'11 in 11' realized by ThunderWolves
ThunderWolves claim first outright RMAC Championship in school history.
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Nov. 12, 2011) - In preseason camp, CSU-Pueblo's players put a signature on the end of their text messages that advertised their 2011 goals in no uncertain terms - "11 in '11". Saturday, that bold prediction was realized in an 11-0 season and an RMAC Championship.
The ThunderWolves rolled through an overmatched Western New Mexico team 48-7, ending the regular season with a bang and awaiting the announcement of their seeding for the NCAA Division II Playoffs, which will be broadcast live on NCAA.com on the NCAA Division II Playoffs Selection Show Sunday at 3 p.m. MST.
The road to the championship was made all the more special by the team's seniors, who signed on to the team four years ago when the program was literally a hole in the ground, as Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl was being constructed. On a wing and a prayer, over 20 seniors currently on the 2011 squad made it all the journey all the way from upstarts to RMAC Champions. Many of those seniors were key contributors in bringing the team across the finish line to the championship Saturday.
Leading the charge was Jesse Lewis (Sr., Loveland, Colo.), who toted the rock for 114 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Pack out to a 28-0 lead that put the game away before halftime. He was joined by tailback-mate Jamaal Johnson (Sr., Fountain, Colo.), who ran for 87 yards and caught four passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Ross Dausin (Jr., San Antonio, Tex.) threw for a modest 118 yards but netted three touchdowns, his second breaking the school record for most touchdown passes, held by head coach John Wristen.
The defense also piled it on with six sacks, including 1.5 sacks by an "original ThunderWolf in senior Grant Jansen (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and defensive line-mate, Corey Orth (Jr., Buena Vista, Colo.).
But the story was obviously about the team's title, as it stormed to the program's first ever 11-0 finish and just the fourth 11-0 season in RMAC history. It marked CSU-Pueblo's second championship in school history, its first since 1980.
CSU-Pueblo will be at home in its first home playoff game, slated to take place Saturday, Nov. 26 at noon at the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl.