The Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves defense proved its dominance in a 10-7 showdown against the Western State Colorado University Mountaineers in Gunnison, Colorado.
The ThunderWolves defense only allowed seven points to a Mountaineers team that averaged 32 points per game coming in. That 32 ppg came from Mountaineers senior running back Austin Ekeler, who leads NCAA Division II in rushing yards and is fourth in touchdowns.
Ekeler was held to just 67 yards and was held out of the end zone. “Our front seven did their job today,” ThunderWolves senior safety Joseph Jones said.
Many defensive players played well today as sophomore linebacker Brandon Payer lead the team in total tackles for this game with 12, Jones also added 10 total tackles.
The offense was able to adjust throughout the game as the Mountaineers were stacking the box to stop the run which allowed the passing attack to be more effective.
Junior quarterback Rex Dausin played well as he was 21-32 for 235 yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions. Senior wide receiver Larry Clark caught eight passes 108 yards and the lone touchdown. This is also the first time since early last season that the ThunderWolves have had a wide receiver surpass 100 yards in back-to-back games. The offense also went 7-for-14 on third downs.
Being without the Pack’s leading rusher junior Bernard McDondle for this game and for the season with an injury might have been a factor in the lack of yards from the running backs. The team accumulated 65 rushing yards from three running backs.
Junior running back David Cardinal rushed for the most yards and got the most carries with 10 carries and 28 yards. Running backs Fradlet Dort and Austin Micci both rushed for 21 yards each while only getting the ball seven and eight times respectively.
The Mountaineers scored on their second drive of the game with a nine play 82-yard drive. The ThunderWolves responded on the next drive with a 10 play 81-yard drive to tie the game at seven. It was during the third quarter that the ThunderWolves were able to kick the field goal to take the lead 10-7.
The Mountaineers had some chances to score but could not finish. They had a chance for a field goal late in the second quarter but missed a 46-yard field goal. The Mountaineers also had drives at the end of the first half and the fourth quarter to try and get into field goal range but both were determined by a sack.
The drive in the second quarter was ended by a sack as it was fourth down with time running out. The drive in the fourth quarter was ended by a sack as it took the Mountaineers out of field goal range.
The ThunderWolves will be at home for their final two games of the regular season. The first game will be against Dixie State University Nov. 5 at 2 P.M.
Edited by: Theresa Wolf
[slickr-flickr tag=”atwestern” type=”slideshow” delay=”3″ descriptions=”on” captions=”on” align=”center” attribution=”Gallery by Jason Prescott”]