Mavs rout Highlands in first win

The offense came together and the defense got back to being sticklers.

The Mesa State College football team scored 51 points and limited New Mexico Highlands to 148 yards in total offense Saturday in a 51-7 victory at Perkins Stadium in Las Vegas, N.M.

The 51 points are the most they Mavericks have scored since they defeated Highlands 64-51 in double overtime in 2005.

“It was great for our guys,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “You start doubting some things when you lose. The younger guys got to see (success) and feel it early.

“With being able to control the ball, we were able to do a lot of positive things.”

The Mavericks (1-2, 1-0 RMAC) rushed for 319 yards and had a total of 455 yards of offense. The defense limited Highlands (0-3, 0-1 RMAC) to negative 26 rushing yards, forced four turnovers and had seven sacks.

Mesa State running back Joey Applehans rushed for 179 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. Will Halboth had 13 carries for 96 yards and one touchdown.

“I don’t care what level or league you play in, it’s so important to run the football,”
Ramunno said. “If you do that it opens everything up. Our guys ran extremely hard. Joey had a great day. Will did some good things, too.

“We try to run it every week. We’ve had success running at times the last two weeks. With this situation you always want to go into it and run. We were able to do a lot of things.”

Mesa redshirt freshman quarterback Robert Felberg ran for two touchdowns. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 136 yards, two touchdowns and had no interceptions.

Felberg led Mesa State to touchdowns on its first three possessions, scoring on a 6-yard run, completing a 22-yard pass to Griffin Chernoff for his first career touchdown pass and running the ball in from one yard out for a 21-0 halftime lead.

Applehans scored on a 59-yard run to open the second half, then Felberg threw his second touchdown of the game to Chernoff for 17 yards and a 35-0 lead.

Halboth scored on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter and kicker Michael Sweeney converted all three field goal attempts for points, including a 45-yarder midway through the fourth quarter.


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