David Tann is a touchdown machine.
Last season, the Colorado Mesa running back led the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with 20 rushing touchdowns. He scored five more through the air, falling short of All-American wide receiver Brody Oliver by one for the overall RMAC lead.
The Mavericks sit atop the RMAC at 3-0, coming off of one of the most thrilling games of the season. They defeated Colorado School of Mines 38-36 on a last-second field goal from Ryan Sheehan. Tann was a driving force, going for 197 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of those touchdowns came in an exciting fourth quarter that saw both teams put up a combined 36 points. Both of those touchdowns were over 60-yard romps.
“It was really exciting,” Tann said. “I got a stinger in my elbow, so I was out the whole third quarter. I guess you could say I had fresh legs. Our offense, we had the ball once in the third quarter. Mines did a great job controlling the ball and keeping our offense off the field. We talked and knew we had to make the most of every possession left in the quarter.
“After the second [60-plus yard touchdown], we were only up 11 and there was still seven-and-a-half minutes to go in the game. I’m thinking, ‘man, we’re on a high note but we still got a lot of game left.’”
Sure enough, back came Mines. The Orediggers, who were coming off a 70-point victory the week prior, marched right back. This time it was Oliver who scored consecutive touchdowns, putting Mines up 36-35 with just 23 seconds left.
But that’s why you play whistle to whistle.
“Oh man,” Tann said. “After they scored, I went to the return team and told them to stay on their blocks and get us good field position."
It wasn't so easy. The return team did get some yards, but a penalty pusehed the Mavericks back further than they would have liked to start. But then came Peter Anderson and his 68-yard reception.
"We got explosive receivers who can make plays. Peter came open across the middle, and Eystin [Salum] gave him a great ball. He made a cut, got us down field. Our kicker, he was an All-American last year. Once the ball was on his foot I was confident.
“Big wins are always exciting, especially against a rival like Mines who is always at the top and in the playoff conversation.”
The Mavs entered the preseason poll at No. 23 and have been on a steady climb ever since. Now at No. 11, the Mavericks are the last 3-0 team left in the RMAC, just ahead of No. 19 Colorado State-Pueblo in the standings. The same Colorado State-Pueblo they play at the Thunderbowl in two weeks.
“Preseason we weren’t as high as we thought we would get. But rankings don’t really matter until the end of the season when playoffs and seeds for each region are coming out. They play a part during the season, it’s exciting for people to talk about. But as a team, we don't need to worry about that yet, we still have a lot of work to do. As of right now, we need to take it one game at a time and stay focused.”
While the postseason is certainly on Colorado Mesa's mind, they first have to get through Fort Lewis and the rest of the tricky RMAC schedule. Another strong season from Tann will help to a successful run. Let's go under the helmet and find out what makes one of the RMAC's best running backs go.
Favorite football movie: I’m a big fan of Invincible. I watched that with my dad all the time.
Favorite NFL team: I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan. My first NFL game was Eagles and Bears in Chicago. My family member is good friends with Jon Dorenbos, the long snapper for the Eagles, so we got to meet him and Michael Vick and got sideline passes for pregame. Ever since that game I’ve been a fan. Fly Eagles fly.
Favorite player: I was always a big Michael Vick fan. LeSean McCoy when he was at the Eagles I was into watching him. DeSean Jackson in that comeback game, I’ll always have that memory. But growing up I was always a big Marshall Faulk fan. Growing up in the Midwest I watched the Rams a lot. Kurt Warner is from my home town.
What’s in your headphones: I actually have some of the Invincible soundtrack in there. I try to listen to some oldies or rock and roll type stuff to get my blood flowing. Also a little country. I try to stay calm and keep it a little more mellow so I’m not pumped up three hours before the game.
Superstitions: I always write on my wrist tape my late grandparents. I always write grandma and grandpa on there. My cousin passed away a few years back from lymphoma, so I put her name on there. They’re with me while I’m out on the field. They’re a main reason why I am where I am today.
Pregame meal: Night before I like pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs or ravioli and meatballs.
Favorite cartoon: That’s a tough one. I need to think about that.
Favorite TV show: I like Sons of Anarchy, and I watch Friday Night Lights a lot. Oh wait, I’ve been thinking about the cartoon. I liked Hey Arnold. He’s got a big football head.