Eagles take ThunderWolves to the wire

Trelan Taylor

PUEBLO, Colo. – Different year, same outcome.

The No. 2-ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo football team withstood a motivated Chadron State squad in a wild game to earn a 45-38 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference victory Saturday during its Homecoming.

It was the second consecutive game between the two rivals in Pueblo that went into overtime. The ThunderWolves also won in 2010 and have now defeated the Eagles four straight years.

"It was an up and down game between two good football teams," head coach Jay Long said. "They're the No.2 team in the country and we knew it was going to be a shootout. Our guys played their hearts out and I really feel for them in losing a game like this."

Saturday's contest certainly did have its ups and downs. The Eagles, now 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the RMAC, led the entire game before Pueblo (6-0, 4-0 RMAC) scored on its only possession in overtime when Cameron McDondle ran in for an 8-yard score.

The Eagles had an opportunity to tie on their possession and drove to the 9-yard line but failed to gain yards on their final three plays to seal the verdict.

Prior to the heartbreak in overtime, Chadron State seemed to be in control. The ThunderWolves went three and out on their first possession and the Eagles drove 78 yards on 10 plays to take a quick, 7-0 lead when Jonn McLain, who completed 23 of 32 passes for 171 yards, found Chapman Ham along the sideline for a 22-yard score.

The ThunderWolves then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Glen Clinton, who rushed for a game-high 205 yards and two touchdowns a week after rushing for 198 yards against Adams State, burst into the end zone from three yards out to put the Eagles up, 14-0.

Pueblo responded by scoring 16 points in the second quarter but the Eagles owned a 21-16 lead at halftime when Ham scored his second TD of the day – this time from four yards out – from McLain.

The second half was a track meet as the two teams combined to gain 512 yards and score six TDs.

The Eagles scored just a minute and a half into the third quarter when Clinton forced his way into the end zone from seven yards out to give CSC a 28-16 advantage.

The ThunderWolves responded when J.B. Mathews raced 32 yards down the far sideline for a score four minutes later.

Following a 21-yard field goal from Chadron State's Alex Ferdinand, Pueblo's McDondle capped off a quick, three-play, 75-yard drive with a 13-yard TD scamper that tied the game with four minutes to play in the third quarter.

The two teams then traded turnovers before Michael Madkins raced 47 yards to put the Eagles up 38-31 with six and a half minutes to play.

The Eagles' defense forced Pueblo to punt on its next possession but the offense was unable to generate a first down, setting up the late game dramatics.

Pueblo drove 68 yards in 10 plays and quarterback Ross Dausin squirmed his way into the end zone from 1-yard out on fourth down to tie things up with 1:16 remaining.

The Eagles rushed for a short gain on their first play following the kickoff but after a false start penalty took 10 seconds off the clock, they decided to play for overtime.

Pueblo gained 574 yards of total offense – 312 of it on the ground – in the victory. Dausin, who entered the game having only thrown one interception, was picked off three times – Trelan Taylor had two and Conor Casey swiped the other in the end zone – but still managed to complete 18 of 30 passes for 262 yards.

Mathews and McDondle were responsible for much of the yardage. Mathews rushed 17 times for 174 yards and McDondle carried it 12 times for 97 yards and scored twice.

The Eagles finished with 452 yards and rushed for 281. The Eagles owned the time of possession – 44:28 to 30:32 – but the ThunderWolves ran four more plays (75-71).

Scoring Summary
First Quarter
CSC – Chapman Ham 22 pass from Jonn McLain (Alex Ferdinand kick)
CSC – Glen Clinton 3 run (Ferdinand kick)
Second Quarter
CSUP – Greg O'Donnell 24 field goal
CSC – Ham 4 pass from McLain (Ferdinand kick)
CSUP – Paul Browning 17 pass from Ross Dausin (O'Donnell kick)
CSUP – Dausin 1 run (kick failed)
Third Quarter
CSC – Glen Clinton 7 run (Ferdinand kick)
CSUP – Mathews 32 run (O'Donnell kick)
CSC – Alex Ferdinand 21 field goal
CSUP – Cameron McDondle 13 run (Dausin rush)
Fourth Quarter
CSC – Michael Madkins 47 rush (Ferdinand kick)
CSUP – Ross Dausin 1 run (O'Donnell kick)
Overtime
CSUP – Cameron McDondle 8 run (O'Donnell kick)




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