Mistakes catch up to Mavs

During the Mesa State College football team’s six game winning streak, the Mavericks managed to win despite making mistakes.

The mistakes caught up to the Mavs in Adams State’s 30-27 victory Saturday in Alamosa.

The Grizzlies scored a season-high 30 points, rushed for 134 yards and converted 8 of 19 third downs (42 percent).

Adams’ defense held the Mavericks to under 300 yards in total offense for just the second time this season, forced two turnovers and limited them to 4 of 12 third down conversions (33 percent). Mesa had four yards of total offense in the fourth quarter and were 0 for 2 on third down conversions.

“We’ve got to correct first downs (conversions),” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “That killed the game for us. We’ve got to quit turning the ball over.”

What makes the loss worse was three teams ahead of Mesa in the regional rankings losing on Saturday as well. The Mavericks are ranked eighth in the Super Region 3. The top six teams qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Now, the Mavericks (6-3, 6-1 RMAC) face an uphill battle beginning with two-time RMAC champion Chadron State (8-1, 7-0 RMAC) coming to town Saturday. Kickoff is at noon for the game, which will be nationally televised on Altitude2.

“Chadron has dominated the conference for a long time,” Ramunno said. “Danny Woodhead was a big piece to everything they accomplished, but they still have some good people. The coaches there are a class outfit.”

The No. 13 Eagles have won 25 consecutive RMAC games dating back to a loss to Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 15, 2005, in Kearney, Neb.

The last time Mesa State defeated the Eagles, the Mavericks won the RMAC title. That was in 2003.

Mesa will have to defeat the Eagles for any hopes of winning the RMAC title and getting a NCAA playoff berth this year.

“Chadron is a great team,” Mesa State’s single-season rushing leader Bobby Coy said. “Look at their win streak in the RMAC. It shows how great of a team they are. We are big underdogs here. We have a slim chance (of winning the RMAC and making the NCAA playoffs). We’ve got to take care of business.”

The junior set the Mesa State single-season rushing mark in the loss Saturday, surpassing Mike Vaughn’s 1,384 yards in 1989. Coy has 1,400 yards this season.

The Eagles, ranked fourth in the region, took advantage of six Colorado School of Mines turnovers in a 34-17 victory Saturday.

Chadron State quarterback Joe McLain, the RMAC preseason player of the year, completed 20 of 33 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman running back Evan Pilkington had 15 carries for 112 yards.


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