The undefeated No. 3 ThunderWolves defeated the Adams State University Grizzlies (3-1, 1-1 RMAC) 30-0 on Saturday night at the Neta and Eddie Derose Thunderbowl.
The win was the T-Wolves 19th straight in the regular season, which is the longest streak in school history, and the longest active streak in the nation.
The victory came behind the T-Wolves strongest defensive performance of the season.
The T-Wolves, who gave up 440 yards per game and nearly six yards per play through three games, were tied for 129th in Division II in total defense.
On Saturday however, the T-Wolves were able to limit the Grizzlies to 255 total yards, 149 passing and 106 rushing.
“We just weren’t clicking earlier in the season, and we finally got that defense to click,” senior defensive end Corey Orth said.
Orth, who was busy all night, finished the game with four solo tackles, five assisted, half of a sack, two tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery.
The T-Wolf defense was able to take the ball away from the Grizzlies seven times, four occasions by interception and three by fumble.
“We just watched the film real good, and studied on what they do and just basically cheated to where we knew the play was going,” redshirt sophomore free safety Jarrod Lacy said.
Lacy finished the game with two solo tackles, four assisted, and a shutout preserving interception in the end zone, during the third quarter when the Grizzlies were driving to pull the game within 10 points.
In the end, the T-Wolves were able to beat the Grizzlies at its own game. ASU came into the contest second in the nation in turnover margin, at plus 12 through three games.
The T-Wolves accumulated a plus six-turnover ratio, as they only lost the ball once, by a fumble in the fourth quarter.
“I think we were just hustling to the ball and being able to get at the mesh point where they were handing off; and we got some turnovers that way. And then our M-O is that we got to make sure that we have ball security at all times, and we were able to do that,” head coach John Wristen said.
Saturday also marked another career milestone; though the recognition for it may have been overlooked due to the strong defensive play throughout the game, for senior quarterback Ross Dausin.
After a 26-yard pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver, Paul Browning, in the first quarter, Dausin broke the T-Wolf record for total offense in a career, surpassing the previous record of 4429 career yards, by former quarterback and current Offensive Coordinator of the Northwestern Wildcats, Mick McCall.
Dausin would finish the day with 4553 career passing yards as a T-Wolf, after finishing the game 11-for-22, 138 passing yards and one touchdown.
Next week the T-Wolves travel to Durango, Colo. to take on the Fort Lewis Skyhawks (0-3, 0-2 RMAC). The Skyhawks enjoyed a bye on Saturday.
“We got to get better at targeting ourselves in the run game, we got to make sure that we get better in our special teams, and we got to continue to run the ball,” Wristen said.