Archive for the ‘RMAC’ Category

The RMAC at the break

December 29th, 2015 No comments


It’s not the halfway point of the season but it’s the Christmas break, so it’s a good time to take a look at the RMAC standings and see which teams have been living up to, not living up to or exceeding expectations.

Early on in the season, entering RMAC play, there were some definite surprises, especially Metro State, who didn’t have a winning record, in fact they were 2-4. MSUD was picked to win the RMAC overall beating out CSU Pueblo by 7 overall points although both received 5 first place votes. On the other side, Westminster was not expected to do much, although part of that may have been due them just having joined the RMAC; but they exceeded early expectations by getting off to a 5-0 start then coming up with big wins over MSUD and Colorado Mesa to open the RMAC season.

But as usual, give teams time to get back into a rhythm, get players back from injury and get into the routine of the RMAC schedule and things will start to return to ‘normal’; for the most part.

MSU Denver moved back to the top of the Rocky Division tied with UC Colorado Springs at 4-1. UCCS has a solid 20 pt road win over Mesa, lost to Metro and dealt Westminster their only home loss of the season. Their other wins are at home against lowly Regis and middling Chadron State. Don’t expect them to sit on to of the division for too long as they hit the road against undefeated Ft. Lewis and then to Adams, with Mines, Westminster, and Mesa on the horizon.

Metro has what should be a good win against Mesa and easy wins against Regis and Chadron; they’ll also face FLC and ASU as they are UCCS’s travel partners. We’ll find out just how much better they are soon.

The continuing surprise, underperformer is Colorado Mesa, which warms the cockles of our hearts. Despite having Ryan Stephan, the 6-10 259 Sr, pre-season player of the year and an absolute beast; they are 2-3 in the RMAC and 6-5 overall. They have played a tougher schedule with losses to Metro and UCCS as well as Westminster in SLC but got a good win over Mines in OT. They have South Dakota Mines and Black Hills at home, not easy wins but they should get the W’s before facing Metro, UCCS and Ft. Lewis. They could conceivably be out of the running early if Stephan doesn’t get any help.

NM Highlands is clearly the biggest surprise of the year so far, sitting atop of the Mountain Division at 5-0. They were picked to finish 10th overall in the pre-season poll and 6th in the Mt division. Don’t get too excited yet Cowboy fans, their current record is built on easy wins, WNMU being one of those. But also wins over the Dakota schools, Western Colorado and a solid win over Pueblo; although I’d say that Pueblo may not be as good as everyone thought they would be; based upon what we did to them. But they have Mines and Christian with before they go back to Pueblo and Western State. They’ll lose 3 of those 4 and come back to earth before getting Regis and some easier matches again.

FLC is also slightly exceeding early expectations; they were picked 6th overall and 3rd in the Mt division. They are 4-1 and 9-1 overall. They feasted on home cooking and easy games against Haskell Indian and Evangel in the non-conference schedule before getting good wins against Mines and Pueblo along with Western Colorado and Christian. Their lone loss was at rival Adams State to open the conference schedule. They have Springs and Metro at home which are winnable before 4 road games at Christian, Mines, Mesa, and Westminster; not any easy ones in that grouping. We’ll know a lot more about the Skyhawks but not for a few weeks.

Everything else in the RMAC is about what you thought with the Chadrons, Regis, Dakota schools and everyone else in the middle of the pack or bringing up the rear.

And there are still 2…

November 2nd, 2015 No comments


It’s a mild surprise but it’s one we said could happen, Mesa went down to Golden and got a win over Colorado Mines to remain undefeated and set up a showdown with CSU Pueblo. For once, there was a big surprise in the results.

But first, Pueblo went on the road to get an easy win at Black Hills State. The running game of Pueblo continued to dominate, which makes for a good playoff run, as Cameron McDondle ran for 248 yards and 3 TDs. He carried the ball 30 times and continues to lead the nation in rushing yards, 1783, rushing yards per game, 199.2, and rushing TDs, 22. Black Hills remains winless. Pueblo remained ranked #4 in the nation as everyone in the top 7 won this week.

