Mesa State comes back to top Mines
Defense gets stops in second half when needed
GOLDEN — Phil Vigil and the Mesa State College football team didn’t want to let Trevor Wikre down.
After surrendering an comfortable halftime lead, the Mavericks rallied Saturday to defeat the Colorado School of Mines 27-24 at Brooks Field.
“He’s committed to the team,” Vigil said of Wikre. “We wanted to win for him. It will be great to have him back on Monday.”
Wikre, who severely dislocated his right pinkie and had it amputated last week, had to miss Saturday’s game, but was on the sidelines. Wikre is expected to return next week against CSU-Pueblo.
“The team was very inspired by Trevor,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “He talked to the team in the locker room before the game. He told them he’s with them in spirit.”
The Mavericks (4-2, 4-0 RMAC), though, were trailing 24-20 with 7:49 left when they regained possession on their own 34.
“It started on the sideline,” Mesa State senior tight end Maurice Manley said. “We had plenty of time, we just had to move the ball and do what we do best.”
Manley helped move Mesa State into Mines territory with two catches, but the Mavs faced a third-and-3 at Mines 43. Bobby Coy broke into the clear and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:14 left.
Coy rushed for 199 yards on 33 carries (6.0 per carry) and two touchdowns as the Mavericks piled up 363 yards in total offense. Vigil completed 17 of 26 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown.
“We stopped ourselves on one drive,” Vigil said. “We moved the ball all day. We have to finish. When the going was tough, we got it done. The offensive line did a great job. I can’t say enough about Bobby (Coy).”
The defense came through in the end after Mines accumulated 210 of its 219 total yards and all 11 of its first downs in the second half.
“This game was closer than it should’ve been,” Mesa State senior Ryan Kadavy said. “We gave up a couple big plays. Good teams know how to prevail.”
Mesa forced the Orediggers to punt and took over at its own 35 with 3:45 left. The Mavericks had a fourth-and-1, but Vigil was able to get the first down on a quarterback sneak with 1:57 left. The Mavericks ran out the clock from there.
Mesa State opened the game with a 16-play drive, using 8:36 on the clock. Coy, who had 10 carries on the drive, finished it with a 2-yard touchdown run.
Mines (4-2, 3-1 RMAC) went three and out on its first possession, then Mesa took over on its own 47.
Four plays later, Ricky Noble caught a 13-yard pass from Vigil in the corner of the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
The Mavericks had to settle for a Jared Keating 40-yard field goal on their next possession, but increased their lead to 17-0 early in the second quarter.
Mines received a boost from its special teams when Corey Huck took Keating’s kickoff in the end zone and went the distance for a 100-yard touchdown.
On Mesa’s next possession, Mines redshirt freshman Alex Vigil sacked his brother, leading to Mesa’s first punt of the game.
“He gave me a wink and I thought, ‘Oh, you little chump,’ ” big brother said. “Playing against my brother is something I’ll cherish.”
Mines’ defense held Mesa out of scoring territory for the rest of the half.
“Offensively, we didn’t get on track because they weren’t rushing anybody,” Colorado Mines Bob Stitt said. “They were absolutely not rushing anybody. It made it tough because they were dropping eight.”
The Mesa defense limited the Orediggers to no first downs, negative seven yards passing and nine yards in total offense in the first half.
The Mavericks had Mines shut down on its opening possession of the second half, but a personal foul (helmet-to-helmet hit) gave the Orediggers their first down of the game and new life.
A few plays later, Tom Kastens caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from David Pesek with 4:52 left. Mesa led 20-14.
After forcing Mesa to punt, Mines mounted a 73-yard drive ending with a Keegan Moyer 20-yard touchdown reception and a 21-20 Mines lead.
Mesa State attempted a reverse on the kickoff return, but fumbled, giving the ball to the Orediggers at Mesa’s 18.
The Mavericks’ defense responded, forcing Mines to attempt a 27-yard field goal, but it was wide right.
On the drive, Mines had third-and-1 and tried to run behind 6-foot-2, 315-pound guard Blaine Sumner.
Kadavy, though, got around the end hit the running back for a loss.
“I thought they were going to give it to the fullback,” Kadavy said. “It opened up.”
Mines regained possession and marched down the field, but settled for a 30-yard field goal and a 24-21 lead, but it left plenty of time for Mesa to rally and keep its RMAC title hopes alive.