Defense yielding victories for Mavs
Mesa State’s defense was ruthless Saturday.
For the third consecutive week, the Mavericks allowed fewer yards than the previous week.
On Saturday, Mesa State (3-2, 3-0 RMAC) allowed a season-low 23 rushing yards (on 33 carries), 241 passing yards and 264 yards in total offense in a 35-13 victory over Fort Lewis.
“They’ve been really great,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “It’s exciting to see. We’re going to be a good team if continue to play like the defense is playing. Special teams sparked some things, the defense did and our offense responded to it.”
The Mesa State defense recorded 11 tackles for a loss, including five sacks. The Mavericks intercepted one pass and broke up five more. They simply wreaked havoc on the Fort Lewis offense.
“It all starts with the guys up front,” Ramunno said. “Ryan (Kadavy) had a great game and nearly an interception. We’re going to get him a big fishing net to get those. Dominic Applehans played well with nine tackles. He moved well. He’s getting better and better each week. Spencer (McAdoo), Cody (Walker) and Brandon Birdsall played well. That’s what makes its special, the whole crew together.”
Although the offense didn’t put up the numbers it did last week against Western New Mexico, it put together another solid performance.
“We’re playing better up front (on the offensive line),” Ramunno said. “We had good protection. We did some good things.”
The Mavericks, though, will look to clean up the penalties (9 for 80 yards) and turnovers (two fumbles) when they visit the Colorado School of Mines (4-1, 3-0 RMAC) at noon Saturday at Brooks Field. It is the Orediggers’ homecoming game. The designated RMAC game of the week will be televised regionally on Altitude2 (Channel 47).
“We’re going to have to have a solid performance,” Ramunno said. “We play a very good football team. Coach (Bob) Stitt is one of the finer minds in the RMAC. We’ve got a huge challenge. It will be a great atmosphere.”
The Orediggers needed overtime Saturday to remain undefeated in conference play, defeating CSU-Pueblo 21-14.
The ThunderWolves trailed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter when they recovered a Mines fumble in Mines territory and scored to force overtime.
In overtime, Mines scored on its first possession when nose guard Blaine Sumner ran for a 1-yard touchdown.
The Orediggers held CSU-Pueblo on its possession.
Mines quarterback David Pesek completed 31 of 44 throws for 332 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Adam Saur caught 9 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown.
The Orediggers’ defense played well too, limiting CSU-Pueblo to 16 rushing yards.
“They are very solid and can pressure things. Marc (Schiechl) was right behind Kurt (Kissner) in sacks. He was one of the nation leaders. Their linebackers are good and they are solid up front. Anytime you’re winning like they are winning, you have a good defense.”
The winner will remain at least tied for first in the RMAC. Chadron State (4-1, 3-0 RMAC) is the only other team without a conference loss. The Eagles, who defeated Nebraska-Kearney 17-14, visit New Mexico Highlands on Saturday.