Mesa entered the weekend at #19 and hit the road to visit #12 Mines. Mines’ QB Justin Dvorak did not play ostensibly due to injury. Without their high powered QB the was inconsistent and turnovers killed them. 2 INTs thrown by their freshman QB, the first returned by CSM for a TD; the first score of the game. 2 lost fumbles also led to scores by CSM. Mesa only threw for 189 yards, 72 coming on a key TD play late, and they only ran for 157. CSM threw for 227 and ran for 234 but couldn’t get over the hump. Give Mesa credit for winning despite not playing that well, a road win at Mines is a big thing. Mesa moves up to #16 while Mines with two straight losses drops to #21. Mines’ hopes for a post season bid are done.

Ft. Lewis moved back above .500 with a solid road win at Western State Colorado, 39-24. Ft. Lewis ran for 366 yards, 112 coming from someone named Obgonnaya. PJ Hall, who killed WNMU only had 75. 3 QBs combined for 12-14 and 210 yds with 3 TDs. But it was the FLC defense that held Austin Ekeler to only 107 yards rushing and no TDs. FLC converted all 5 trips into the red zone and won the time of possession battle by 17 minutes. Key stats.

And no one saw this coming. I’d have bet my own money that NM Highlands was not only going to lose but would get trounced as they traveled to Chadron St. But the team formerly known as NM Correctional Facility got a 24-16 win for their first victory of the year. Thank goodness we won since wouldn’t want to be tied with them in the conference standings! Highlands had a balanced attack but held Chadron to just 221 of total offense. And talk about time of possession wins; 40 to 20 minutes in favor of Highlands. Chadron either comes to Silver City next week demoralized or pissed off.

Of course the big game this weekend will be Mesa at Pueblo. Mesa won’t be able to stay with Pueblo and that means the RMAC will likely have just one team in the post season; Pueblo. The T-Wolves’ running game is just too good and Mesa’s not ready for that. Their only hope is to get a time of possession win similar to what Highlands got last Saturday and score on almost every possession.

Highlands will look for win #2 and should get it against Black Hills State in Las Vegas while Adams State and Ft. Lewis battle it out in a rivalry game. Give the edge, a big one, to FLC. Western State will be at Mines, if Dvorak is back at the helm, Mines wins this one. If not it’s a toss up with an edge to Mines for being at home. Chadron will visit the Mustangs.

Hat tip to Alfonso Wilson for being named Defensive POTW in the RMAC!

And then there were 2

October 29th, 2015 No comments


After last week’s action, there are now 2 unbeaten teams in the RMAC standings, Colorado Mesa and CSU-Pueblo. With Pueblo’s drubbing of Mines, they moved up to #4 in the rankings, while Mines dropped to #12. Mesa moved up to #19 in the latest poll.

The big surprise this week was once again, not who won but how easily they won. Pueblo put a whooping on Mines, 49-21. The Pueblo D was able to expose the weaknesses in Mines’ how powered offense. Not to mention that Cameron McDondle ran for 304 yards, which helped to eat up clock time and keep Mines’ offense on the sideline.

Colorado Mesa had a tougher time on the road against Ft. Lewis but came away with the 8 point victory, 21-13. They needed big plays to get the win, a 74 yard run and 71 yard reception got the first two scores of the game. Now they get to host Mines next Saturday before going to Pueblo the following week. Maybe they were looking ahead a little bit? After a quick start, FLC drops to 3-3 in the conference.

The rest of the games were the ‘eh’ games, teams just playing to salvage their seasons. Chadron came from behind to get the win over Black Hills State, 39-38; a much closer score than predicted getting them to 3-3 as well. Adams State got a rare road win over NM Highlands to pull to 3-3 in the RMAC. Highlands stays winless. Of course, the Mustangs dropped the game to Western State, who is also now 3-3 in conference play.

