ST. GEORGE, Utah (November 4, 2017) - The No. 24 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team posted a 31-10 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference victory at Dixie State University Saturday. The win was aided by yet another strong defensive performance and three touchdowns from junior Marché Dennard (RB, Phoenix, Ariz.).
CSU-Pueblo wraps the regular season on the road Nov. 11 at Chadron State College. A win against the Eagles would secure a share of the team's sixth RMAC Championship in the last seven years. Game time in Chadron is slated for 12 p.m.
The ThunderWolves (8-2, 8-1 RMAC) allowed less than 100 yards passing for the second straight week, as the Trailblazers (4-6, 4-5 RMAC) only gathered 63 yards through the air. The Pack defense gave up just 168 yards of offense and gathered two interceptions. The two picks moved the team's total to 19 this season, which is the second most in NCAA Division II this season.
Junior Darius Williams (CB, Gilbert, Ariz.) recorded his eighth interception to establish a new program record for picks in a season. Entering the game, he was tied for first in NCAA Division II this season.
Sophomore safety Tanner Draper (Amarillo, Texas) led the Pack with 10 tackles (three solo) and an interception returned 16 yards. He also added a break-up. Junior Jadon Garcia (DB, San Jose, Calif.) compiled seven tackles (six solo) with a sack (-5 yards).
Minus a couple miscues deep in Dixie State territory, the CSU-Pueblo offense was balanced and efficient. Guided by an average starting field position at their own 39 yard line, the passing game totaled 184 yards, while the Pack gathered 147 yards on the ground to total 331 yards.
Senior quarterback Rex Dausin (San Antonio, Texas) was an efficient 13-for-18 (72.2%) and threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Dennard totaled 110 yards of offense with 80 rushing and another 30 yards receiving. He recorded two rushing scores to push his season total to 15. The junior entered the game ranked 12th nationally in rushing scores. The first time he entered the end zone was his first receiving touchdown of the year. Sophomore Ammon Johnson (WR, Denver, Colo.) led the team with 69 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.
On seven punt returns, Kevin Ribarich (WR, Pueblo, Colo.) gathered 88 yards, with a long of 34 yards, to average 12.6 yards per return. He came into the game leading the RMAC in yards per return at 10.3.
The scoring got started with a season long 49-yard field goal by Mitchell Carter (R-Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) to cap the team's first drive of the game. Dennard's receiving score with 6:08 left in the first gave the Pack a 10-0 lead. DSU converted a 40-yard field goal late in the first to make it 10-3. The lone score in the second quarter came with just 13 ticks left, as Dennard found the end zone from two yards out and the ThunderWolves led 17-3 at the break.
Dixie State took the opening drive of the second half 75 yards to the end zone on 17 plays to get within a touchdown at 17-10. The drive totaled 8:34 off the clock.
The CSU-Pueblo defense hasn't allowed fourth quarter points in four straight contests, including Saturday's game, as the offense ensured a victory with two touchdowns. Dennard got his second rushing score of the game early in the frame, then with 5:45 remaining, Dausin connected with Johnson to ice the win for the road team.
– 30 –
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.