Oct 7, 2011 3:57 AM by Lee Douglas
With fanfare not seen since the ThunderWolves unveiled their football program to start the 2008 season, CSU-Pueblo put its best foot forward on national television Thursday, kicking Colorado School of Mines in the mouth en route to a 23-6 win, the program's first over the Orediggers since 1983.
The win puts the 11th-ranked ThunderWolves at 6-0 on the season and gives the Pack its first 6-0 start since 1980 - the last time it won the RMAC Championship.
In front of 9,447 fans, the second-largest crowd in school history, CSU-Pueblo's defense was stout. The Pack "D", which gave up 541 yards of offense in the matchup last season, opened the game with a statement forcing the Orediggers to a three-and out allowing only seven yards.
The Pack took full advantage of the gift given by the defense and using a series of screens and runs drove down the field to the Oredigger four yard line. Freshman J.B. Mathews capped off the eight play 88-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown dash.
Mathews also caught a TD pass and ran for another as the Thunderwolves coasted to victory.
Mathews finished the day with 226 total yards, 116 rushing and 110 yards receiving in addition to the three touchdowns. Jesse Lewis also rushed for over 100 yards, finishing with 123 yards on 25 carries. It was the first time this season two runners ran for over 100 yards in the same game and the first time Lewis and Mathews had done it together.
With his 216-yard breakout night in all-purpose yards, Mathews became the all-time leader in all-purpose yardage by a freshman.
"The running backs are always going to work as hard as were going to play and it's all about heart," Mathews said. "It's not just about us, it's about the team and us coming together and working as one."
The Pack controlled the clock throughout the fourth quarter using their vicious rushing attack, which racked up 247 yards on the day against a Mines defense that entered the game as the third-ranked unit against the rush in the nation.
Dausin was also efficient going 18-for-29 for 271 yards and a touchdown.
CSU-Pueblo will play arguably its biggest regular season game in school history next Saturday as it travels to Nebraska-Kearney to take on an undefeated Lopers squad with RMAC supremacy at stake.