PUEBLO, Colo. (Oct. 7, 2017) - The No. 14 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team scored on offense, defense and special teams in the 63-17 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest. The game at Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl served as the annual Homecoming and CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Fame Game.
The ThunderWolves (5-1, 5-0 RMAC) scored six touchdowns on offense, while junior Darius Williams (CB, Gilbert, Ariz.) returned an interception 99 yards to the end zone for the defense. Sophomore Kyle Rosenbrock (ILB, Brush, Colo.) blocked a punt and returned it 35 yards for a score, while Brandon O'Donnell (So., Highlands Ranch, Colo.) put the cherry on top with a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown to move the score to 63-10.
The CSU-Pueblo defense slowed the Adams State (3-3, 3-3 RMAC) passing game to 259 yards, which is significantly less than its 370.4 yards per game which ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division II entering the game. ASU came into the game scoring 40.8 points per game and were held to just 17 (the final touchdown was scored with 1:33 left in the fourth). Adams State ranked No. 4 nationally in total offense with 524.2 yards, but only mustered 348 yards Saturday.
CSU-Pueblo has scored 56-plus points in each of the last three meetings with ASU (2015 - 56-0, 2016 - 56-12).
Five of the six offensive touchdowns were on the ground, as junior Marché Dennard (Phoenix, Ariz.) totaled three scores, sophomore Austin Micci (RB, Colorado Springs, Colo.) had one and senior Rex Dausin (QB, San Antonio, Texas) added one.
Dennard finished with 155 yards, his fourth straight 100-plus yard contest, while the three touchdown game is a career-high and pushes his season total to nine. He added 30 receiving yards to finish the evening with 185 all-purpose yards.
Micci posted 108 yards. He has seven rushing touchdowns this season..
Dausin threw for 153 yards and effectively controlled the offense. He went 11-for-16 with a passing touchdown and hit eight different receivers.
Junior Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) continued his leadership of the defense with eight tackles (six solo). Sophomore Tevin Donnell (CB, Fountain, Colo.) also contributed eight tackles with six coming on solo efforts.
Williams' interception was his fourth of the season and the touchdown was his second of the year and fourth of his career. The return ranks as the second longest in program history, as Keno Aleman returned a pick 100 yards against Emporia State in 1968.
The defense totaled nine break-ups.
The Pack led 14-0 after the first on scores from Dennard and a 10-yard reception by Josh Smith (Jr., WR, Everett, Wash.).
Rosenbrock's block came early in the second to give the Pack a 21-0 advantage. ASU scored on its next possession, but a two-yard run by Dausin and Williams' marathon run handed the home team a 35-7 lead at the break.
It was all CSU-Pueblo in the second half, as they nearly doubled up to run away with the 46-point victory. Dennard had the only scoring of the third quarter with 25 and 42 yard races to the blue paint. Micci scored in the first five minutes of the fourth on a 20 yard run, while O'Donnell's return came with 7:45 left in the game.
• The last time the Pack had a punt return for a touchdown was during the 2014 playoffs when Daniel Wise returned a kick 83 yards to the house against Ohio Dominican.
• The blocked punt and score was the first of its kind since the restart of the program in 2008.
• The ThunderWolves had two 100-yard rushers for the first time this season and first time since Oct. 22 of last year.
• Dennard and Micci entered the game ranked T-22nd nationally in rushing touchdowns.
• The offensive line didn't allow a sack and the four tackles for loss amounted to just six yards. The team entered the game ranked 32nd nationally with least tackles for loss allowed.
• The Pack defense forced Adams State to face 19 third downs (7-for-19) and held them on 2-of-4 fourth down attempts.
The ThunderWolves will take to the road Oct. 14 for a 12 p.m. showdown in Durango, Colorado with Fort Lewis University (2-4, 2-4 RMAC).
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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.