GOLDEN — Tyson Bagent is grooming the Broncos. John Matocha prepares a final theory of calculations.
“It’s pretty tough,” the Colorado School of Mines senior quarterback explained, leaning back in his chair after his Orediggers buried Shepherd (W.Va.), 44-13, on Saturday to clinch the school’s first-ever Division II finish. national football championship game.
“It’s not very fun. But I just have to pass.
Pass? Baby, this kid can pass.
The 5-foot-11 Texan gave Drew Brees his best all over the Rams on Saturday at Marv Kay Stadium, where they filled the stands so quickly the university began turning people away at the gate.
When the dust settled, Matocha had amassed 371 passing yards and five touchdowns in the first NCAA home semifinal in school history. They’ll be debating best-of-five for years, but my vote goes to his second score of the second half – a moving Breesque-style uprising, rolling right, in which the kid lost a tackle attempt, then , while being dragged to the ground, managed to keep his pin together long enough to find an open Josh Johnston for 33 yards and a 30-3 lead.
“For the little Colorado School of Mines to be Team Colorado…” Mines President Paul Johnson laughed as he watched – and cheered – just outside the West Zone, wearing a gray hoodie and a smile from here to Genesee.
“This is the first time this has happened at this university. You never know when it will happen again. (A full house), have a good time, see something you may never see again in your life. But we’ll take advantage of it while we can.
Starting in the second quarter, Saturday’s semi-final was a great game of football for Johnson, Blaster & Company. Miners-Rams took about 20 minutes to turn into Cherry Creek’s second coming against ThunderRidge, in which a good team ends up being driven by an elite team.
Shepherd brought the sexiest name to the party with quarterback Tyson Bagent, a senior who considered moving to an FBS program before the season. Bagent is a big dude (6-3) with a big arm, so naturally NFL scouts think they can turn him into something. But while the guy who was preparing for a theory of calculus final was going crazy, the guy who was going to the Senior Bowl got kicked out eight times and gave it four times to the school of piranhas on the defense of Mining.
On a third-and-2 at his own 24 with 1:02 left in the first half, Bagent backtracked on the shotgun and made it to “1-Mississippi” when a group of Orediggers shot the “A” gap and converted. on his rib cage. Linebacker Nolan Reeve carried QB Shepherd at full tilt, losing the ball four or five yards behind the sardoned flagger. Safety Logan Rayburn ran, picked up the boulder, and snuck into the end zone intact for a 16-3 lead.
“Hey, it’s the semi-finals; everybody’s good here,” said Reeve, who finished with five saves and three tackles for a loss. “But it’s just that mindset that if you’re going against someone good, guess what? You are good too. So let’s go. »
As the piranhas got into it, the alumni in the boxes pinched each other, toasting the funniest college football team in the Front Range. Only Ferris State (13-1) stands between Mines (13-2) and a national title next Saturday in McKinney, Texas. Pretty cool.
“Pretty cool would be an understatement,” laughed former Mines QB Justin Dvorak. “That’s for sure.”
For a generation, the cozy Marv Kay’s bar, home to one of the best views in college football, has gone up and up. Dvorak did some of that big work six years ago, winning the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II Heisman Trophy, in 2016. He joked with some coaches and other alumni before the game that the idea of a milestone when he first came to Golden was a season that landed on the .500 right side.
“(We’re) way beyond that, aren’t we?” Dvorak burst out laughing.
Just a little bit.
And, oh, sweet irony. Ferris State was the group that eliminated Mines from the D-II playoffs at Michigan in November 2016, Dvorak’s senior season.
“Cold and dreary day,” Dvorak recalled. “It was tight until the end of the third quarter and then they kind of ran away with it.”
Ferris 38, Mines 17.
You know what they say about recovery.
“So I’ll give them that,” Dvorak continued with a smile, “if we can get the next one. Hopefully that’s how it works.”
Those piranhas? They arrive. And they are hungry.
“The work is not finished,” said Matocha, straightening up in his seat. “We still have one game left. I can’t wait to start watching a movie and getting ready for it.