We’ll just point this out quickly; Western State players were selected across the board as Players of the Week in the RMAC. Ekeler for his offensive performance; Jacob Bernhard got the nod defensively with 20 tackles; punter Dakota Swinehart special teams, mostly for his fake punt TD.

The key game this week will be Mesa at Mines. A win by Mesa should set up another battle of undefeated teams the following week and will effectively take Mines out of the post season picture. Mesa has the blueprint, a good defense and a strong running game to beat Mines. But Mines is playing with a sense of desperation and we know that a good passing game can put up yards on Mesa; Mines will do a better job of scoring and should get the win.

Pueblo travels to Black Hills State for an easy win. They won’t be overlooking anyone at this point.

And then the ‘eh’ games that only fans of the involved teams will be interested in watching. Highlands will make the trek to Chadron for another loss. Ft. Lewis will hit the road to take on Western State in a battle of two teams on the rise. Give the edge to the home team and their running game but don’t be surprised if they have a bit of a let down and FLC comes away with a close win.

WNMU will hit the road to take on Adams State, always tough at home… more on that tomorrow.

RMAC This Week

October 20th, 2015 No comments


Things went pretty much as expected in the RMAC this week, as far as which teams would win but some of the scores were not what was expected. We still have 3 teams tied atop the conference standings at 5-0, which means the Mustangs lost to Mesa of course. I really thought we’d be down to 2 undefeated teams; at least we had a good shot.

But Mines, Mesa & Pueblo remain on top and all 3 are now ranked in the top 25 with Pueblo at #6; Mines right behind at #7; and Mesa gets into the mix at #23. That’s their first appearance in the top 25 since 2007.

Ft. Lewis follows as the only other team in the RMAC with a winning conference record. They fall to 3-2 after losing to Mines 48-28 in Golden. That was about what you would expect as Ft. Lewis is a year away from really being able to compete with Mines or Pueblo.

CSUP easily handled Chadron St 48-10 and that was in Nebraska. That game figured to be much closer as the Eagles were playing better and had the home game.

Adams got their 2nd win of they holding Black Hills State winless, 44-24. Highlands gave Western Colorado their 2nd win, 56-7. With our loss, WNMU falls to 8th at 1-4 in conference play.

As we said, WNMU has played probably the toughest overall schedule to this point. I believe they are the only team to play all 4 of the top teams in the RMAC already.

This week is when the big dogs begin playing each other. Mines will make the trip to Pueblo. The winner has the inside track to the conference championship. Watch for Pueblo’s defense to slow down Mines and get a close win. If the T-Wolves’ defense isn’t good, Mines could put up some big numbers and get a mild upset.

Mesa will travel to Ft. Lewis. We’ll see if they can calm down and not get too big headed after breaking into the top 25. This game won’t be too easy but FLC probably can’t handle the running attack of Mesa. CMU gets the win. Plus this is FLC’s third straight game against a ranked opponent. Not a good position to be in.

The other games are just, eh games. Chadron at Black Hills as they hope to continue a run towards a winning season. Adams State still has hopes of a winning season as they go to Vegas to take on NMHU. The Grizzlies will keep those hopes alive and move to 3-3 in the RMAC. And the Mustangs host Western Colorado.

This week in the RMAC

October 4th, 2015 No comments


With the obvious exception of the Mustangs loss at Ft. Lewis, everything went pretty much as expected in the RMAC. The only thing that was not expected was the margin of victory in some of the games. That said, after the third week of conference play, there are 4 teams that are undefeated in RMAC contests. Colorado Mines, Colorado Pueblo, Ft. Lewis, and Colorado Mesa are the top teams with WNMU, Adams State, and Chadron behind them at 1-2. The rest of the teams are winless.

Pueblo’s 56-0 win at Adams State may tell us more than any other game. The TWolves had a tough time at home against Western State a couple of weeks ago and Western New Mexico gave them a tough battle. We had said ASC would have a chance if they could slow down Cameron McDondle; not only couldn’t they do that, 19 carries for 205 yards and 3 TDs, but they couldn’t slow down Brandon McDondle, 19 carries 193 yards and 2 TDs.

