CSU-Pueblo Wraps Up Spring Drills

The ThunderWolves' offense and defense squared off Sunday in the 2009 Spring "Red vs. Blue" game, as the defensive "Blue Team" earned a slim 35-34 win over its offensive counterparts.

The "Red vs. Blue" game pitted the CSU-Pueblo offense (Red Team) versus its defense (Blue Team) under an adjusted scoring system, since the offense always had the ball. The game followed a 120-play format (30 plays per quarter). The offense was awarded seven points per offensive touchdown, three points per field goal, and one point per offensive first down. The defense was awarded eight points per defensive touchdown, six points per turnover, two points for each three-and-out possession by the offense, and one point for a defensive stop.

The ThunderWolf defense, the strength of the team in 2008, faced a starkly different offense which showed a new, run-first attack in the game. The Pack's two new signal callers, Tanner Rogers (Fr., Englewood, Colo.) and Colin Clancy (Sr., Longmont, Colo.), rotated with holdovers Bobby Washington (RJr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), Joe Vigil (RSo., Littleton, Colo.) and Will Paddock (RFr., Fountain, Colo.) to show off an attack which has, at its strength, a strong running quarterback. Leading the most scoring drives was Clancy, who led the Red Team on two touchdown drives, the latter of which coming on a quarterback keeper near the close of the game, bring the Red Team to within three points with only several plays remaining.

The backfield's number-one carrier, Jesse Lewis (So., Loveland, Colo.) was impressive, scoring the offense's first touchdown, while backup tailback Devon Fitzgerald (RFr., Denver, Colo.) was impressive in spot duty, as his small 5-foot-5 frame and quickness was a welcome addition to the Pack backfield. Lewis was second on the team in rushing last season, while Fitzgerald redshirted.

But as it was in 2008, the story was defense. Chris Brown (RJr., Aurora, Colo.) scored six points for the defense with an interception, and the Pack defense made repeated stops of the offense. The Blue Team was leading by as much as 35-23 at one point.

But the Red Vs. Blue Game, the final spring practice for the CSU-Pueblo football team, provided more than just a stage for the Pack's new players, but a chance for the team to become a more cohesive unit in its last organized activity before practices for the 2009 season begin in August.

In addition to the game, the CSU-Pueblo Football team announced its Spring Football award winners. The awards are named after past greats from the CSU-Pueblo (formerly University of Southern Colorado) football program.

The Joe Pannunzio Award-Outstanding Leadership-Aaron Hernandez
The Mick McCall Award- Outstanding Quarterback-Bobby Washington
The Herman Heard- Outstanding Running Back Award-Jessie Lewis
The Jeff England Award- Outstanding Offensive linemen-Victor Quintana
The John Trahan Award- Outstanding Receiver-Ayrius Justin
The Craig Ward Award- Outstanding Defensive Linemen- Chase Vaughn
The Mark DeRose Award- Outstanding Outside Backer -Matt Cole
The Billy Baker Award- Outstanding Defensive Back- Josh Costa
The Dan DeRose Award- Outstanding Inside Linebacker -Sedric Patterson-
The Corey Tolle Award- Outstanding Spirit/Teammate- Lee Meisner
The Bob Rawlings Award- Most improved-Jamaal Johnson
The Scott Elizondo Award- The top student athlete-Nick Saybe