The No. 23 Colorado State University-Pueblo football team claimed its sixth Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship in the past seven seasons with a 28-6 road win at Chadron State College Saturday.
The ThunderWolves (9-2, 9-1 RMAC) shared the RMAC Championship with Colorado Mesa University and will have to wait until Sunday at 3 p.m. MT to learn their postseason fate.
CSU-Pueblo opened a 21-0 lead at the break, which was good enough for the Pack defense, who totaled two interceptions and recovered a fumble. The Pack finished the regular season with 21 interceptions and entered the game ranked No. 2 nationally in interceptions. The defense also didn't allow a point, as the one score was a pick six for the Eagles (6-5, 6-4 RMAC). In the final four games, the Pack D allowed just 10 points. They finished the regular sesaon allowing 14.3 points per game.
The defense allowed just 56 yards rushing, while the offense totaled 206 yards on the ground and out-gained Chadron State 365-226.
Junior running back Marché Dennard (Phoenix, Ariz.) totaled 110 yards on the ground with two rushing scores. During the regular season he totaled six 100-yard games and found the end zone 17 times on the ground and 18 total. He ranked 11th in Division II in rushing touchdowns entering the game. The effort also put the junior over 1,000 yards for the season (1,026) to become the 11th Pack player to reach the milestone.
Senior Rex Dausin (San Antonio, Texas) was 15-for-27 (55.6%) passing and totaled 159 yards and a score. Sophomore Ammon Johnson (Denver, Colo.) totaled seven receptions for 59 yards. He brought in the one touchdown, a one-handed grab in the end zone to hand the Pack a 21-0 lead before break.
Sophomore Jamaal Sears (So., Surprise, Ariz.) led the team with seven tackles (four solo) with a tackle for loss (-1 yard). Junior Brandon Payer (ILB, Pine, Colo.) was one of five players with four tackles. He had three solo efforts and forced a fumble. Sophomore Emery Taylor (CB, Aurora, Colo.) brought in his sixth interception of the season and added two pass break-ups.
Dennard capped a six-play, 68-yard drive midway through the first win a two-yard run into the end zone that handed the ThunderWolves a 7-0 lead. Early in the second, the score went to 14-0 when Dausin snuck in from a yard out to put the bow on a 12-play, 71-yard drive.
A fake punt by the ThunderWolves late in the second quarter saw defensive end (former tight end) Michael Wristen (Jr., Broomfield, Colo.) run the ball 31 yards and gave the ball to the offense at the Chadron State 41 yard line. That set up the great play between Dausin and Johnson.
Dennard found the end zone for the second time early in the third to give the Pack a 28-0 lead. The lone Eagle score came with 8:23 left in the third quarter.