Mines’ Justin Dvorak had a relatively quiet, yet highly efficient day, in their 51-6 drubbing of NM Highlands. The SR QB was 20-26 for only 234 yards and 4 TDs. It looks like Mines tried to establish more of a running game with Zac Guy carrying 7 times for 68 yds and Sam Seeton 16 times for 97 & 2 TDs.

Mesa had an easy time hosting Black Hills State. After a slow start, down 7-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, they exploded for 48 unanswered points. Mesa has a very balanced attack with QB Sean Rubalcaba hitting on 18-28 passes for 343 yards and 3 TDs. 4 guys carried the ball several times but Mesa’s main guy is DJ Hubbard, 17 rushes 129 yards and a TD. Jonathon Beverly toted the rock 11 times for 57 yds and 2 TDs.

Chadron State got their first win in the RMAC on the road at Gunnison, beating Western Colorado 31-24. They are very balanced offensively, 241 on the ground and 271 through the air on 47 rushes and 40 passes. CSC has a two headed running attack with Cody Paul get 101 yards on 13 carries (1 TD) and Derek Jackson adding 136 yards on 26 carries. Matt Vinson was solid at QB with 266 yds and 1 Td on 25-39 passing. It’s their defense that worries Eagle fans; they gave up 387 yards and 2 TDs to an average passing attack from Western State.

Next week’s action will be similar to this past weekend, not many key or high profile games. Adams will visit Chadron; Mesa will be at Highlands; Black Hills will host Western State Colorado and WNMU will face off against Colorado Mines. The key game will be Ft. Lewis at Colorado Pueblo; someone is dropping from the ranks of the undefeated.

Expect everything to go as you’d think, favorites winning easily. Pueblo and Mesa will remain on top of the conference at 4-0 with wins. Ft Lewis is good but not that good yet. Mines will lose a shootout at Western New Mexico to drop to 3-1 in a tie with FLC. Chadron will get their second conference win and Black Hills won’t be able to stop Austin Eckeler and the Western State running attack, Mountaineers get their first RMAC win.

This week in RMAC football

September 30th, 2015 No comments


There are 4 teams atop the RMAC standings, 2-0, after the second week of play. It’s interesting to note that while CSU Pueblo is ranked 10th, they may not be the best team in the RMAC. Oh, who am I kidding? Yes they are, despite Colorado Mines being 4-0 overall and putting up huge numbers. Mines is all offense, running up the score against some patsies like William Jewell, South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State. I’m not saying they are padding their stats, but they are padding their stats, maybe to get QB Justin Dvorak an All American award. Mines defense is not that good.

Watch out for Ft. Lewis and Colorado Mesa, the other two 2-0 teams in the RMAC. Mesa has a 3 pt home loss to Midwestern State, a tough Lonestar Conference team and a road win at Chadron. That’s never easy even though Chadron is 0-2 now in conference, their other loss coming at Mines in week one; it was only an 8 point loss and they limited Mines to 28 points. Another reason I’m not that impressed with Mines. Don’t get me wrong, beating Chadron is a good win but the big numbers have come against lesser teams.

Ft. Lewis has beaten Highlands on the road and Black Hills State at home; both wins were dominating. 48-7 & 49-7. They lost to D-I Montana State on the road but beat a lowly OK Panhandle at home by 21. Their wins just tell us they do what a good team should do to lesser opponents.

It’s pretty clear that Adams State, Western State, and Black Hills State are at the bottom of the rankings for a reason. Adams is 1-1 but their victory was a home OT shootout, 52-51, against Western State. Say this for Adams State, they fell behind 42-13 at the half and held Western State scoreless in the 2nd half. For some reason, Austin Ekeler didn’t get a lot of carries in the second half, which may explain how ASC came from behind.

