DII soccer returns Saturday, Oct. 10, with the primary doubleheader of the 12 months. 4 groups take the sphere in Week 3, every taking part in for the primary time this season and representing the Rocky Mountain Athletic Convention. In case you get pleasure from up-tempo, high-scoring soccer, than you will not wish to miss both of those video games. Week 3 figures to characteristic loads of factors in addition to a continuation of the most-played rivalry in DII soccer historical past.
This is a take a look at what to look at for in Week 3 of the 2020 DII soccer season.
Chadron State vs. Colorado Mesa: Preview
RMAC foes Chadron State and Colorado Mesa meet for a thirtieth consecutive 12 months when the Mavericks host the Eagles at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 10. The collection started in October 1991 when CMU beat the Eagles 33-28. Nonetheless, CSC holds a 20-9 benefit all time, together with six of the previous 10 video games. Colorado Mesa gained the 2019 assembly with a 42-20 resolution. As of late, visiting groups have thrived on this collection with wins in 4 of the previous 5 years.
Each groups come into their 2020 season opener after profitable six video games a 12 months in the past. However Colorado Mesa has some new faces on the sideline. Tremaine Jackson enters his first season because the Mavericks’ head coach after spending the previous two seasons because the defensive position coach at Texas State. Chadron State head coach Jay Lengthy begins his ninth season with the Eagles, six of which have resulted in profitable seasons to date. He’ll be the one DII coach on Saturday not in his first 12 months.
This is who you will wish to regulate within the first RMAC soccer recreation of 2020:
Dalton Holst, Chadron State quarterback
Holst is in his fourth 12 months beginning at quarterback for Chadron State. The 2019 Harlon Hill Trophy nominee threw for 3,114 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019 to headline an offense that scored greater than 37 factors per recreation final 12 months. Holst will seemingly be the catalyst to the offense as soon as once more however ought to profit from some notable returning contributors. Large receiver Cole Thurness might change into Holst’s high goal after knocking down 65 receptions and eight touchdowns as a junior. As for the run recreation, Elijah Myles produced a 1,000-yard season for Chadron State, however the backfield may be even higher now with Myles and UCLA switch Jalen Starks. If Holst and the run recreation are in sync early, be ready for the Eagles to attain numerous factors this season.
Travis Wilson, Chadron State linebacker
Wilson is without doubt one of the Eagles’ high defensive playmakers. However the vagueness of that time period would not translate to takeaways or touchdowns. To make clear, Wilson is a tackling machine. He led the RMAC with 124 tackles final season, the primary CSC participant to take action since 1997. The senior linebacker registered 13 tackles for loss and three sacks, setting him as much as be one of many extra disruptive defenders in DII this season. With CSC opponents averaging over 40 carries per recreation, Wilson’s presence is pivotal to the Eagles slowing down an opponent’s run recreation.
Aaron Howard, Colorado Mesa quarterback
Howard break up time at quarterback through the 2019 season, throwing for 12 touchdowns in opposition to simply three interceptions a 12 months in the past. After a powerful exhibiting in fall camp, the beginning job is his to start the season. Howard brings expertise and stability to a place that rotated between three gamers final season. Chadron State gave up 24 passing touchdowns final 12 months and tasks to begin just a few newcomers within the secondary, probably giving Howard an outlet to a powerful begin in 2020. However the Mavericks offense is deep past quarterback play. Howard ought to profit from having a dependable run recreation to steadiness the assault as operating backs Isaac Maestas, Jesse Rodriquez and Trey Windham are all again after combining for greater than 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Damar’ren Mitchell, Colorado Mesa defensive again
It is troublesome to single out one defensive again when the Mavericks have a breadth of expertise within the secondary. However Mitchell is fairly arduous to not discover. The junior security returns to the Mavericks after lacking the 2019 season. Colorado Mesa recorded 16 interceptions in his absence. Nonetheless, Mitchell had 5 interceptions in 2018 together with seven move breakups when he was named first group All-RMAC. Including him again into the combination arguably offers the Mavericks the highest ballhawk taking part in in DII this season.
