Strong second half lifts No. 4 Pack over No. 16 CMU, 51-20

PUEBLO, Colo. (November 7, 2015) – In a showdown between two undefeated Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponents, the No. 4 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team used a strong second half to take down No. 16 Colorado Mesa University, 51-20.

With the win, the ThunderWolves improve to 9-1 (8-0 RMAC) and take sole possession atop of the RMAC, while the Mavericks drop to 8-2 overall (7-1 RMAC). The Pack also secured at least a share of the 2015 RMAC Championship, their fifth conseutive conferene title. 

Senior Cameron McDondle (RB, Littleton, Colo.) again controlled the ground game for the ThunderWolves and galloped for 150 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. His brother Bernard McDondle (So., RB, Littleton, Colo.) also surpassed the century mark, as he scampered for 117 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries for 11.7 yards per carry. B. McDondle entered the game as the nation's leader in yards per carry.

After allowing the second most points in a first half this season (17 points), the ThunderWolves defense clamped down the Mavericks in final half, holding them to just three points. Entering the match, Colorado Mesa was ranked 18th in the nation in rushing with 242.3 yards per game, but the defense held the Mavericks to 114 yards on the ground.

The Pack outgained the Mavericks 463-241, which was 200 yards below the road team's average. 

Game Changer

Late in the second quarter the ThunderWolves' Joseph Jones (Jr., S, Colorado Springs, Colo.) picked off the Mavericks quarterback Aric Kaiser with a 1:21 before intermission that led to a 27-yard field-goal by Greg O'Donnell (Sr., K, Monument, Colo.) to take a 19-17 advantage at the midway point.

With the jolt of momentum, out of the break CSU-Pueblo marched down the gridiron and scored on the first offensive drive of the half. The Pack went 60 yards on seven plays with AJ Thompson (R-Fr., QB, Denver, Colo.) hitting Zach Boyd (So., TE, Fort Lupton, Colo.) from eight-yards out to cap off the drive and go up 26-17 with 11:18 to go early in the third frame.

From there the ThunderWolves rode the wave of momentum and posted 25 more points to close the game on a 32-3 run.

ThunderWolves Leaders

  • Thompson accumulated 184 yards in the air on 11-18 attempts and notched two touchdowns. On the ground he added another score, this time from 15-yards out.
  • Kieren Duncan (Sr., WR, Goodyear, Ariz.) totaled 98 yards returning kicks on four tries and led all receivers with 42 yards on four receptions.
  • Morgan Fox (Sr., DE, Fountain, Colo.) dominated the line-of-scrimmage to come away with three sacks, including a safety. He totaled eight tackels (six solo). 
  • Redshirt-freshman Brandon Payer (LB, Pine, Colo.) was all over the field, as he had nine tackles (4 solo).

Pack Points

  • Fox now has 15 sacks this season, just 0.5 sack off the record 15.5 former teammate Darius Allen accumluated in both 2013 and 2014. He has 34 career sacks, also a half sack behind Allen's 34.5 career quarterback takedowns. 
  • C. McDondle's 150 yards is the least amound this season, as he has rushed for 100 yards or more in 22 of his last 25 contests dating back to last year.
  • Fifth game this season both McDondle brothers have reached 100 yards and multiple touchdowns.
  • The ThunderWolves have reached the scoreboard first on touchdowns in seven games this season.
  • Have not trailed at intermission the entire season. They're 9-1 when doing so, with their only loss coming against West Texas A&M.
  • CSU-Pueblo has now accumulated five scoring drives of 90 or more yards, 16 scoring drives overall of 80 yards or more through 10 games. The Pack marched 95 yards on 10 plays for their first score of the contest.
  • Defense allowed 17 points in the first half, the second most allowed this season. They came in only allowing 7.11 points in the first half.
  • CSU-Pueblo had now won six straight against CMU, including the last two matches by a combined 103-23.
  • The defense notched their first safety of the season off of Fox's sack. The last Pack safety came last season against New Mexico Highlands University.
  • The Pack has now won 28 straight regular season games at home, dating back to 2010. CSU-Pueblo was 6-0 at home in 2015.  

Up Next

The ThunderWolves finish up the regular season on the road, as they will travel to Las Vegas, N.M. for a matchup against New Mexico Highlands University, with the kickoff set for 2 p.m.

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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.