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ThunderWolves look to extend homecoming success vs. Fort Lewis

Quarterback Chris Bonner vs. Angelo State at Cowboys Stadium. Photo courtesy of
Quarterback Chris Bonner vs. Angelo State at Cowboys Stadium. Photo courtesy of

It has been 29 years since the No.5 ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves (4-0, 2,0 RMAC) have lost a homecoming game.

On Oct. 5, during the 80th anniversary of the first homecoming in Pueblo, the T-Wolves will battle the Fort Lewis Skyhawks (2-2, 1-1 RMAC) at 2 p.m. at the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.

The T-Wolves, who are riding a five game homecoming winning streak dating back to 1984, are doing so behind a defense that has forced 11 turnovers, giving the T-Wolves a plus three turnover margin, through four games.

“I really believe if you win the turnover margin, in any game, you’re going to have a chance to win the ballgame,” head coach John Wristen said. “I think lucky enough, this program has had a pretty successful record in being able to win the turnover battle.”

In addition to the opportunistic defense, the T-Wolves, who are seeking their fourth straight 5-0 start to the season, are winning with junior college transfer quarterback Chris Bonner who is currently No. 10 in Division II in yards per completion with 16.67 yards per completion, passing for 1,017 yards, nine touchdown passes.

“Coach Wilkinson has done a great job of taking him where he can’t take himself, and he’s managed the game, and I’m really happy to see his growth of what’s going on,” Wristen said. “He’s got some growing yet to do, but we’re happy with where we are with our progress.”

The T-Wolves will go into the game on Oct. 5 attempting to improve upon their three straight games rushing and passing yards for 200 yards, a feat that has not been done since the rebirth of the program in 2008.

I think we got some weapons out there. We got some talented ball players. Our running backs are playing well,  Chris Ashe and Cameron McDondle; our receivers with Kieren Duncan, Paul Browning and  Josh Sandoval are also playing well Wristen said. Our tight ends have done a nice job with being able to not only be great blockers, which we ask them to do, but they also have to be great pass catchers.

Among those leading the team are McDondle, with 438 rushing yards on 60 attempts and four touchdowns, and Browning, who is the No. 16 ranked receiver in Division II with 441 receiving yards on 16 receptions and three touchdowns.

With the win, the T-Wolves would extend a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record 30 game win streak in the regular season, and would improve upon a 24 straight RMAC game inning streak, which is second all time to the 27 RMAC game winning streak by Chadron State from 2006-09.