CSU-Pueblo football grinds out double-OT win over Colorado Mesa

Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 3:19 PM MDT
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PUEBLO, Colo. (Oct. 2, 2021) - The (RV) Colorado State University Pueblo football team walked away with a thrilling double-overtime victory over Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) rival (RV) Colorado Mesa 19-13 at the CSU Pueblo ThunderBowl Saturday afternoon.

The ThunderWolves and Mavericks were locked into an early defensive battle. The second possession of the game saw the Pack starting at their own nine-yard line and driving all the way down the field. Dean Faithfull capped off the long drive with a 35-yard field goal to put three points on the board early.

After the Mavericks started with the ball in the second quarter, Colorado Mesa tied it up with a 38-yard field goal.

Later on in the period, the CSU Pueblo defense struggled to slow the highly efficient Mavericks offense. Colorado Mesa completed a 99-yard drive that took 14 plays and over six minutes off the clock.

After the strong second quarter from the Mavericks, the Pack walked into the half trailing 10-3. Michael Roots was the strongest showing in the first half with 40 yards on the ground. Max Gonzales pronounced his presence with authority after he totaled seven tackles in the two quarters of play.

Starting off the third quarter, the Pack tried to get things going, but the offense could not gain momentum with the Colorado Mesa defense growing more confident.

Entering the fourth, the ThunderWolves needed to gain command of the game. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth, the Pack defense came alive once again. Patrick Howell and Ikenna Onwuasoanya completed a tackle for loss and got the crowd back into the game.

Taking back over, Steven Croell completed a 25-yard pass to Nick Williams to get the ball rolling for the Pack. Continuing the drive, the ThunderWolves marched down to the 14-yard line.

Needing to get more points on the board, the Pack used trickery to catch the Mavericks defense off-guard. Croell made a backward pass the Williams where the receiver halted in his tracks and rocketed a pass to the end zone to Nigel Mitchell. Mitchell pulled in the rocket pass in the back of end zone and tapped his toes in bounds to log his second touchdown in three games.

Faithfull knotted it up at 10-10 with 7:49 remaining in the fourth.

The Pack defense then had to stand strong. Led by Trevor Philio’s two quarterback hurries and a half sack assisted by Cody Ramming, the ThunderWolves refused to yield in the remaining minutes of the fourth quarter.

As regulation expired, the Pack walked into the first overtime knotted up with Colorado Mesa. Once again, the Mavericks were unable to put together any kind of offensive rhythm. CMU was however, able to kick thru a 42-yard field goal to hold a 13-10 advantage.

The Pack had to respond with points of their own to continue the contest. Despite get to the Colorado Mesa nine-yard line, the Pack had to settle for a field goal. Faithfull hit a 35-yard field goal to continue the overtime affair.

Kicking off double-overtime, the Pack offense attacked. In just four plays, Croell connected with Williams on a 17-yard pass to the end zone to convert for another six points.

In Colorado Mesa’s rebuttal, the Pack defense stood strong and stingy. In the final play of the game, the Mavericks made a pass to the end zone but Tanner Draper made a diving deflection to knock the ball away from the intended target.

The Pack defense completed five total sacks on the day off of Philio’s 2.5 sacks. Dominick Fini and Trey Botts also tacked on a sack apiece. Gonzales topped off the day with 13 total tackles after being a menace all afternoon.

On top of his tricky touchdown pass, Williams made five receptions for 68 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Roots netted 80 yards to lead the way for all game rushers.

The Pack will follow up the Saturday afternoon win with two consecutive road games. Next week, the ThunderWolves will travel to Chadron State for a 1 p.m. showdown.