It’s been quite the exciting start to the season for CSU-Pueblo football.
It all began with a convincing 35-6 win over BR-10 West Texas A&M. Quarterback Chris Bonner connected with wide receiver Paul Browning on a 66-yard touchdown pass less than 3 minutes into the game to set the tone, and the ThunderWolves never looked back, coasting to a season-opening win.
Then came their next test – a meeting with FCS-power Sam Houston State in week two. Again, it was no matter for CSU-Pueblo. The ThunderWolves made a statement, jumping out to a 27-point halftime lead and rolling to a 47-21 win over the BR-13 team in the FCS. That victory also snapped Sam Houston State’s 23-game home winning streak.
“That was pretty impressive,” CSU-Pueblo coach John Wristen said. “What an unbelievable feeling to beat a great Division 1 opponent in Sam Houston State. It is really a validation of who we want to be and where we want to go.”
Then the ThunderWolves decided to add some drama to their hot start.
CSU-Pueblo needed a nine-play, 97-yard drive late in the fourth to escape an upset against Western State last weekend. The ThunderWolves drove the length of the field and Cam McDondle capped the impressive drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to lead his team to a 26-23 victory.
“After beating Sam Houston State like that you are going to have a little letdown,” Wristen said. “I tried to guard us against that this week in practice.”
A talented and balanced offense has led the way. The ThunderWolves have averaged 36 points and 412 yards of total offense per game so far, and Bonner has led the way. He’s thrown for 842 yards and seven touchdowns through the first three games. Meanwhile, McDondle has been the highlight of the ground attack with 85.7 yards per game and four touchdowns.
CSU-Pueblo’s defense has done its part too, coming up with critical stops when needed and holding opponents to just under 17 points per contest.
The BR-14 ThunderWolves have won 32-straight games in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and that number should continue to grow, as CSU-Pueblo is the clear favorite in the conference.
CSU-Pueblo lost to Grand Valley State in the opening round of the Division 2 playoffs last year and should be in the mix again.
Their promising start is proof.