Story and photo courtesy of Chadron State Athletics
– The Cardinal team drove 75 yards for a touchdown on its first possession of the second half and tacked on a long field goal in the fourth period to win Chadron State College’s spring football game 20-10 over the White team Saturday.
The score was tied at 10-10 at intermission.
Both of the Cardinal touchdowns were scored by junior inside receiver Chapman Ham. He caught a three-yard pass from his former Rapid City Central teammate, Brandon Gorsuch, to open the scoring and then ran three yards on a reverse to cap a long drive in the third quarter.
Another Rapid City product, Stevens High graduate Alex Ferdinand, also figured prominently in the scoring. He did the placekicking for both teams and connected on field goals of 30, 24 and 42 yards as well as all three extra points. The final field goal was into the wind midway in the fourth period and gave the Cardinal team some cushion on the scoreboard.
Head coach Jay Long said he was pleased with the game.
“I think the players competed well and also had fun,” said Long. “We also got through the game with just one injury and we don’t think it was serious. We didn’t have too many mistakes and I was impressed with the speed we demonstrated at our skill positions. I also think the linemen on both sides of the ball learned a lot this spring and played well on Saturday.”
The game’s first touchdown was set up by cornerback Tyler Wright’s interception and 47-yard return. Quarterback Jonn McLain, who threw the pick, also made the tackle at the White three, but Gorsuch and Ham hooked up for the touchdown two plays later.
Late in the first quarter, the Whites tied the score when McLain connected with wide receiver Nathan Ross on an 84-yard pass along the north sideline. Ross caught the pass about 40 yards down field with a cornerback on his hip. But he pulled the ball in and won the footrace to the end zone.
Ferdinand booted a field goal for each team in the second period.
With both McLain and Gorsuch taking off their pads at halftime, freshman Chris Conroy of Gordon was at the controls during the Cardinal team’s 17-play drive scoring to open the third period.
The big play was an 18-yard carry by tailback Michael Madkins with a shovel pass.
Madkins also gained six yards around the right side on fourth and one late in the drive while the razzle-dazzle reverse to Ham netted the touchdown moments later.
A 25-yard gain on a screen pass from Conroy to Madkins and runs of 13 and 10 yards by Cody Wilson of Scottsbluff preceded Ferdinand’s 42-yard field goal to wrap up the scoring.
Long said it appeared to him the field goal would have been good from at least 50 yards away.