|Posted September 5, 2009|
ThunderWolves come up short on the road
Northwestern Oklahoma State 34, CSU-Pueblo 28
ALVA, Okla. - Despite a late rally, the ThunderWolves couldn;t keep up with a strong offensive attack by Northwestern Oklahoma State Saturday, losing 34-28.
The Pack opened up the game with a 70-yard TD run by Jamaal Johnson (So., Fountain, Colo.) up the gut on the first play from scrimmage, building a quick 7-0 lead. But the play led to a false sense of security, which the Rangers took full advantage of.
Northwest Oklahoma State responded with an eight-play, 66-yard drive, culminating in a one-yard touchdown burst by fullback Clayton Smith, which tied the game 7-7.
The Rangers' next scoring drive was thwarted by an interception in the end zone by Chris Brown (Jr., Aurora, Colo.), but the Pack was unable to take advantage of huge defensive play. After failing to gain a first down, the Rangers' NAIA All-American linebacker, Lantz Mathers, blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone, giving the Rangers a 14-7 lead and launching the Pack into a tail spin.
The ThunderWolves' offense only managed six first downs through the first three quarters, while the Rangers tacked on two more touchdowns running a very sneaky running attack out of the spread formation. After three frames, the Rangers held a 27-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the ThunderWolves circled the wagons and gave their all in a near-epic comeback. The offense changed to a pass-first attack behind quarterback Colin Clancy (Sr., Longmont, Colo.), who logged an entire game's worth of yardage in the fourth quarter alone, going 11-for-18 for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the scores went to Augustine Agyei (Sr., Aurora, Colo.), and the third went on a pretty screen pass turned touchdown to tailback Jesse Lewis (So., Loveland, Colo.), who took a 96-yard TD to the house.
Clancy's 309 passing yards set a new CSU-Pueblo single game record.
But the Pack's 21 fourth quarter points, also a school record for fourth quarter output, were undone by a pair of touchdowns by Northwest Oklahoma in the quarter. Quarterback Kyle Jech ran two quarterback keepers for long scores, part of 285 rushing yards by the Rangers.
The 34-28 loss marks the first of the young season by the Pack, though the ThunderWolves still hold a tie for first place in the RMAC two weeks into the young season.
The Pack will open its RMAC schedule next Saturday night when it hosts Fort Lewis. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.