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
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,”