Defense stands tall in 10-7 road win at Western State

GUNNISON, Colo. (October 29, 2016) - Both Colorado State University-Pueblo and Western State Colorado University entered Saturday's contest with two Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference losses, which was atop the league standings, but it was the ThunderWolves who came out with a 10-7 road win in Gunnison, Colorado behind a strong defensive effort.

The Pack (6-3, 6-2 RMAC) allowed just 66 second half yards to the Mountaineers (6-3, 6-3 RMAC) and 228 total, which was well below their 450.6 season average. The ThunderWolves entered the game allowing 79.0 yards per game on the ground (third nationally), while WSCU had been averaging 274.9 rushing yards per contest (seventh nationally). CSU-Pueblo held Western State to only 58 rushing yards and the contained the nation's leading rusher, Austin Ekeler, to a season-low 67 rushing yards.

The Pack offense produced an even 300 yards (235 passing) and were an efficient 7-for-14 on third downs. Senior wide receiver Larry Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) brought in eight receptions for 108 yards and the lone touchdown, a 37-yard grab.

The ThunderWolves have had a receiver surpass 100 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 26 and Oct. 3 of last season.

Junior quarterback Rex Dausin (San Antonio, Texas) went 21-for-32 (65.6%) for 235 yards and zero interceptions. Both his completions and yards were career-highs in a Pack uniform.

Sophomore Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) guided the defense with 12 tackles (two solo), 1.5 tackles for loss (-3 yards) and two pass break-ups. Senior safety Joseph Jones (Fountain, Colo.) added 10 tackles (four solo).

The Pack defense totaled three sacks (-22 yards), which included one to force a fourth-and-17 on WSCU's final drive of the game.

The defense gave up the Mountaineer score on their second drive of the game, but the Pack kept the home team off the scoreboard for remaining 49 minutes of the game.

CSU-Pueblo scored on a Dausin-Clark strike early in the second quarter and the game was tied 7-7 at the break.

The ThunderWolves used a 10-play, 39-yard drive late in the third to record what would be the winning field goal. Freshman Nathan Taylor (Phoenix, Ariz.) connected from 34 yards out and the 10-7 lead would hold to the final horn.

CSU-Pueblo will conclude the regular season with two home games starting with RMAC newcomer Dixie State University, Nov. 5 at 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.