Rams Prey on Falcons

Oct 162003
Authors: Vince Blaser, Joelle Milholm

Sticking to a formula that had led to consecutive blowouts, the

CSU football team rode a record-setting day from sophomore wide

receiver David Anderson and contained the Air Force Falcons triple

option attack in a 30-20 victory Thursday night.

With the victory, CSU (5-3, 2-1) handed the Falcons (6-2, 3-1)

their first conference loss of the season and stayed in the hunt

for the Mountain West Conference title.

“We’re right there in second place in the conference,” Wynn

said. “We just hope somebody knocks off Utah.”

The Falcons’ secondary could not stop Anderson the entire game,

as he hauled in nine catches for 199 yards and a touchdown.

Anderson’s 199 yards was the fourth highest output for a Ram in

history this season took over the lead for receiving yards in the

country with 908 yards.

Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt also continued to punish the

opposition in the air and on the ground.

“Bradlee was excellent tonight running the ball and passing for

big first downs,” Lubick said.

CSU’s defense let Falcons quarterback Chance Harridge top the

100-yard rushing mark for the third time this season. However, the

Rams were able to contain the Falcons’ attack and force them to

play from behind.

“Our defense finally started gelling,” said linebacker Drew

Wood. ” I don’t know why we started playing this way, but we’re

going to keep going.”

Free safety Benny Mastropaolo sealed the game with his second

interception with 5:51 left in the fourth quarter

“I saw that throw coming, it was a rollover and our offense does

that a lot so it was easy to read,” Mastropaolo said. “Those were

the first two picks in my career and I was excited.”

After a first quarter where both teams’ drives stalled just

outside scoring range, the top two offences in the MWC exploded,

scoring 37 points between them in the second quarter.

Air Force went to the bag of tricks in the second quarter when

running back Joe Schieffer threw a 69-yard pass to wide receiver

Alec Messerail on a halfback pass to give Air Force a 14-10 lead

with 6:45 left before halftime.

However, the Rams had the better outburst as Van Pelt took over

the game with his legs and his arm. He threw for 109 yards and ran

for 47 yards in the 23-point second quarter for the Rams, scoring

two touchdowns. He finished the day with 17 carries for 125 yards

and two touchdowns rushing and went 14-for-22 for 258 yards and one

touchdown passing.

Air Force closed the gap with a long drive that ended as

Harridge reached for the goal line to make the score 30-20 with

12:25 left in the game.

The Rams did not score on the ensuing possession, but Anderson

made a diving catch on a third-and-17 to advance the Rams from deep

in their territory to near midfield.

“We usually don’t have anyone like him that can make those

catches,” Lubick said.

Mastropaolo then intercepted a deep pass intended for Falcons

wide receiver J.P Waller. Van Pelt and running back Marcus Houston

sealed the victory on the ground.

“We had opportunities in the second half we didn’t take

advantage of,” Air Force coach Fisher DeBarry said.

The Rams now head into a bye week in the thick of the MWC hunt.

They do not play again until Nov. 1 at Laramie against Wyoming.

They will need the bye to rest up center Mark Dryer, who Lubick

said played the last three minutes snapping the ball with a broken


“Now we’ve got the attitude that nobody is going to beat us,”

Wood said.





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