller 79 interception return
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