The Paw Print
The Grizzlies finished out their 2014 home contests with a 34-30 victory against the Fort Lewis Skyhawks. The Grizzlies advance to 4-6 overall this season and 3-5 in conference play.
ASU put up 27 points in the second half of play, which was good enough to secure the victory and bring home the traveling musket trophy. Neither team was able to score until late in the first quarter when Fort Lewis drew first blood off of a pick-six.
Adams State quickly answered back. Led by quarterback Lamar McKnight, the Grizzlies marched down the field into the red zone. McKnight then found Harry Adjei in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
However, the second quarter was all Fort Lewis, as they scored 16 unanswered points courtesy of two rushing touchdowns and a safety. Fort Lewis led 23-7 going into the break.
After halftime, Adams State was able to work their way back into the game. Early in the third quarter, quarterback Auston Hillman connected with Denzel McCullum 44 yards downfield for the touchdown. Later in the quarter, Hillman found Zach Bagby for the score to cap off a 10-play, 88-yard drive. This was good enough to put the Grizzlies within 3 points of Fort Lewis.
Fort Lewis was able to edge a little bit further ahead later in the fourth quarter, on a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Still the Grizzlies were not finished. Adding to his passing touchdowns for the day, Hillman pounded the ball four yards into the end zone to make the score 30-27 in favor of Fort Lewis.
Adams State’s defense came up big, forcing the Skyhawks off the field, giving the Grizzlies time to pull ahead.
Capitalizing on the opportunity, the Grizzlies marched 75 yards downfield, concluding their drive with a leaping catch in the end zone by Adjei, which pushed ASU into the lead with just over 2 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Skyhawks, however, could never answer back, as Kresean Reed intercepted the Fort Lewis quarterback, securing victory for the Grizzlies.
Hillman went 13-18 on the day, throwing for 168 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also added 81 rushing yards. Phil Romero led the ASU receiving corps, totaling 105 yards in 6 catches.
Quincey Davison had a big day for the ASU defense, logging nine tackles including one for a loss. Derek Mathiason came up with the only ASU sack of the contest and K. Reed came up with the lone interception.
Following the victory, each senior on the team was able to shoot the musket, a trophy that travels between Adams State and Fort Lewis and stays with the winning team until the next season.
The game was also senior day. The team honored the sixteen seniors on the roster this season with a presentation before kickoff. The team also honored their 12th man, Jaiden Gulliksen, who joined the squad this year thanks to Team IMPACT. Jaiden has worn the number 12 jersey this year and supported his teammates at many of their games, even traveling to several away contest. The ASU Athletic Department raised money for Jaiden during the contest to aid in the fight against his rare skin disease.
Saturday’s contest was also head coach Marty Heaton’s final game at Rex Stadium. Heaton announced his retirement to come at the end of this season. This is Heaton’s seventh year as head coach of the program.
This Saturday, the Grizzlies close out their 2014 season against Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers out of Mines are currently ranked 19 and boast a 9-1 overall record this season, with their lone loss coming against Colorado State University-Pueblo. Saturday’s kickoff against Mines is slated for 11 a.m. at the North Area Athletic Complex (NAAC) in Arvada, CO.