ThunderWolves defense again stellar in 37-0 win

ThunderWolves improve to school-record 9-0 with third shutout of 2011.


LAS VEGAS, N.M. (GoThunderWolves.com - Oct. 29, 2011) - CSU-Pueblo improved to a school-record 9-0 Saturday in impressive fashion, using the time-honored strengths of solid defense and a heady running game to take down New Mexico Highlands 37-0.

CSU-Pueblo is now off to its first 9-0 start in school history and ran its NCAA Division II-leading win streak to 13 games, also a school record.

The ThunderWolves led 7-0 at halftime after both teams traded anemic blows offensively, but opened up the game considerably in the second half.  Freshman tailback J.B. Mathews (Fr., Aurora, Colo.) ran for a career-high 173 yards and three touchdowns, his second three-touchdown game of his young collegiate career.

His first score came at the close of the first half, galloping in to the end zone from 27 yards out with two minutes remaining in the first half.

He piled on in the third quarter, running another in from 20 yards out and adding a 7-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter. 

He was joined in the end zone by long scores from Josh Sandoval (So., Pueblo, Colo.), who recorded his second punt return touchdown this season, and Jamaal Johnson (Sr., Fountain, Colo.), who scored on a 41-yard screen pass for a touchdown.

But more impressive than anything the offense did on the field was the play of the Pack defense.  Top to bottom, it halted a New Mexico Highlands offense that was averaging 31.1 points per game entering Saturday.  For the Cowboys, it was its first shutout suffered since falling 66-0 last season to the ThunderWolves.

The CSU-Pueblo defense, which entered the game as the nation's leading defense, allowing just 11.2 points per game, posted its third shutout in the same season for the first time since 1948.

No defensive stat was more impressive than what the Pack did to Highlands on third down.  New Mexico Highlands was 0-for-15 on third downs.

CSU-Pueblo will finish its season at home the final two weeks, hosting Western State next Saturday before closing its regular season Nov. 12 against Western New Mexico.