By Chris Graham
Four interceptions by the ThunderWolves defense gave Colorado State University – Pueblo the 49-0 victory over Black Hills State University at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl on Saturday, October 23.
The ThunderWolves defense set the tone early in the game as cornerback Darius Williams would intercept the Yellow Jackets Ryan Hommel and return it 35 yards for a touchdown.
That gave us the momentum,” said ThunderWolves head coach John Wristen.
The ThunderWolves would carry that momentum on their next offensive drive when they go on a 10 play 80-yard drive” lasted almost six minutes, would end in an 11-yard touchdown run by running back Marche Dennard.
“The focus this week was to come out and play fast,” said ThunderWolves quarterback Rex Dausin.
Now in the second quarter the Yellow Jacket would attempt a response but on the first play of their drive cornerback Emery Taylor intercepted Hommel and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to extend the ThunderWolves lead to 21-0.
“It felt good,” said Taylor, “it was my first pick six of the season.”
Later in the second quarter the ThunderWolves would add to their lead with a 21-yard rushing touchdown by Dennard that was setup by a 31-yard punt return by Kevin Ribarich. “We got another one that put it out of reach,” said Wristen.
The ThunderWolves defense wasn’t done taking the ball away as on the second play of the ensuing Yellow Jacket drive Williams would snatch another interception. Williams would be downed immediately setting up the ThunderWolves offense on Black Hill’s 20 yard line.
Freshman quarterback Gunnar Lamphere would enter the game for this drive and in five plays Lamphere would throw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Eckhoff to put the ThunderWolves up 35-0.
With less than two minutes left in the half Taylor would stop any chance the Yellow Jackets had of scoring with another interception. With that interception Hommel will have thrown the same amount of pass to both his own team and the ThunderWolves as Hommel would end the half 4-15 for 20 yards and four interceptions.
The turnovers continued in the second half for the Yellow Jackets this time the ThunderWolves defense would force a fumble and recover it on Black Hill’s 15 yard line. From there it would only take two plays for the offense to score on a 15 yard run by Dennard.
The ThunderWolves offense continued to put on the pressure as on their next offensive drive they marched 68 yards down the field and scored on a Dausin pass to Josh Smith to put the Pack up 49-0. The highlight of the drive was a 44-yard pass from Dausin to wide receiver Osha Washington that put the offense in the red zone.
Many of the ThudnerWolves backups entered the game on offense once the fourth quarter rolled around and the Yellow Jacket offense continued to struggle moving the ball. Neither team would score in the fourth quarter so the ThunderWolves would complete the shutout 49-0.
Williams now has six interceptions on the season and three of them for a touchdown. Williams leads the RMAC in both interceptions and interceptions returned for touchdowns. Taylor now has three interceptions on the year which jumps him up to second in the RMAC in interceptions. “They made some great plays,” said Wristen, “they were focused on their jobs.”
Dennard would end the day with 92 rushing yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns. Dausin would have 157 yards passing and one touchdown. Lamphere would add 58 yards passing and a touchdown.
Carter missed his first career field goal so he is now 7-8 on the year but he is still perfect on extra points making 42-42.
The Pack will play their last home game of the year Saturday 2 p.m. against Western State.