The Paw Print
The Adams State College Grizzlies continued their nearly decade-long win streak over the arch-rival Western State Mountaineers on Saturday, closing out the 2010 campaign with a 28-19 Colorado Classic victory at the Mountaineer Bowl to ensure a fifth place finish in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Sophomore wide receiver and kick returner Scott Kellogg racked up a career-high 241 all-purpose yards on the afternoon, including a clutch kick return in the 4th quarter that helped set up sophomore running back Thomas Brown’s 39-yard touchdown that proved to put the game out of reach for the Mountaineers.
The Grizzlies, who opened up a 21-3 lead in the first half and carried it through three quarters, seemed to have the game in hand before the Mountaineers scored 16 points in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter to cut the lead to 21-19.
The Grizzlies took advantage of the excellent field position set up by a 40-yard punt return by Kellogg to set up their a scoring drive highlighted by two successful third down conversions and capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Terjean Saffold.
The run was Saffold’s ninth rushing touchdown and twelfth overall touchdown of the season, the most for any Grizzly since All-American wide receiver Chris Perry scored 21 touchdowns in 1995.
The Mountaineers responded with an effective, penalty-aided drive of their own, marching 66 yards over 12 plays before junior kicker Lloyd Tucker missed a 31-yard field goal attempt wide left with 18 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Grizzlies’ offense followed by continuing to build momentum, cruising 80 yards over the next five plays, including a 27-yard run by redshirt freshman running back Chris Jamison on the first play of the second quarter, before sophomore quarterback Trevor Eggleston connected with junior wide receiver Delton Prescott Jr. on a 7-yard pass for a touchdown that helped extend the lead to 14-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The efficient Mountaineer’s offense ran off another long drive, covering 74 yards on 13 plays, but the Grizzly defense stalled the drive in the red zone, forcing the Mountaineers to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Tucker.
After exchanging punts on each team’s next possession, the Grizzlies found themselves in Mountaineer territory to start their last full drive of the half.
Eggleston was picked off by senior cornerback DJ Hughes on the first play of the drive, but the play was erased on a pass interference call, and the Grizzlies regrouped to cover 42 yards on seven plays, including a clutch 3rd-and-10 catch by Kellogg for 17 yards before Eggleston found Kellogg again on a 5-yard pattern for a touchdown that extended the Grizzlies’ lead to 21-3, where the score would remain through the third quarter.
Each team ran off long drives in the third quarter, only to watch the scoreboard remain the same due to turnovers and miscues. The Mountaineers reeled off five first downs on a 12-play, 81-yard drive to open the quarter, but junior quarterback Miles Gorham’s pass to senior wide receiver Shaun Suttorp was stripped and recovered by sophomore defensive back James Ackel on the 8-yard line.
The Grizzlies answered back with a 10-play, 85-yard drive of their own helped by a 31-yard completion to Prescott Jr. and a 42-yard strike to Kellogg. However, the Grizzlies could not connect on four consecutive passes from inside the 10-yard-line, including an unsuccessful fake field goal pass from former quarterback and current running back Bryce Buderus to junior wide receiver Shane McBurney in the end-zone.
The Mountaineers took advantage of the change of possession to travel 90 yards on 14 plays before the quarter ended with the score still 21-3.
Starting the fourth quarter on the Grizzly 9-yard-line, the Mountaineers were once again stalled by the Grizzlies and forced to settle for a short field goal by Tucker.
The Grizzlies followed by committing their only turnover of the game after the ensuing kickoff, as Eggleston fumbled on the Grizzly 23-yard-line while being sacked by senior defensive tackle Patrick Atherton.
The fumble was recovered by Hughes, and the Mountaineers quickly capitalized on the turnover as Gorham connected with junior wide receiver Dustin Driscoll for a 23-yard touchdown.
The Grizzlies punted on their next drive, and Mountaineers continued to cut the lead. Sophomore running back Germaine Daniels broke off a 46-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 21-19 with 11:25 remaining in the game. The Mountaineers elected to go for the tie, but Daniels failed to get in on the two-point rush attempt.
Kellogg returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to set the Grizzlies up with excellent field position once again, and Eggleston hit senior wide receiver Trevor Zott and Kellogg for 12 and 11-yard receptions, respectively, to set up Brown’s touchdown with 9:27 left in the game.
The Grizzly defense recorded three stops on fourth-down to shut the door on the Mountaineers.
Eggleston finished the game with 215 yards passing, but completed only 13 of 31 passes.
Kellogg had six catches for 84 yards. His 241 all-purpose yards was the third-highest single game all-purpose yardage total in the last 14 years, with the other performances also occurring against the Mountaineers.
Junior safety Will Naas had 11 tackles to lead the Grizzlies on defense, while Ackel and junior defensive back Daniel Dodd each had eight. Senior cornerback Bryant Williams had six tackles and four pass breakups in the final game of his career.
The Mountaineers out-gained the Grizzlies by nearly 100 yards of total offense, with Gorham leading the way with 217 yards on 20 completions. Suttorp, the Mountaineers’ all-time leading receiver caught eight passes for 95 yards, and Daniels led the rushing attack with 127 yards on 21 carries.
The Grizzlies have now defeated the Mountaineers in nine consecutive contests and will retain possession of the Colorado Classic Trophy at least until next season’s meeting between the teams in Alamosa.
The Grizzlies also finish the season in the top half of the RMAC for the third straight year with a 4-5 record against conference foes.
The 5-6 record is identical to the records from the previous two seasons for the Grizzlies. The Mountaineers finish the season 1-10 overall and 1-8 in the RMAC, tied with the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys for last place.