DII Football: No. 18 Colorado Mines overwhelms No. 5 CSU-Pueblo
The only thing that could stop No. 18 Colorado School of Mines, as it turned out, was the weather. The Orediggers prevailed after a 100-minute pregame lightning delay to throttle No. 5 CSU-Pueblo, 57-21, keyed by a 36-point second quarter and five Pack turnovers.
It was the highest-ranked opponent Mines has ever defeated.
Justin Dvorak threw for six touchdowns, completing 27 of 36 passes for 402 yards in about three quarters of work. Dvorak now has 87 career touchdowns, surpassing former Harlon Hill Trophy winner Chad Friehauf for the Mines record.
Receivers Riley Hoff, Brody Oliver, and Ty Young all crossed 100 yards, and Hoff snagged three touchdowns.
The Oredigger offensive line was perhaps the true key, giving Dvorak nothing but time going sack-free with only three pressures allowed. CSU-Pueblo had only 2.0 tackles for loss in the game.
Mines stunned Pueblo with a 36-point second quarter, overcoming an 8-0 deficit after the first with six straight scoring possessions that included a safety and two touchdowns generated by Drake Thenell fumble recoveries.
Bernard McDondle's 71-yard outburst was the first quarter's only score, but Mines took advantage of his first fumble as Dvorak found Oliver to start the second, and a high snap led to Michael Kelso falling on it for a safety. Mines scored off that, as well, with Riley Hoff capping a quick-strike three-play, 35-second drive, and Hoff found the end zone again midway through the quarter to make it 22-8.
Sam Seeton cannonballed his way in from four yards out, and Young reached up for a 13-yard pass to cap the wild quarter with a 36-8 lead.
Zach Richter caught a short route from Dvorak to open the second half before Cole Forsgren caught a 33-yard, fourth-down pass for Pueblo, but Hoff caught his third of the day to lead 50-14, and Dean Wenger returned an interception 26 yards to the house to open the fourth quarter and seal the rout.
Defensively, Mines put on a clinic with five turnovers, including Thenell's two fumble recoveries (one off a Grant Gale force), two Wenger interceptions, and a pick by Drew Stephon, who also led Mines with six tackles. Chris Brockman, Wenger, and Jake Stuckey also had sacks as Mines held Pueblo starter AJ Thompson to 14-of-26 passing for 149 yards with two interceptions