Don’t let Chadron’s 0-2 start fool you; this is still a very disciplined, well coached team. They beat a good Missouri S&T team on the road and lost to D-I Missouri State by 8 points on the road. They tested Mines in Golden and lost Mesa at home by 10. They just don’t have the go to players on either side of the ball, that can carry them to big plays.

Coming up this week, there aren’t any key or big games that will pit top tier teams against each other. Mines will get an easy victory at home against Highlands while Western State and Chadron will battle for that first victory in Gunnison. Mesa hosts Black Hills for another W and a 3-0 mark in the conference. Pueblo visits Adams State and should remain 3-0 as well. But if they can slow Cameron McDondle like they did Eckeler last week, Adams could, won’t but could scare the T-Wolves.

The biggest game will actually be the Mustangs at Ft. Lewis. If the Stangs can pull out a win, both teams would be 2-1 in the conference.

This week in the RMAC

December 3rd, 2014 No comments


As all of the teams have completed their early season non-conference schedules and get ready for RMAC play this weekend, 3 teams remain undefeated and the RMAC has 2 teams ranked nationally with 3 others garnering votes in the polls. There are 2 major polls in NCAA DII ranks, the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Media Poll.

In the Media poll, Metro State is ranked #6 this week, dropping from #3 in last week’s poll. No other RMAC teams are ranked but UC Colorado Springs is the first team out with 34 points and Mines is receiving votes. In the South Central Region poll, Metro and Tarleton State are tied atop the rankings with Mines and Springs tied at #4, Mesa and Ft. Lewis tied at #8 and Pueblo tied with UT Permian Basin at #10. Those rankings are huge for post season berths.

In the coach’s poll, UCCS is ranked #8, moving up from #9, just one spot ahead of Metro State who fell from #3. Mines is also the first team out in that poll but Ft. Lewis and Mesa are also receiving votes in the poll.

There are 3 teams remaining undefeated after the ‘pre-season’ non-conference schedule of play concludes: Adams State (3-0), Colorado Mines (4-0), and UC Colorado Springs (6-0). Likewise three teams have 1 loss; Ft. Lewis, Metro State, and Colorado Mesa are all 5-1. Pueblo is 5-2 followed by Christian at 3-3 with everyone else having records below .500. The 2 New Mexico schools are the only winless teams in the RMAC at this stage.

Looking at the unbeaten teams, Adams State is likely the biggest pretender as they played a very weak schedule highlighted by a 40 point win over Northern NM; not to mention all of their games have been at home.

Colorado Mines had a bit tougher schedule that included a home win over DI UC San Diego and a road win at former RMAC foe UN-Kearney. But they also got a close home win over Mid-America Nazarene, which is not quite as impressive. Again, 3 of their 4 wins are at home.

UC Colorado Springs has also played more games at home than not and their 6-0 record has some dominating wins over lesser schools. Their wins include Northern NM, Johnson & Wales, Colorado College along with a neutral site win over AK-Ft. Smith in OT. They are doing what good teams do to lesser competition.

Metro State has played some of the same teams as Springs and beat Ft. Smith by 13. What’s interesting about Metro is they haven’t beaten some of the lesser teams, such as Langston College by as much as other RMAC schools have beaten them; their win over Langston was only 8 points. Their one loss comes to Florida Southern, at FSU, by 5 points. FSU is ranked in the top 5 in this week’s polls.

Ft. Lewis is a bit of conundrum; their one loss came to UC San Diego by 13 on a neutral floor. Bu they have a solid home win over ranked UT-Permian Basin and a 30 point win over Eastern New Mexico. They only beat Northern NM by 13, 105-92. It looks like FLC is going to play like Loyola Marymount-all offense and no defense.

Mesa has probably played a bit tougher schedule than most of the other RMAC teams with winning records and they have some impressive wins, including at home over then #15 Angelo State and a road win against Dallas Baptist. But they only beat Colorado College by 1; Northern NM by 2 and they lost to a good St. Edward’s team on the road by 13. Four of their six games have been away from home. The jury is still out on them.

