T-Wolves prepare for Orediggers without top rusher
The No. 3 Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves (6-0, 4-0 RMAC) will go into the Oct. 19 contest vs. the Colorado Mines Orediggers (4-2, 3-1 RMAC) with some milestones in sight.
The T-Wolves look to win their 27th straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game, which would tie a conference record set by Chadron State from 2006-09, as well as win their 33rd consecutive regular season game.
But, they will have to do it without leading rusher Cameron McDondle, a sophomore who was removed from the Oct. 12 game vs. Chadron State.
“He has a little issue with his knee,” said head coach John Wristen.
According to Wristen, it is unknown if the injury will keep the running back from returning this season.
McDondle has rushed for 593 yards and five touchdowns, while catching three passes for 24 yards and one touchdown through six games.
“Right now, we think it’s a possible 3-week injury. He could be done the rest of the year, it just depends how many more games we win,” Wristen said. “Hopefully we can continue winning a few games and extend our season.”
Set to start on Saturday is sophomore running back Chris Ashe, who rushed 28 times for 158 yards and one touchdown after McDondle exited the game on Oct. 12.
“It’s a bad thing when one of your key players goes down, but it’s always the next guy up,” Ashe said. “You just got to step up and make plays. Trust yourself.”
The game on Oct. 19 will match the Orediggers offense, which ranks No. 7 in Division II in total offense and averages 552.7 yards per game, against a T-Wolves’ defense that gave up more than 700 total yards vs. Chadron State on Oct. 12.
However, limiting total offense has been an emphasis on defense this week, according to junior linebacker Ryan Cummings.
“Being a great defense, which is the direction we want to head to, you can never allow that many yards in a game,” said Cummings, who had two interceptions against Chadron State. “This week, we will definitely work on that. You never want to have a game with that many total yards of offense ever again.”