Black Hills State vs. South Dakota Mines: Preview
The Black Hills Brawl is much and away the most-played rivalry in DII soccer with a 134-game historical past. South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State first met in 1895, a historical past that spans throughout three centuries and commenced when Spearfish Regular — now Black Hills State — beat Dakota Faculty of Mines 18-0 within the first assembly 125 years in the past. And guess what? We’ll get to see this rivalry twice in 2020 as chapters 135 and 136 are scheduled to happen this season. Black Hills State gained the 2019 assembly 48-28 whereas South Dakota Mines leads the all-time collection 65-60-11.
The primary assembly of the season is about for Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. ET when Black Hills State heads to South Dakota Faculty of Mines. Each groups are coming off of 3-8 campaigns in 2019 and can look to begin the brand new 12 months sturdy beneath new teaching staffs. Josh Breske is operating the present at Black Hills State after three seasons as Lindenwood’s offensive line coach. The previous Yellow Jackets lineman went 5-1 in opposition to South Dakota Mines throughout his taking part in profession. For the Hardrockers, it will be Charlie Flohr’s head teaching debut as properly. Flohr involves the RMAC following 14 years with Northwest Missouri State, the place he gained 4 NCAA championships because the Bearcats’ offensive coordinator.
MORE: The 11 most-played rivalries in DII soccer historical past
Listed here are just a few names who might probably depart their mark on the rivalry this Saturday:
Likelihood Eben, Black Hills State quarterback
Eben was listed as QB1 for the Yellow Jackets’ season opener. The sophomore has expertise after making eight appearances in 2019, together with a 211-yard, two landing efficiency in a win over South Dakota Mines. However consistency is the important thing in Eben’s second-year at Black Hills State. He threw twice as many interceptions as touchdowns final 12 months. The passing recreation can be Black Hills State’s largest fixed whereas Breske installs his offense and the main target of the run recreation shifts from Payten Gilmore to sophomore Nolan Susel. Eben has three extensive receivers again from a 12 months in the past, most notably Kielar Harpham. The 5-foot-10 senior hauled in 60 passes and 6 touchdowns final season and will construct on that if he and Eben are on the identical web page from day one.
Bailey Rosenstrauch, Black Hills State defensive again
One space of enchancment anticipated to return beneath Breske is Black Hills State’s protection after the Yellow Jackets conceded greater than 37 factors per recreation final season. Regardless of among the defensive struggles BHSU skilled, Rosenstrauch was a shiny spot with 79 tackles, two sacks, two pressured fumbles and an interception. His versatility makes him a viable candidate to line up in several spots on the sphere and contribute at totally different ranges. He was voted a group captain this 12 months as a junior.
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Ahmad Lewis, South Dakota Mines operating again
You may’t discuss Hardrocker soccer and never point out Ahmad Lewis. He was the focus of the Hardrockers’ offense as a junior, dealing with 308 carries for 1,385 yards and 9 touchdowns. Whereas his yard totals can be robust to copy in an abbreviated season, his presence may be much more essential to South Dakota Mines discovering success on the offensive finish. Quarterback Spencer Zur is listed because the starter, nevertheless fellow sophomore Toby Smith and North Dakota State switch Jayden Johannsen might additionally see reps. All 4 of Mines’ main receivers from a 12 months in the past are again, however questions surrounding the beginning quarterback place a larger emphasis on Lewis and the floor recreation.
Bryan Akunna, South Dakota Mines defensive lineman
One space South Dakota Mines can enhance on defensively in 2020 is profitable the road of scrimmage. Having a full season of Bryan Akunna ought to assist the Hardrockers accomplish that extra ceaselessly. The senior lineman was restricted to 6 video games final season and completed with 25 tackles, 2.5 for loss and one half of a sack. His presence on the road ought to be an enormous assist after South Dakota Mines gave up over 200 speeding yards per recreation in 2019.