The Colorado State University-Pueblo football team is coming off its second regular season loss in 50 games as it heads into a game against Western State Colorado University Sept. 19.
The Pack suffered a 31-30 setback in the team’s second game of the season at West Texas A&M Sept. 12.
Turnovers negated two interceptions for touchdowns, an 80-yard rushing touchdown and a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the game. The Pack turned over the ball six times that allowed West Texas to run 29 plays more than the pack. The lead changed four times and it was tied three times.
LaRon Tarkington and Samuel Singleton made both of the interceptions that concluded in touchdowns during the game. Last season, the Pack scored seven defensive touchdowns, which included two pick six scores in a game.
Senior Cameron McDondle led the Pack offensive attack with 166 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. That score was an 80-yard run, which marked a career-high for McDondle.
Kieren Duncan, a senior, posted a 98-yard kick off return to get the ThunderWolves within one at 31-30 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Duncan returned two kickoffs for 131 yards and for his efforts has earned the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week award.
Also during last week’s game against the Buffaloes the Pack suffered the loss of their starting quarterback, Malcolm Ruben, a senior, to an injury that was a result of a sack. Ruben will be out for the remainder of the year and will undergo surgery to repair the injury.
The Pack has named AJ Thompson, a freshman, as the starting quarterback for the game against Western State. Thompson, of Denver, went to Montbello High School and joined the Pack this year. Dustin Walon, a junior, was named as the backup quarterback and he is a recent transfer from Texas Tech.
The Western State Mountaineers are coming off of a 48-20 loss to Angelo State and have started the season two losses and no wins. The Mountaineers were pegged to finish fifth in the preseason poll.
Western State running back Austin Ekeler rushed for 226 yards in the opener against Northern Colorado for his seventh straight 100 rushing yard game, but he did not play against Angelo State and is not listed to play against the ThunderWolves this week.
Western State returned nine of their offensive starters in 2015. The Pack’s game against the Mountaineers is their first RMAC game this season. It will take place at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl at 6 p.m.