Colorado State University-Pueblo football celebrated its annual Military Appreciation Day at the game against Western New Mexico University Sept. 26, and fittingly, the majority of the contest was an absolute war.
In the final Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference battle between the two teams, as WNMU is set to leave the RMAC to join the Lone Star Conference in 2016, the Pack delivered yet another dominant performance, winning 42-27 at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.
While the CSU-Pueblo football program showed its appreciation to United States servicemen and women off of the football field by offering free tickets to active and retired military personnel, the two teams on the field showed their appreciation by putting on an exciting and closely contested show.
Commanded by freshman A.J. Thompson, who was in his second start for the Pack, CSU-Pueblo attacked the WNMU Mustangs not only by land, but also by air.
Thompson passed for 220 yards against the Mustangs, completing 11-of-15 passes, two of which were touchdowns, displaying the poise and decisiveness of a general leading his troops to battle.
Every general needs firepower however, and just as the Allied Forces relied heavily on the Sherman Tank as its backbone in WWII, Pack football relied on its own version of the Sherman: Cameron McDondle.
Torching opposing defenses has become somewhat of a routine for McDondle, who entered the day third in the nation and first in the RMAC in rushing yards, and continued right where he left off, totaling 193 yards on the ground with three scores in the game for the Pack.
WNMU did not surrender without a fight however, as the Mustangs went toe-to-toe with CSU-Pueblo for the majority of the afternoon, trading blows throughout the first half before eventually being overwhelmed by the relentless Pack offensive in the third and fourth quarters.
The Pack’s defense withstood major blows throughout the game by senior WNMU quarterback Mitch Glasmann, whose aerial attack was as relentless as the Blitz of London.
Glasmann threw for 501 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the game’s first score. The Pack’s defense withstood and responded however, totaling 4 sacks and one interception, while holding the Mustangs to an impressive season low of 15 net yards rushing on the day.
In an exhilarating contest that featured big-time plays, explosive hits, and back-and-forth action, the CSU-Pueblo and WNMU football programs definitely put on the type of show that told the military men and women in attendance they are definitely appreciated.