The schedules for the barely above .500 or those that are below .500 is scattered with some really good teams. I’d say those teams have played a bit tougher schedule than most of the teams with winning records. Not by a lot, but still a bit tougher.

Opening play in the RMAC this weekend will feature some potentially interesting games. Adams State will have to hit the road as they take on CSU-Pueblo. While Pueblo is 3-2 and ASU is 3-0, it will be the first road game of the regular season for ASU and their first real test. Ft. Lewis will also leave the friendly confines of Durango as they take on UC-Colorado Springs in easily the biggest game on Friday night.

Saturday night will feature Ft. Lewis taking on Pueblo and Adams at UCCS. I would expect both Pueblo and Springs to come out 2-0 after weekend play although it would not be a big surprise to see FLC take Pueblo down on Saturday. Adams will drop both games on the road but will probably give Pueblo a tougher game on Friday than their Saturday contest at Springs.

Most of the other games being played this weekend feature top tier teams going against lesser teams in the standings. It will be interesting to see how Christian and Mines take to the road into NM this weekend. I think for Mines, playing in Silver City first is best for them as they really don’t do well at Silver City to begin with but especially when it’s the second game of their road trip. Christian will always play tough both nights and Highlands hasn’t played at home yet this season so watch for Christian to go O-fer on the weekend. Mines won’t trip up and will come out of the tough road trip unscathed.

Metro and Regis have just one game, against each other. Easy opening weekend for Metro. Mesa and Western State make the Chadron/Black Hills swing. Mesa will open at Chadron which is probably best for them as BHSU us the weaker of the two teams. Western State will drop both games and Mesa should come away with 2 wins but again, they haven’t played well against lesser teams and their 3 players wearing striped jerseys don’t travel with them, so anything is possible. It’d be nice to see them drop two on opening weekend.

This week in the RMAC

November 25th, 2014 No comments


It’s about time we caught up with what’s going on in RMAC basketball now that we’re into week two. 5 teams remain undefeated; Adams State and Colorado Mines are both 2-0 while Ft. Lewis, MSU-Denver (Metro State), UC Colorado Springs are all 4-0.

Colorado Mesa and CSU-Pueblo sit at 3-1 followed by Chadron & Western State at 1-1. Then it’s the teams below .500; Regis at 1-2; Black Hills and Colorado Christian at 1-3 and the two New Mexico teams are winless. Highlands is 0-2 & WNMU is 0-3.

Typically, the RMAC is beating up on some lesser schools this time of year, so we South Dakota Mines (a future RMAC member) and Northern New Mexico on the schedule a lot. UCCS, Mesa & FLC have picked on Northern NM getting relatively easy wins; SDM has fallen to Black Hills, Mines and MSUD. Johnson and Wales shows up losing to Regis.

Alex Herrera, Sr from Ft Lewis, is off to a great start, which is very much expected. He is the Offensive POTW averaging 25 points in their 2 wins. He threw down 29 against Northern NM adding 12 boards, 3 assists and 7 blocks. The blocks are no big deal, NNM averages 5’7″ on their roster typically. He added 21 pts, 11 boards and 2 blocks in game two against Eastern.

Michael Middlebrooks, Sr Adams State earned the Defensive POTW honors as the Grizzlies downed Langston University girls school 86-78. Middlebrooks had 9 boards and 8 blocks in helping the Grizz with a 32-16 rebounding edge and holding the Lions to 24 pts in the paint.

The upcoming week will be more of the same for the most part as NNM, SD Mines, Colorado College all show up on the schedule. Of interest to Mustang fans, Angelo State plays both Colorado Mesa and Western State before coming to Silver City.

2 teams will make a foray into DI as Mines and Ft. Lewis take on UC San Diego. MSU Denver will take on Florida Southern in a long road trip as the Roadrunners start ramping up for another run at the post season.

