Sep 26, 2010 8:06 PM by Jordan Mason
DURANGO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 25, 2010) - Ask any football coach and he'll tell you that big plays on defense can help define a game.
Near the close of the second half, that big play was turned in by true freshman defensive lineman, Beau Martin (Fr., Littleton, Colo.), who forced a fumble with less than three minutes remaining in the half, leading to a go-ahead score by the Pack, who carried a 21-14 lead into halftime and never looked back.
"I knew we had to be patient," Pack head coach John Wristen said about the back-and-forth game in the first half. "Sooner or later, we were going to get some big plays and that's what we got."
After Martin's big play, the rushing game caught fire, as did the defense's ability to make even more noise.
On the ground, CSU-Pueblo logged a season-high 324 rushing yards, including 100-plus yard rushing days for both Jesse Lewis (Jr., Loveland, Colo.) and Jamaal Johnson (Jr., Fountain, Colo.), the first time this season that the Pack's "thunder and lightning" combo each had 100-yard days in the same game. Each ran for two touchdown scores, as well.
Defensively, a pair of interception returns for touchdowns paved the way, the first coming from Jason Campbell (RSo., Kailua, Hawaii), who picked off a Tim Jenkins pass and promptly lateralled to Grant Crunkleton (Sr., Denver, Colo.), who rumbled 40 yards for his second defensive touchdown of the season.
Then with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter, reserve cornerback turned a would-be cosmetic touchdown by Fort Lewis into a "pick six," picking off a pass and returning it 97 yards for a score, the second longest interception return in school history (Keno Aleman recorded a 100-yard interception return, an NCAA record, in 1967).
With the win, CSU-Pueblo continues its undefeated start, at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in RMAC play. The 4-0 start is its best since 1980 (when it won its only RMAC title) and its overall win streak of eight (dating back to last season) is the second-longest in school history.