Pick-Six Sends Grizzlies to 41-34 Victory Saturday

Rachel Heaton

The Paw Print

Ryan Holland’s pick-six in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s contest against the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys propelled the Grizzlies to 41-34 victory. Holland intercepted Highlands quarterback Lance Orender and returned the ball 57 yards for the game winning touchdown and sealed the second straight conference win for Adams State.

Adams State advances to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) play.

The Grizzlies fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter following a 28-yard touchdown reception and an interception return for a touchdown. However, the Grizzly offense came alive, scoring 17 points in the second quarter starting with a 31-yard field goal by Keating Krauser. Later, Jabari Garvin scrambled three yards into the end zone for the first ASU touchdown of the evening. With time winding down in the half, Auston Hillman found Phil Romero for 30 yards and another touchdown.

After their high-powered first quarter, the Cowboys were quieted and held to only a field goal in the second quarter. They would not score again until the fourth quarter. The teams entered the half tied 17-17.

ASU captured the lead in the third when Justin Kauffman pounded the ball five yards into the end zone.

The fourth quarter proved to be a battle for the two teams, as the Cowboys quickly tied the contest. However, the Grizzlies answered not long after when quarterback Lamar McKnight rolled out to his right and connected with Michael Carl wide open downfield good for a 79-yard touchdown pass.

Highlands kept fighting, tacking on a touchdown and field goal in the following minutes. However, the Grizzlies were able to hold them off and a 30-yard field goal by Krauser and Holland’s pick-six sealed the Grizzly lead and victory.

Any chance of a Cowboys comeback was further silenced when Holland intercepted Orender again only 90 seconds later.

For his efforts in Saturday’s game, Holland was named the RMAC defensive player of the week. Holland’s award is the first one of its kind for the Grizzlies this season.

Holland tallied seven solo tackles, one assisted tackles, and two interceptions. Cariel Brooks also pulled in an interception for ASU, while Ryan Orr logged the single Grizzly sack of the afternoon.

Offensively, the Grizzlies put up 506 yards against the Cowboys. Garvin led the Grizzlies on the ground with 86 rushing yards.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 37-27 victory against Black Hills State University (BHSU) last weekend in Spearfish, SD. ASU put up 347 yards in that contest. Garvin produced another strong game, rushing for 81 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Hillman threw for 236 yards and Drew Edwards led the Grizzly receivers against BHSU with six receptions for 71 yards. Krauser went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts.

Defensively, John Flowers and Demari Reynolds each intercepted former Alamosa High School quarterback Zach Meyer. Reynolds returned his for a touchdown. The Grizzly defense also recorded four sacks in the contest.

On Saturday, the Grizzlies travel to Silver City, New Mexico to face the Mustangs of Western New Mexico. The game is set for a 12 p.m. kickoff.

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