Colorado Mesa football team falls to Adams State in season finale
Turnovers and mistakes have plagued the Colorado Mesa University football team all season.
It did again in the season finale on a cold, windy day Saturday afternoon at Rex Field in Alamosa.
Adams State took advantage of only two of the Mavericks’ six turnovers, but it was enough for a 19-0 victory. The Grizzlies (8-3, 6-3 RMAC) set a school record for wins in a season since they became an NCAA Division II member in 1992.
For the Mavericks, it was the first time they were shut out since their season opener against Central Washington in 2009. Central Washington won 10-0.
“We couldn’t get anything going offensively,” CMU coach Russ Martin said. “We had several turnovers and quite a few penalties. I’m very disappointed how we played offensively.”
Colorado Mesa (4-7, 4-5 RMAC) turned the ball over twice in the red zone, and it had nine penalties for 76 yards. The Mavericks had 31 turnovers this season and finished with a negative-five turnover ratio.
Mesa fumbled the ball on the first play of its second possession of the game. Two plays later, Adams State scored the only touchdown of the game on Trevor Eggleston’s 26-yard pass to Harry Adjei for a 13-0 lead.
The Mavericks responded with an 11-play drive to the Adams State five-yard line, but Mesa quarterback Jason Haferman was intercepted in the end zone.
Haferman got the start in his first game back from a knee ligament sprain. He had been out two weeks.
“The team was playing well behind him, and he made good decisions in practice,” Martin said of the decision to start Haferman. Did he play well (Saturday)? No. I’m frustrated with that.”
Haferman completed seven of 31 passes for 98 yards and was intercepted four times.
Jake Cimolino accounted for most of the yards on the ground with 118 on 27 carries. The sophomore finished the season with 1,365 yards rushing, putting him third on the all-time single-season list. He is fourth on the career rushing list with 2,339 yards unofficially.
The Mavericks were within two scores when the second half started. They opened it with an eight-play drive into Adams territory, but Alex Zemezonak’s 43-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
Mesa turned the ball over four times and punted twice in its final six possessions.
Mesa receiver Robert Felberg fumbled the ball after catching a 53-yard pass to open the fourth quarter. Adams State recovered.
“We hit Rob deep, but we don’t convert it into points,” Martin said. “It does wear on you. I’m pleased our defense kept playing hard and kept them out of the end zone.”
Mesa’s defense gave up 524 yards of total offense but kept the Mavericks in the game, forcing the Grizzlies to settle for four field goals.
“I know we gave up several yards, but our defense played really well,” Martin said. “When they got close to the goal line, our defense was nails. When you hold a team to 19 points, you should win.”