This week in the RMAC

November 11th, 2014 No comments


The race for the conference crown is coming down to the wire as both Mines and Pueblo came away with wins this past weekend. It was an exciting weekend of football in the RMAC as all but one game was settled by just a few points.

CSU Pueblo dominated Colorado Mesa in Grand Junction. We thought this would be a win for CSUP but not in this fashion. Mesa was clearly not ready for prime time as the T-wolves came away with a 52-3 win on the road. That leaves them at 7-1 in the conference and keeps them at #8 in the rankings. Greg O’Donnell, the place kicker, was selected as RMAC Special Teams POTW as he went 7-7 in extra points and kicked a 26 yard field goal. He also had 560 yards in kick offs. Yawn. What do you expect when your team is scoring more points that a basketball team? McDondle did rush for 136 yards on 21 carries and had 2 TDs before the 2nd team came into the game.

Mines had a scare on the road against Western State. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first and held a 20-14 edge at the break before the Orediggers came back in the third with 14 points. They won the game 35-26. The D of WSCC held the #2 offense in the nation to just 444 yards, only 233 passing. Linebacker Jaden Terry led the charge with 21 tackles, 18 unassisted. He had 2 sacks as well which earned him Defensive POTW honors in the conference. Austin Ekeler was outperformed by Mines’ Tevin Champagne, 33 rushes, 186 yards. Ekeler was ‘held’ to 107 yards on 24 carries.

The silver lining on the cloud for Mustang fans, guess who lost?! Highlands fell to Black Hills State, 30-27. The Yellowjackets jumped on top 17-0 at the end of the first and never looked back. The number 1 offense of the Cowboys was held to a total of 384 yards, 256 passing. The Yellowjackets had one of their better days with 436 yards, 290 through the air but 140 on the ground, their best output of the season rushing. Lance Orender was replaced in the 2nd half by Tanner Wright at QB, but it was too little, too late.

Adams State got the win against Ft. Lewis in a rivalry game, 34-30. FLC held the lead at the half 23-7 but ASU was able to come back in the 2nd half getting the winning score with 1:25 left in the fourth.

John McLain was selected as the Offensive POTW for his 28-43, 352 yard, 5 TD performance against WNMU. Nuff said.

The key games in the final weekend of regular season play find Mines at home hosting Adams State. Nothing would be better for ASU than to beat Mines in the final game, giving the Grizzlies a bit of a silver lining on a disappointing season. Their head coach is retiring so don’t underestimate the emotional lift that will give the Grizz. However, Mines will be focused and needs the win, as they don’t want to be on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Neither do they want to miss the post season, which could happen if they lose and don’t get the automatic bid.

Pueblo will be home against Highlands. Who knows which team will show up to face CSUP? Highlands offense could put Pueblo on their heels and they are not a good come from behind team. But I imagine several players on the Cowboys will be thinking about having to go see their parole officers and won’t be focused on this game. Pueblo probably has a better chance of getting an at large bid if they don’t get the RMAC title. But they’ll win, hold the tie break and get another regular season championship.

Chadron will close at Ft. Lewis, which is no way an easy game for them. Let’s call upset as the Skyhawks are tough at home and Chadron is emotionally drained after last Saturday’s big win.

Western State and Colorado Mesa will close in Grand Junction with their big rivalry game. A Mesa win gives them a winning record so their coaches will have them fired up. Unless WSCC finds a way to get Ekeler loose and running for 200 plus, Mesa gets the win.

Black Hills will be riding high and now, with FLC falling to 2-6 which ties them with BHSU for last, the Yellowjackets will be hoping for a win combined with a Skyhawk loss to pull them out of the cellar. Dangerous combination.

This week in the RMAC

November 5th, 2014 No comments


For Mustang fans it was a good week with a come from behind win, Highlands losing and another player honored by the RMAC. This week Darius Guillory was named the RMAC Defensive POTW after he nabbed 2 INTs in the game against Adams State. Darius got his first INT in the 2nd quarter setting up a Mustang FG and his 2nd was late in the game after WNMU had taken the lead; his INT sealed the win for WNMU. Not to take anything away from Darius, but Marques Rodgers deserved the honor for offense.

