Yellow Jackets destroy Hardrockers, 5-0 for the first time since 1951

By Jacob Jones

Safety Bailey Rosenstrauch lifts Homestake Trophy with teammates. (Brianna Amaral)


Spearfish, SD – The Yellow Jackets defeat their local rival South Dakota Mines in the 137th Black Hills Brawl 24-17, to bring the Homestake Trophy back to its home in Spearfish. 

Black Hills State University came into the game 4-0 for the first time since 1971. South Dakota Mines came in 3-1, both tied for first place in the RMAC. The stakes would be high if this was any other opponent, but this wasn’t any other opponent; this is South Dakota Mines. 

It would not be a Black Hills Brawl if it had not been close the whole game and it was; keeping supporters of both teams on their feet. Players and fans were met with non-stop shaking of the stands, the sounds of car horns, and the cheers of fans on both sides. The feeling of the biggest rivalry in the country was in the air.

From the beginning of the game, each team was fighting hard for every yard on the field, waiting for the other to make a mistake. The Yellow Jackets would make the first mistake on an error, on a punt from the Hardrockers, setting the Hardrockers up in the red zone which led to their first touchdown of the night. Black Hills State would not have a response until the second quarter when Chance Eben found Connor Boyd for 25 yards and then Hasaan Williams for 20 yards to get on the Hardrockers 7-yard line. Conner Boyd would then punch it in for the Yellow Jackets’ first touchdown of the night. Then, before halftime, BHSU went up by a field goal after a 31-yard completion from Coleman Chapman. The dramatic finish to the first half had to kick in shortly after as the Hardrockers would also complete a field goal on a 42-yard attempt in the final seconds of the half. 

The drama would not end there, as on the first drive of the second half the Yellow Jackets fumbled the ball leading to the Hardrockers having the ball on the Yellow Jackets 31-yard line. The defense would come up big though, stopping any hope for SD Mines taking advantage of it. SD Mines would be the next ones to turn it over after a recovery from Cooper Brown, setting up BHSU on the SDM 24-yard line. Jamin Wurtz would find TJ Chukwurah in the endzone to make the score 17-10 for the Yellow Jackets.

SD Mines would continue to fight back in the dramatic 4th quarter and the defense continued to be the rock for the team. Nicc Quinones would intercept the ball and run it back 58 yards and end up on the Hardrockers 8-yard line, setting Susel up for the 3-yard touchdown run, making the score 24-10. SD Mines would answer 

back scoring another touchdown and going for the onside kick but it would not be enough as the Yellow Jackets would hoist the Homestake Trophy on a 24-17 win.

When it comes to the success of Yellow Jackets football, the defense is the backbone of this team. The defense showed up big Saturday night against the Hardrockers, coming up with two interceptions, forcing and recovering two fumbles, and continuing to be a wall on third down attempts, holding the Hardrockers to a 38% completion rate on third downs. 

The offense also showed up when they were called on, Quarterback Chance Eben had another great game completing 16 of 23 passes for 139 yards. Nolan Susel and Cameron Goods also had a solid night on the ground with Susel rushing for 64 yards and Goods rushing for 51. Hasaan Williams led the team in receiving yards, having three catches for 50 yards. 

Now the BHSU Yellow Jackets are 5-0 for the first time since 1951. A lot is different from the 1951 season when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States to the 2022 season where you can get every BHSU football stat to your phone each second; but one thing remains the same, the Yellow Jackets willingness to fight for each other. When looking on the field and the sideline, you see a team ready to go to combat for each other, you see the We over Me on the shirts. This is the message of such a successful season. 

What fans also see is a complete team. A deep team.     A brick wall of an offensive line, a defense that hits like a freight train, two very capable Quarter backs in Adrian Willard and Chance Eben, and a kicker in Coleman Chapman that can hit field goals over 50 yards.

Spearfish is in for a ride!