But with a slight twist on the typical “bend but don’t break” defense, CSU-Pueblo intercepted four passes en route to a 21-14 Homecoming victory over New Mexico Highlands, Saturday night at the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.
Marco Macaluso started the show with a pick returned 56 yards for a touchdown to put the Pack up 14-0. Less than three minutes earlier Macaluso had a ball go through his arms on the Cowboys opening drive of the game.
“We knew they were going to try and hit it deep down the seem,” Macaluso said. “I screwed up the first one, I knew I had to do something better on the second chance.”
Jerome Page, Grant Jansen and Sedric Patterson joined in the party, each having an interception of their own to nearly double their season total that was previously five.
The 138 interception return yards was just shy of the school record of 145 in a game.
The Pack rush defense rebounded nicely after allowing 304 yards last week to Mesa State and their second-ranked running back Bobby Coy.
To no surprise, the Pack allowed only 28 yards on the ground. The Cowboys came into the game ranked 145 in the nation in rush offense.
Junior, outside linebacker Jerry McWilliams had 10 tackles and two sacks in the game leading the defense.
He said it was big for the defense to rebound this week. The coaches made some personnel changes to get more pressure in the backfield.
Bobby Washington, returned from injury, suffered during the game against Fort Lewis in week two to complete 13 of his 32 passes for 123 yards.
Not a stellar night behind center, but he did get the offense on the board on the first drive of the night. He led the Pack down the field on a 14-play, 75-yard drive resulting in a touchdown and chewing up over six minutes of the clock.
The Pack now 3-4 overall and 2-4 RMAC, will travel to Gunnison, Colo. on Oct. 25 to take on Western State who sit at a much improved 2-5 on the season, but have lost three straight games.
The Mountaineers finished their 2007 campaign at 1-10 with their only win of the season coming against the lowly Oklahoma Panhandle St.
The ThunderWolves are now in sole possession of fifth place in the RMAC standings.