44–0 vic­to­ry brings new hope for 2011

David Leonard cel­e­brates the pokes vic­to­ry and rais­es the Bronze Boot in cel­e­bra­tion. (Jere­my Stegall/LFP)

On Sat­ur­day after­noon the Wyoming Cow­boys 3–9 (1−7 MWC) took on the Col­orado State Rams 3–9 (2−6 MWC) in the 102nd meet­ing in the Bor­der War. The Cow­boys are com­ing off of six straight loss­es and need any momen­tum they can sal­vage head­ing into the off-sea­son. The Rams are com­ing off of back-to-back MWC loss­es and had only won one of their pre­vi­ous four games. Both teams need­ed a win to send them into the off-sea­son with opti­mism for the 2011 sea­son.

In the first quar­ter both defens­es came to play. The first spark of offense came in Wyoming’s sec­ond dri­ve. The spark was lit by a lat­er­al to Austyn Car­ta-Samuels who ran for 37 yards to put the ball on the one-yard line. The Cow­boys scored on the very next play, a one yard touch­down run for Alvester Alexan­der. The dri­ve put the Cow­boys up 6–0 after a botched PAT. In the fol­low­ing dri­ve, CSU quar­ter­back Pete Thomas threw an inter­cep­tion on the sec­ond play of the dri­ve to Tashaun Gip­son. The pick was Gipson’s third of the sea­son and sixth of his career. The Cow­boys cap­i­tal­ized on the ear­ly turnover with a 20 yard field goal to put the Pokes up 9–0 over CSU with 4:22 left in the first quar­ter. The Rams began their next dri­ve by get­ting into Cow­boy ter­ri­to­ry but were stuffed in their rush­ing attempts and turned the ball over on downs. To end the first quar­ter Wyoming push­es the ball into Ram ter­ri­to­ry and is ahead 9–0. Car­ta-Samuels went 8-of-9 with 80 yards in the air and 34 yards on the ground to end the quar­ter.The Cow­boys looked strong in the first quar­ter, but need­ed to keep the inten­si­ty up to keep them­selves in the lead. On the first play of the sec­ond quar­ter the Cow­boys gave the ball to Alexan­der who rushed 34 yards for a Wyoming touch­down. The score put the Pokes up 16–0. On the Ram’s next pos­ses­sion lit­tle was accom­plished and CSU was forced to punt after Josh Biezun’s fourth sack of the sea­son on third down. Nei­ther team had much suc­cess in their next dri­ves. The Cow­boys showed no signs of let­ting up and moved the ball into the red­zone on their next pos­ses­sion. The Pokes found the end­zone with a pair of sol­id rush­es by Car­ta-Samuels to fur­ther the Wyoming lead to 23–0 with less than five min­utes left in the half. UW wasn’t able to do much more on offense to end the half but they were able to force a fum­ble, which Hen­dricks recov­ered for Wyoming.

At half­time of the Bor­der War, the Cow­boys enjoyed one of their biggest leads of the sea­son at 23–0.

Lead­ing Wyoming was quar­ter­back Car­ta-Samuels and run­ning­back Alexan­der. Car­ta-Samuels had a great com­ple­tion per­cent­age, going 13-for-17 for 140 yards in the air and rushed for an addi­tion­al 41 yards and a touch­down. Alexan­der did a good por­tion of the Pokes dam­age with 63 yards and two touch­downs on only 11 car­ries.

The Rams were led by fresh­man quar­ter­back Pete Thomas who went 9-for-18 for 57 yards and an inter­cep­tion. Lead­ing the ground attack was Leonard Mason with nine car­ries for 23 yards.

To start the sec­ond half, the Cow­boys got the ball and matric­u­lat­ed the ball down the field with rel­a­tive ease. On the first two dri­ves of the quar­ter the Cow­boys had a long pass down­field which led to a pair of thun­der­ous touch­downs by Alexan­der for his third and fourth touch­downs of the day. At the end of the third quar­ter the Cow­boy fans enjoyed an incred­i­ble 37–0 lead over the despised CSU Rams.

In the fourth quar­ter the Rams tried to find a glim­mer of hope in attempt­ing to get the goose egg off of the board. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the wind bat­tled their best chance to do so. The Ram’s kick­er attempt­ed to put some­thing on the board with a long field goal. The gust­ing winds act­ed in Wyoming’s favor and aid­ed the ball in sail­ing wide-right. The score remained 37–0 and the Cow­boys got the ball back with over ten min­utes left in the game. The Cow­boys played con­ser­v­a­tive­ly and milked some time off of the clock in their next two pos­ses­sions and kept the Rams on the ropes. Late in the game the Cow­boys showed no sym­pa­thy for the flail­ing Rams and shoved anoth­er Alexan­der rush­ing touch­down down their throats. Alexan­der set a new Wyoming Cow­boy foot­ball record with his fifth rush­ing touch­down of the day, notch­ing the score at 44–0. Sure­ly, Alexan­der made him­self a MWC play­er-of –the-week can­di­date.

The Cow­boys were led sta­tis­ti­cal­ly by the “Alvester Alexan­der Show”. Alexan­der had 23 car­ries for 147 yards and five rush­ing touch­downs. Alexan­der was ‘en fuego’ through­out the game and car­ried his team to an enor­mous vic­to­ry. Car­ta-Samuels did his part too going 23-for-32 for 267 yards in the air and 46 rush­ing yards of his own. On defense Biezuns took over his side of the ball with sev­en tack­les and 3.5 sacks on the strug­gling Rams offense.

Head Coach Dave Chris­tensen seemed very hap­py with his team’s per­for­mance. Chris­tensen com­ment­ed post-game, “No one in our orga­ni­za­tion gave up.” Chris­tensen also com­ment­ed on Alexander’s role this sea­son stat­ing, “He [Alexan­der] has got­ten bet­ter all year.”

His per­for­mance on the last game of the sea­son cer­tain­ly showed that the coach was right!

The Cow­boy play­ers and fans were in need of a vic­to­ry to save face after a tough sea­son. They got what they need­ed. This vic­to­ry over the much-hat­ed Rams is sure to fuel the off-sea­son fire for the Wyoming Cow­boys. The end of a rough sea­son has come but there is always ample opti­mism for Wyoming football’s future. Espe­cial­ly when you end the sea­son by shel­lack­ing your most hat­ed oppo­nent.

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