Looking at the results, the tie remains at the top of the standings. Colorado Mines got the win over Mesa, 37-23. This was a back and forth affair with the teams trading scores early in the game. Mesa was able to keep Mines out of the end zone 3 times on the day, giving up FGs which kept them within striking distance but Mines proved too much for the D of Mesa. Mines moved up to #23 in the nation with the win. Mesa drops to 4-3 in RMAC play and out of a tie with Chadron for 3rd place.

CSU-Pueblo picked up the win over Black Hills 49-7 at home. This was not much of a game. QB Chris Bonner picked up Offensive POTW honors as he hit on 18-21 passes for 285 yards and 4 TDs against 0 picks. That’s a 262.57 passer efficiency rating which is no doubt impressive. Stephan Dickens was named Special Teams POTW as he returned a punt 73 yards to pay dirt and is 2nd in the nation in punt return average, 21.9 yards per return. BHSU drops to 1-6 in RMAC play.

Chadron State got a solid win on the road at Highlands, 52-38. Highlands jumped out to a 14-0 lead early but Chadron tied it by the end of the 1st quarter and then put up 21 pts in the 2nd to take control. Chadron was able to rush for 250 yards which helped them to win the time of possession battle by about 7 minutes. That kept Orender and the Highlands offense on the sideline which is the best way to beat them. They still had 500 plus yards of offense but it wasn’t enough. Chadron sits in third at 5-2 while Highlands drops to 3-4 in the RMAC.

Fort Lewis and Western State battled to the end with FLC dropping the home game, 26-27. FLC jumped out to a 16 nothing lead early and was up by 9 at the break. But Western State got 14 in the 3rd to pull within 2. It was a late 31 yard TD pass that put WSCC up for good. In fact, 3 of WSCC’s scores were on Arrivey passes. FLC actually did a good job holding Ekeler in check. He had an 82 yard run in the 2nd but was held to 38 yards on 19 carries outside of that run. Arrivey just had a big day for him 13-27, 242 yards and 3 TDs. Western State is now 3-4 in conference play and FLC is 2-5.

Looking ahead, both Mines and Pueblo have potential trap games on the road. Mines will head to Western State to deal with Ekeler and the Mountaineer running game. Mines defense is solid enough; first in the RMAC in rushing defense with 120 per game but that’s partially because everyone is having to throw the ball to keep up with them. They’ll likely hit WSCC early with the pass, WSCC is one of the worst in the RMAC in pass defense. Mines wins easily on the road.

Pueblo will head to Mesa. The Twolves boast the #1 defense in the RMAC. First in scoring, total defense, and passing and 2nd in rushing. Mesa’s defense is pretty good too, top 4 in every category except rushing D. They are next to last in rushing D so watch for Cameron McDondle to have a big day running the ball for CSUP. This will be a close one with both teams trying to run the ball, keep it close and come out with the win in the end. This will come down to turnovers as both teams are at the top of the RMAC in creating turnovers. I won’t be surprised if Mesa wins but expect Pueblo to be on top at the end.

There are a lot of ‘meaningless’ games in the RMAC, as far as standings and playoff implications are concerned, but a lot of teams are looking to get or stay on track for a winning season. Ft. Lewis will travel to Adams State. FLC is improving and can get a winning season if they win out. ASU is going to have a losing season and may be down mentally but they will try and get back on the winning track at home. FLC will get the win in this one.

Highlands will make the long trek to Black Hills. The Cowboys should get a win as BHSU is at the bottom of almost every statistical category in the RMAC with one exception, passing offense. They are #4 and that also puts them up there in yardage per game. They don’t score a lot even though they have talent but this could turn in to a shootout, which still benefits NMHU as they can score. Highlands hasn’t imploded like they have in past seasons so this will be a win for the Cowboys as they try to win out and get to a winning season.