Football trounces Colorado 63-28
After managing to score only six points in each of their last two contests, the Carnegie Mellon Tartans (3?2) overcame their offensive struggles Saturday when they traveled to Colorado Springs to play the Colorado College Tigers (1?3).
The Tartans, who have been stagnant offensively the last two weeks, gained over 170 yards on the ground and scored three rushing touchdowns ? and that was just in the first twenty minutes of the game.
The Tartans set the tempo of the games play when sophomore fullback Travis Sivek scored a touchdown on a 29-yard run early in the first quarter. From that moment onward, the Tartans dominated the game on both sides of the ball. Ultimately the Tartans won the game 63?28 behind a very solid offensive performance.
In the first quarter, the Tartans rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, both by Sivek. Defensively, the Tartans prevented the Tigers from scoring and forced one turnover, an interception by junior safety Aaron Lewis.
While the Tigers? special teams scored early in the second quarter when first-year halfback Justin Alexander returned a kickoff for a 94-yard touchdown, their offense was kept silent until the end of the second quarter. Late in the second quarter, Tigers sophomore quarterback Scott Green connected with senior wide receiver Jake Craig for a two-yard touchdown pass. It was the first time this season that the Tartan defense has allowed a touchdown reception.
The Tartans meanwhile added three touchdowns in the second quarter, with Sivek as well as sophomore halfbacks Robert Gimson and Colby Whitman finding the end zone. At halftime, the Tigers trailed the Tartans
Over the past two weeks, it has been the defense that has kept the Tartans in the game. This week, however, it was the offense flourished, breaking out of its two-week dormancy. With a bevy of opportunities as a result of Tiger turnovers, the Tartan offense sprung into high gear Saturday, running all over the shoddy Colorado defense.
The Tigers, over their first three games, have given up an average of 292 yards per game. This week, the Tartans gained 547 yards against them and scored 63 points. Strong blocking by the offensive line and a relatively undersized Tiger defense resulted in nearly 500 yards rushing for the Tartans, with the average run going for more than five yards.
Sivek led the offense with a career-high 156 yards and four touchdowns. Gimson also had a career day, running for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Whitman, senior halfback Joseph Hurley, and junior quarterback Kevin Mulkern all scored touchdowns.
While the offense relied primarily on the rush, the passing game, under senior quarterback Jarrod Highberger, was also effective when used. Additionally, junior kicker Nathaniel Greenstein ended the game with nine extra points.
The Tartan defense was not as dominant as it has been over the past two weeks, but because they were protecting a large lead for the bulk of the game their play was more then adequate. While the Tigers scored 28 points, the Tartan defense had a record-breaking performance, forcing seven interceptions. Junior defensive back John Menhart and junior safety Aaron Lewis both had three interceptions and junior linebacker James Rodgers had one.
This week?s game is sure to boost the team?s confidence and morale after two tough losses. While the defense continues to play tough, the offense finally came out of its shell to find the end zone nine times.
The Tartans, who have next week off, will see if they can carry the momentum from this win when they start conference play at the University of Chicago on October 15. Despite their two losses, a strong finish and a UAA title could propel the team to an NCAA postseason berth.