RAPID CITY, S.D. (September 16, 2017) - The No. 18 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team closed the second half for its first road win of 2017, as the ThunderWovles defeated South Dakota School of Mines and Technology by the score of 34-14.
The Pack (2-1, 2-0 RMAC) didn't have a second half letdown in the win after opening the game with a 28-14 lead at the break. The CSU-Pueblo defense came up with four turnovers to help overcome 133 yards of penalties.
Junior running back Marché Dennard (Phoenix, Ariz.) carried the ball 16 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry to help the Pack to 236 yards of rushing yards. Sophomore Austin Micci (Colorado Springs, Colo.) added 90 yards and a score on the ground.
The three CSU-Pueblo interceptions in the second half led to the six points scored. The Pack defense forced South Dakota Mines to a 0-for-3 effort on fourth down. All fourth down situations were in CSU-Pueblo territory. The defense also only allowed 102 yards on the ground and gathered four sacks.
The run game was rolling in the first half to guide the ThunderWolves to a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. The first three drives went for 79, 65 and 55 yards to the end zone.
Following a fourth-down stand at their own four by the CSU-Pueblo defense, the Pack offense marched 96 yards on 15 plays to the end zone. The drive was capped by a Edwards connection with senior Sammie Long IV (WR, Lanewood, Wash.) for a 10 yard touchdown. The drive knocked a season-long 7:18 off the clock.
SDSMT responded with a 65 yard drive to the end zone in the final 44 seconds of the half to get within two scores at 28-14.
There was no scoring in the third, while the Mitchell Carter (R-Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts in the fourth and hit from 22 and 32 yards out.
Junior Darius Williams (CB, Gilbert, Ariz.) and Noor Shongolo (OLB, Commerce City, Colo.) each totaled a team-best eight tackles. Williams totaled six solo tackles and added an interception in the final seconds of the game to put the cherry on top of the win. Steven O'Malley (R-Fr., LB, Denver, Colo.) posted a sack and forced a fumble for the second straight week. He finished the game with four tackles, two sacks (-11 yards) and a forced and recovered fumble.
• Austin Micci has six touchdowns this season (five on the ground). He entered the game ranked T-5th in Division II for rushing touchdowns and tied for second in both total points scored and touchdowns.
• The Pack have six scoring drives this season of 75 yards or more.
• The ThunderWolves are now 14-for-14 in the red zone after going 6-for-6 in the game. CSU-Pueblo has scored 11 touchdowns and three field goals in the red zone.
• The Pack have totaled eight turnovers this season. The five interceptions have been returned for 60 yards.
Next the for the ThunderWolves is the third straight road game, set for Sept. 23 at New Mexico Highlands University. The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest is scheduled for 12 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.