Catching on

Mavs' Ramsey and Cisco getting chances to make plays in passing game

Zeth Ramsey runs after making a catch last weekend during Colorado Mesa’s victory over Fort Lewis. Ramsey began the season as an offensive lineman, but is seeing time at tight end as an extra blocker.

Two Colorado Mesa University redshirt freshmen are getting more playing time because of injuries and making the most of it.

Offensive lineman Zeth Ramsey and quarterback Deke Cisco caught their first career passes last weekend against Fort Lewis.

Ramsey caught a 15-yard pass in Fort Lewis territory, setting up the Mavericks’ first score of the game.

The Mavericks put in a double-tight-end set to utilize the running game more, but they needed another tight end with the loss of two for the season because of injuries.

“Part of it is he’s a good athlete,” Martin said of Ramsey. “We moved him to help us with some strength with blocking at tight end.
“We’ve been running it there a couple weeks, so we knew we needed to mix in a couple play-action passes with him, that way it’s not a giveaway we’re running the ball. We’ve got a couple more things in for him now. Even though some aren’t routes for him, he’s going to be involved in either protection or controlled routes.”

Cisco volunteered to play some wide receiver and caught two bubble screens for seven yards.

The moves were partly out of necessity because of injuries. The Mavs were minus wide receiver Nate Neville last week after he injured a shoulder the game before. Thomas Sua, who started the season at running back, moved to tight end because of a season-ending injury to Drew Holder (shoulder). Now, Sua’s career is likely over. The senior injured his neck in the game at Black Hills State University.

“The doctors have recommended he not continue because of the risks involved,” Martin said. “With both those injuries, that’s why we moved Zeth in there. Once in a while you may see Wes Sorensen or Teddy Silano in there just because they know the stuff from the run game. They give us a little more size and strength.”

Others Banged Up

Mesa is banged up in the backfield, too. Freshman Dan Geubelle broke his hand. He’ll be able to play, but could be limited. Jake Cimolino, who is averaging 23 carries a game, is playing with banged-up shoulders.

“We’re trying to use DJ (Hubbard) in the backfield to give Jake a break,” Martin said. “Now with Dan’s injuries, he was playing both receiver and running back. With his hand, we need someone else back there, which is mostly DJ. Now we need someone at receiver for him. The coaches are doing a great job of putting together a game plan that utilizes our guys and their skills.”

Dane Amacher (knee) is out this week and is questionable for the rest of the season.

Travis McRae sustained a concussion for the second consecutive year against Fort Lewis.

“He has passed the first two phases of a concussion test,” Martin said. “If he keeps progressing, he should be ready to go.”

Shutting down the run

Colorado Mesa’s defense is allowing more than 400 yards per game, but the Mavericks are forcing teams to pass.

The Mavericks limited Fort Lewis to 73 rushing yards and haven’t allowed a running back to rush for 100 or more yards since the first game of the season. The Skyhawks averaged 2.7 yards per carry against Mesa.

“If we can get them one-dimensional, we can disguise our pressures a little bit better, and we can utilize a greater mixture of coverages,” Martin said. “If we can do that, it makes it a little tough to know where the pressure is coming from. That’s where we get more picks.

“That will be the challenge this week (against Colorado Mines). These guys love to throw the football and sometimes every down ... but you’ve got to disrupt the timing of it. You’ve got to be physical with the receivers, but you can’t be in their face because they could beat you.”


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