This Saturday at 6pm MST the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves football team begins its campaign for an RMAC championship at the Neta ans Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl. Their opponent will be the Adams State Grizzlies who along with four other RMAC teams are second in the conference with a record of 1-1. Only the T-Wolves are thus far perfect at 2-0. After a shaky start against Oklahoma Panhandle State and a very convincing trouncing of Northwestern Oklahoma State, CSU-Pueblo is anxious to start conference play.
Having had a bye week that was almost conference wide, the Thunderwolves have had two full weeks to prepare for their conference opener. Of course, the reverse is also true as Adams State has had plenty of time to look at game film and to review scouting reports. With junior tailback Jesse Lewis still doubtful with a lingering knee injury and the emergance of Jamaal Johnson as a viable replacement, Adams State has to be concerned about the T-wolves running game.
If they compare Ross Dausin’s performance at quarterback from game one to game two, Adams State will probably be left scratching their heads and wondering if there was some kind of cruel joke played on them. Dausin looked tenative and inconsistent in the first game against Panhandle State and then looked crisp and in command of the offense in week two against Northwestern Oklahoma. Will the real Ross Dausin please stand up.
What about the receiving threats? Let’s review; Adams State needs to keep track of tight ends Koby Wittek and Roger Pfannenschmid, and then there’s former CU quarterback Bernard Jackson who is now a speedy wide receiver, along with junior Da’Quan Cartwright.
The Grizzlies will counter with a solid passing game led by quarterback Trevor Eggleston who in his first two games has thrown for three touchdowns and 400 yards. The question of the day will be if the Thunderwolves can harass him as they’ve done with their first two opponents. Inside linebacker Lee Meisner is all over the field along with sophomore inside linebacker Damon Schiele who has already this year made the RMAC player of the week honor roll. Trying to stop Eggleston from connecting with his wide outs will be senior Chris Brown at one corner who has nearly made two interceptions already this year and senior Grant Crunkleton. Crunkleton is no slouch as he’s third on the team in tackles and has recorded two interceptions. One was agianst Northwestern Oklahoma that he ran back 30 yards for a touchdown.
Maybe Adams State can get a break in the area of kicking and special teams? Doubtful. Kyle Major has a strong, accurate leg with his longest field goal thus far being from 47 yards out. CSU-Pueblo also has had good, solid production on both kickoff and punt returns, helping them in the battle for field position.
So where does Adams State look for a weakness to exploit or a formation or scheme to deploy to stop the Thunderwolves? That I can’t say, but if you’re the head coach of the Grizzlies I bet you’ve had a long two weeks and a lot of late nights. Perhaps even, a lot of worry.
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