GOLDEN, Colo. - The old sports adage says that great teams find a way to win when their backs are against the wall, and Saturday, CSU-Pueblo again rallied from a huge deficit, dominating the second half in claiming a 35-21 win over Colorado School of Mines.
The win gives puts the second-ranked Pack out to 7-0 on the season and delivers the program's first win over Mines in Golden since 1982.
The game was simply a tale of two halves, beginning with a first half that was all Orediggers.
After taking the opening kick, the nation's leading passer, Matt Brown, methodically drove Mines down the field in a 16-play, 84-yard drive consisting largely of slant passes to put the Orediggers up 7-0.
Later in the first quarter, the ThunderWolves gave Mines a golden opportunity when Ross Dausin (Sr., San Antonio, Texas) fumbled on a quarterback keeper at their own 21-yard-line, giving the Orediggers the ball and setting up their second touchdown, and suddenly the Orediggers were up 14-0.
Faced with an identical situation as last week, when it fell down 14-0 in the first quarter to Chadron State only to eventually come back, CSU-Pueblo had to dig down and make second half adjustments after trailing 21-10 at the break.
And made adjustments they did.
The prolific Mines offense, which entered the game leading the nation in passing offense with 447 yards per game and was second in total offense at over 550 yards per game, was held to just 87 yards of total offense in the second half.
On the offensive side of the ball, the ThunderWolves also woke up, gaining 379 yards of offense as it scored 25 points in the third quarter to turn a 21-10 deficit into a 35-21 lead.
Cameron McDondle (Fr., Littleton, Colo.), the Pack's third-string running back who was forced into duty after injuries to the Pack's top two backs, showed the RMAC that the ThunderWolves have three starting tailback options as he gashed Mines for 183 yards on 37 carries, scoring a goal-line touchdown in the third quarter. His 183 yards set a school record for most rushing yards in a single game by a freshman in school history.
The third quarter also brought two long touchdown strikes, the first going to Roger Pfannenschmid (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) on a 34-yard toss, and the second to Marcial Williamson (Sr., Lakewood, Wash.) on a 45-yarder. Williamson, who logged two 40-plus-yard catches in the game, went for 119 yards, a personal best and also the most receiving yards in a single game by a ThunderWolf since the program restarted in 2008.
The ThunderWolves will look continue riding the wave next weekend when it returns home for its first ever showdown with Black Hills State at the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl Saturday night.