Colorado State University-Pueblo scored 24 points in the second quarter en route to a 47-21 victory against the New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys on Nov. 9 in Las Vegas, N.M.
Despite a slow start, the ThunderWolves marched into enemy territory and came away with their 10th win of the season, clinching at least a share of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title for the third consecutive year.
The ThunderWolves got off to a 9-0 lead after scoring a field goal on their first drive and recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that led to the first of two Chris Bonner to Stehley Reden touchdown connections on the day.
The Cowboys refused to quit, though, blocking the extra point and answering with a touchdown of their own soon after.
Later in the first quarter, the Cowboys had a chance to take the lead after driving into the red zone before being stopped on a fake field goal attempt.
Things quickly changed in the second quarter, starting with a 53-yard field goal from the ThunderWolves’ Greg O’Donnell, his longest of the season.
Paul Browning and Chris Bonner continued the scoring onslaught and got their big play connection going yet again, connecting for 50 and 66-yard touchdown throws, the first of which came from a flea-flicker trick play.
Bonner finished with 298 yards and four touchdowns, and surpassed the single-season touchdown record set by Ross Dausin last year with his second touchdown of the day.
The ThunderWolves’ rushing attack continued its dominating season as well, with Cameron McDondle returning from a short hiatus to rush for 84 yards on just 11 carries, including one 15-yard scamper for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Defensively, CSU-Pueblo didn’t shy away from the challenge of facing the versatile Emmanuel Lewis, quarterback for New Mexico Highlands. Defensive end Darius Allen added to his impressive sack total with two sacks of Lewis on the day, bringing his total to an RMAC best 12.
With the victory on Saturday, the ThunderWolves are in a position to clinch sole possession of the RMAC title at home with a victory next week against Western State. A win would also likely keep them at the top of the regional rankings, which would give them a first round bye in the playoffs and set them up for at least one home playoff game.
The ThunderWolves will seek a seeking their third consecutive RMAC title on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.