The Paw Print
Although the defense was able to score two touchdowns on defense, the Adams State University football team was unable to overcome New Mexico Highlands for homecoming on Saturday, falling 34-20 to the Cowboys. The Grizzlies fall to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) play.
Adams State got on the board first, early in the first quarter, when junior Vince Coach (Indianapolis, Ind.) blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone. Senior David Van Voris (Elizabeth, Colo.) was good on his point after attempt to put the Grizzlies at 7-0 with 8:47 remaining in the quarter.
The Grizzly defense then forced the Cowboys to go three-and-out. After the punt, the ASU offense took over on their own 39 yard line. With senior Trevor Eggleston (Tucson, Ariz.) still out from an injury sustained last weekend, junior Cody Davies (Bozeman, Mont.) got the start for ASU. The Grizzlies marched down the field into the red zone, but an offensive pass interference call backed them up and they had to settle for a Van Voris field goal.
Highlands put up their first points in the start of the second quarter on a 32 yard field goal. Highlands’ next possession ended on a fumble by quarterback Emmanuel Lewis. The fumble was recovered by junior Grant Haggard (Monrovia, Calif.) on the NMHU 48 yard line. The Grizzlies would then swap turnovers when their ensuing drive ended on a fumble by Davies on the NMHU 21.
The Grizzlies’ next possession would end with another turnover, this time an interception. The Cowboys would capitalize on the turnover when Lavelle Peterson ran one yard into the end zone and tied the score at 10-10. This would be the score going into the half.
ASU took control of the lead again early in the third on another field goal by Van Voris. The 23-yarder capped an 8-play, 43-yard drive by the Grizzlies.
Highlands would quickly come back, scoring a touchdown on the following drive. Lewis completed a 35 yard pass to Darius Davis pushed the Cowboys ahead 17-13 with 8:10 remaining in the third. NMHU would score again on their next possession on a Zach Tapia field goal from 55 yards out.
The Grizzlies would tie the game back up with 11:24 left in the game. Senior Mario Moore (Moreno Valley, Calif.) would force a fumble that was recovered by sophomore Connor Stevens (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Stevens took the ball 54 yards for the Grizzlies second defensive score of the game.
Highlands then scored 14 unanswered points on 8 yard and 40 yard touchdown passes. This made the final score 34 to 20.
Defensively, the Grizzlies were led by Stevens, who registered 12 tackles on top of his fumble recovery for a touchdown. Senior Brent Lush (Tucson, Ariz.) had 10 tackles while senior James Ackel (Riverside, Calif.) recorded 9.
Cody Davies was 22-41 and threw 2 interceptions while accumulating 221 passing yards. Senior Ron Gaudin (Miami, Fla.) had 8 receptions for 62 yards and senior Jamar Brown (Charleston, S.C.) had 57 yards on 4 catches. Sophomore Michael Carl (Rush, Colo.) had 41 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards. The Grizzly offense committed five turnovers in the game.
Ten of the Grizzlies’ players earned RMAC All-Academic Team honors this week. Sophomore Derek Mathaison (Centennial, Colo.) and junior Chris McGee (Littleton, Colo.) both earned first team selections.
Redshirt freshman Taylor Schmidt (Centennial, Colo.), senior Jason Nottingham (Tucson, Ariz.), junior Nate Johnson (Centennial, Colo.), senior Curt Colburn (Mead, Colo.), and Lush all earned second team honors.
Senior Jared Polster (Littleton, Colo.), redshirt freshman Rob Adams (Rush, Colo.), and senior Jeremiah Van Valkenburg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) were honor roll selections.
The Grizzlies will be on the road again next weekend, making the trek down to Silver City, N.M. to take on the Western New Mexico Mustangs. The Mustangs are 4-3 overall and 3-2 in RMAC play. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.