Mountaineers score 33 in win over Cowboys
Written by Garrett Finke, WSCU Sports Information Director
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Western State Colorado University scored 33 points Saturday to defeat the New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys 33-27. It was the highest scoring output for the Mountaineers since 2011.
Western (1-4, 1-2 RMAC) earned its first victory of the season in 2013, compiling over 300 yards of total offense while forcing two turnovers.
Ryan Winke (Fr., Aurora, Colo.) got the Mountaineers off to an early lead, kicking two field goals on the first two Western State possessions. Western had the first two possessions of the game, forcing a fumble on the kickoff return after the first made field goal.
Highlands (2-4, 1-3 RMAC) scored a touchdown on their first possession and took a one-point lead, 7-6.
Akeelie Mustafa ran the ball into the end zone on a 52-yard carry.
Western matched the Cowboys’ touchdown with one of its own. Quarterback Brett Arrivey (So., Woodinville, Wash.) found tight end Chris Morgan (So., Fort Collins, Colo.) in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.
The back and forth continued as Highlands scored 10 unanswered points to take a 17-13 lead before the Mountaineers scored the next 10 points to regain the lead. A Zac Tapia field goal with no time remaining on the clock put Highlands within three points going into halftime.
Neither team was able to put points on the board in the third quarter and it wasn’t until Western’s Austin Ekeler (Fr., Eaton, Colo.) scored his second touchdown of the game on an eight-yard pass from Arrivey that the Mountaineers were back in the scoring column.
The Mountaineers had a safe 10-point lead in the fourth, but Highlands took the ball 75 yards on 16 plays to get back within three points of Western at 30-27. Western was able to get within field goal range on the next drive and kicker Ryan Winke (Fr., Aurora, Colo.) knocked home a 39-yard field goal with 3:30 left in the game.
With a touchdown needed by Highlands to win the game, the Cowboys got the ball back with 1:21 remaining. After a successful fourth down conversion, quarterback Emmanuel Lewis and wide receiver J. Roberts Jr. connected on a 44-yard pass to the Western 15 yard line. After an incomplete pass, Highlands had 11 seconds left to get in the end zone. Western senior nose guard Lane Stuht (Sr., Loveland, Colo.) wouldn’t allow that to happen, as he sacked Lewis and time expired.
Stuht recorded 2.5 sacks and five total tackles on the day. Jacob Bernhard (So., Fort Lupton, Colo.) led the team in tackles with 10 and teammate Ty Henry (Jr., Centennial, Colo.) recorded nine tackles and one interception.
Western’s Ekeler ran for 133 yards and added one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Arrivey threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Inductees of the 2013 Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame presented by the Mountaineer Athletic Association were honored at the game’s halftime. Skier Jennings Cress, wrestlers Ernie Jimenez and Dave Vondy, the 2001 volleyball team and the 1978 football team were all inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday night.
Western continues its season against Western New Mexico next Saturday. The Mountaineers will travel to Silver City, N.M. for a 12 p.m. kick-off.