The ThunderWolves football team took to their home field Saturday, Nov. 5, knowing that with a win they would have at least a share to the RMAC title. After a slow first quarter, the Pack found their groove again and took down the Western State Mountaineers 41-3.
The fourth ranked ThunderWolves overcame the slow first quarter start after senior quarterback Ross Dausin hooked up with redshirt freshman Paul Browning on a 17-yard touchdown pass. The next Pack possession gave them their best field position of the day, after the Mountaineers decided to gamble on their own 29-yard line and go for it on fourth down.
The Pack stood strong and tackled Mountaineer running back Chase Yaeger behind the line of scrimmage. The 14-yard punt on the previous possession for the Mountaineers may have influenced the fourth down attempt.
The ThunderWolves turned the mistake into the second touchdown of the game and Dausin’s second touchdown pass in as many drives. From there, the Pack began to look like the undefeated team everyone expected to see against a one-win Western State team.
Although the Mountaineers were heavy underdogs they came out to prove that they were not afraid to take risks. Unfortunately for them, their gambles were not paying off. They were inside the ThunderWolves’ 30-yard line and once again faced a fourth down. They decided to go for it, but the Pack defense came up with a sack and their second forth down stop in the second quarter.
On the very next play the Pack offense broke the game wide open. Dausin threw his third touchdown pass of the game on a 64-yard score to junior wide receiver Marcial Williamson. The Pack would take a 24-3 lead into halftime.
The Pack continued to take the wind of out of the Mountaineers’ sail in the second half, proving to them why no team has been able to beat them this year. They managed to get zero first downs in the third quarter and one in the entire second half. The Pack held them to just 100 total yards for the game.
The ThunderWolves tacked on another score when Dausin ran in a 13-yard scramble to put the game out of reach for the struggling Mountaineers. All-American Jesse Lewis saw limited time as the coaches decided to rest him and freshman running back J.B. Matthews, giving the brunt of the carries to Jamal Johnson. Johnson rushed for 58 yards on 18 carries to lead the team in rushing.
Dausin finished with 261 yards passing and four total touchdowns.
The Pack has a chance to win the RMAC out next weekend when Western New Mexico comes to town Nov. 12. The title will be the first for the Pack since 1980 and the second in the university’s history. The Pack looks to finish as the first team in school history to go unbeaten in the regular season.