Cisco readjusts to playing QB for Mavs
Deke Cisco had a rough return to quarterback in his first start in six weeks.
The Colorado Mesa University redshirt freshman completed 12 of 27 passes for 139 yards in the Mavericks’ 48-10 loss to No. 1 CSU-Pueblo on Saturday at Stocker Stadium.
“I think it was a standpoint, he nor the offense never really got into a rhythm,” CMU coach Russ Martin said. “That’s what you’ve got to do running this offense. A couple times we moved it down the field and scored, but we were never able to sustain it. That’s a tough team to come in full-go. They’re just a very good football team.”
Cisco started in place of junior Jason Haferman, who was injured against Colorado School of Mines the previous week.
“It was a little hectic, crazy at first,” Cisco said. “You try to get in a rhythm and do what you can.
“I definitely felt better as the game went on. You get a lot more comfortable back there.”
Running to records
Sophomore running back Jake Cimolino moved up to ninth in the Mesa single-season rushing list with 1,163 yards after running for 106 yards against CSU-Pueblo.
The single-season record is 1,600 yards set by Bobby Coy in 2008. Cimolino is fifth on the career list with 2,137 yards.
“Jake ran well,” Martin said. “We were disappointed in the one fumble. You can’t tell if he never got it or it hit off his arm. He is running very hard.
“A lot of it was we did a better job blocking this week than the week before.”
CSU-Pueblo was 8 of 15 on third down (53 percent); Mesa was 3 of 12 (25 percent).
“We’ve done some good things, but we’re not doing them consistent enough, not enough against the really good teams,” Martin said. “That is where you’ve got to get those third-down conversions, You get more first-down calls, you can run the same formation and run multiple plays out of it. We just never did that.”
Mesa is sixth in the RMAC on third-down conversions at 35.9 percent for the season. The Mavericks are last in opponents third-down conversions, allowing teams to convert 45.2 percent of the time.
Martin said part of that is the Mavs’ lack of depth.
“You get in the fourth quarter and our kids are playing hard, but the number of hits is cumulative,” Martin said. “It goes over the entire season. Your body is going to slow down. It takes a toll on you physically and mentally when you have letdowns.”
Colorado Mesa has 13 players not expected to play this weekend because of injuries.
That includes Haferman, who has a strained ligament in his left knee.
Senior center Matt Mankoff and defensive end Justin Brown are probable to return from injured ankles. Mankoff and Brown didn’t practice Tuesday.
Mankoff tested his ankle before the game against CSU-Pueblo, but didn’t feel confident enough to play.
Austin Bennett started at center for Mankoff. Teddy Silano started in place of Bennett at left tackle.
Brown did play Saturday, but turned the same ankle he rolled the previous week.
Senior/Military Appreciation Day
Colorado Mesa will recognize 11 seniors playing their final home game prior to Saturday’s 1 p.m. kickoff against Western State Colorado University.
The 11 seniors are LB Koa Asing, DL Dane Amacher, DL Justin Brown, LB Trevor deBraga, DB Trent deBraga, WR Robert Felberg, DL Domonique Lewis, OL Matt Mankoff, K Caleb Pavy, OL Trevor Stapp and RB Thomas Sua. Amacher and Sua are out with injuries.
It addition to senior day, it is military appreciation day. All military personnel with a military ID and his or her family will be admitted free to the game.