Posted 2 months ago
By John Axtell
CHADRON – Whenever Colorado State University-Pueblo and Chadron State meet on the football field, odd things happen. This year was just plain offensive.
The two teams combined for 1,208 yards and 171 plays but timely touchdowns were pivotal as the fifth-ranked ThunderWolves (6-0, 4-0 RMAC) outlasted the 19th-ranked Eagles 51-42 at Elliott Field Saturday.
CSU-Pueblo is all alone in first place while CSC is tied for second with Colorado Mesa and Adams State, two teams the Eagles have already beaten.
Chadron State quarterback Jonn McLain set school records for total offense and passing attempts, completions, and yards, but the ThunderWolves’ quick strike offense and opportunistic defense proved to be too tough for the Eagles (4-2, 3-1 RMAC) to overcome.
Pueblo scored four touchdowns on drives that took three plays or less and three of them – including a 70-yard fumble recovery early in the fourth quarter – were longer than 50 yards.
Quarterback Chris Bonner completed 19 of 28 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns and running back Chris Ashe carried the ball 28 times for 158 yards and a TD.
In all, the Pueblo offense, which entered the game ranked 16th in Division II, gained 503 yards on 68 plays.
Chadron State, which gained the second-most yards in school history with 705, only led early in the first quarter after Glen Clinton, who rushed for 53 yards but had seven receptions for 147 yards, scored from one yard out on fourth down.
Following the Eagles’ TD, Pueblo scored back-to-back touchdowns on Bonner passes.
The Eagles answered with 21 seconds to play in the first half when Cody Roes, who had eight receptions for 72 yards and three touchdown receptions, found pay dirt to cut the ThunderWolves’ lead to 21-16.
However, Bonner connected with Kieran Duncan, who had four receptions for 140 yards and two scores, on a 70-yard touchdown strike with six seconds to play to put Pueblo up 28-16 heading into halftime.
The two teams traded field goals in a mundane third quarter but they managed to give fans plenty of fireworks in the fourth quarter by combining for 43 points.
Chadron State was never able to get the score under double digits, though, until there was 31 seconds remaining to play. Despite that, there were still plenty of big plays for the Eagles and McLain completed 16 of 22 passes for 275 yards in the fourth quarter alone. One of his 16 completions went to Nathan Ross for an 84-yard touchdown.
For the game, McLain was 49-74 for 600 yards and 4 touchdowns, but also threw 3 interceptions…two on deflections. Ross had a team-high 166 yards receiving on only 6 catches, while Travis Reeves finished with 12 catches for 98 yards.
The Eagles head out on the road next week, but for their shortest trip in nearly 2 decades: just 150 miles to Spearfish and Black Hills State University, which joined the RMAC last year and lost Saturday at Adams State 49-43. Kickoff time for the CSC-BHSU battle will be 4:00.
CSU-P 7 21 3 20 – 51
CSC 7 9 3 23 – 42
CSC – Glen Clinton 1 run (Randy Wentz kick)
CSUP – Paul Browning 5 pass from Chris Bonner (Greg O’Donnell kick)
CSUP – Coleman MacArthur 3 pass from Bonner (O’Donnell kick)
CSC – Randy Wentz 37 field goal
CSUP – Kieren Duncan 59 pass from Bonner (O’Donnell kick)
CSC – Cody Roes 4 pass from Jonn McLain (Patrick O’Boyle rush failed)
CSUP – Kieren Duncan 70 pass from Bonner (O’Donnell kick)
CSUP – O’Donnell 38 field goal
CSC – Wentz 27 field goal
CSUP – Darius Allen 70 fumble recovery (O’Donnell kick)
CSC – Cody Roes 13 pass from McLain (Wentz kick)
CSUP – Paul Browning 15 pass from Bonner (O’Donnell kick failed)
CSC – Nathan Ross 84 pass from McLain (Glen Clinton pass from McLain)
CSUP – Chris Ashe 5 run (O’Donnell kick)
CSC – Cody Roes 9 pass from McLain (Chapman Ham from McLain)