CANYON, Texas (September 12, 2015) – The No. 2 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team wasn't without numerous big plays Saturday, but in the end the ThunderWolves suffered just their second regular season loss since 2011 when they fell 31-30 at West Texas A&M University.
Turnovers negated the two interceptions for touchdowns, an 80-yard rushing touchdown and the 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Six times the Pack turned the ball over, which allowed WT to run 29 more plays and outgain the ThunderWolves 341-271.
The lead changed four times and the game was tied on three occasions.
West Texas A&M led 14-7 with 37 seconds left in the first quarter, but 17 straight points by the Pack gave the road team a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter. Those two touchdowns came off interceptions for touchdowns by LaRon Tarkington (Jr., S, Phoenix, Ariz.) and Samuel Singleton (Jr., LB, Thornton, Colo.) of 25 and 10 yards, respectfully.
The Buffaloes then responded with 17 unanswered of their own to open a 31-24 lead with 2:13 remaining in regulation.
Looking for any help before starting the two minute drill, senior Kieren Duncan (Sr., WR, Goodyear, Ariz.) received the kick from the two yard line and went the distance to post a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to move the score to 31-30 with just under two minutes remaining.
CSU-Pueblo then took a timeout before attempting the extra point. Following the break the Pack lined-up for the extra point, but faked the attempt and holder Jarred Radebaugh (Sr., WR, Thornton, Colo.) pitched the ball to a teammate coming across the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately for the Pack, the fake was sniffed out by the WT defense and he was tackled before reaching the goal line.
The ThunderWolves' sixth turnover set up the Buffaloes at the CSU-Pueblo 22-yard line, which allowed WT to get to the end zone for the game-winning score.
Top Pack Players
Cameron McDondle (Sr., RB, Littleton, Colo.) led the offensive attack with 166 yards on 23 carries (7.2 yards per attempt) and a touchdown. That one score was an 80-yard run, which marked a career-high. He also added 20 receiving yards to total 186 all-purpose yards.
His 80 yard run was the longest since Jesse Lewis battled for 87 yards against Western New Mexico, Nov. 12, 2011.
Morgan Fox (Sr., Dl, Fountain, Colo.) again proved why he was selected as RMAC Preseason Player of the Year, as he totaled a career-high 10 tackles (five solo) with 3.5 tackles for loss (-23 yards) and two sacks (20 yards).
Fox now owns 23 career sacks and is chasing former teammate Darius Allen (2011-14), who owns 34.5 sacks.
Duncan's 98-yard kickoff return was the first kick return for a touchdown since Marguise Enach returned a kick 97 yards against Adams State, Sept. 18, 2010.
The return is not the longest in CSU-Pueblo history, as twice the Pack have had a 100-yard return for a score. The two were Glen Printers versus Pittsburg State, Oct. 27, 1973 and Bryan Webb against Western State, Oct. 22, 1983.
Pack Points of Interest
• The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for CSU-Pueblo. It also marked just the fifth loss in 59 games (regular and postseason), dating back to Oct. 23, 2010.
• Twice last season the Pack scored in all three facets of the game. CSU-Pueblo do so again against WT.
• The ThunderWolves produced seven defensive touchdowns last season, which included two interceptions for a touchdown Nov. 8 against Colorado Mesa.
• Since 2008, the Pack are 6-4 in games decided by three points or less.
• McDondle has surpassed the 100 yard mark in 21 games in his career.
The ThunderWolves will being Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play at home Sept. 19 against Western State Colorado University in a 6 p.m. tilt.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.