Mavs Overcome Black Hills State for First Win
KREX News Room
SPEARFISH, S.D. – Despite the circumstances leading into Saturday's game at Black Hills State, Colorado Mesa University coach Russ Martin didn't expect his Mavs to play any different than they had before. And for the most part, they didn't.
Even without starting quarterback Deke Cisco, the Mavericks managed to look a lot like themselves - there were penalties, a lot of them, there were turnovers, a lot of those, and there was a huge dose of Jake Cimolino. But the biggest difference was the end result, a 31-29 win for the Mavericks.
Cimolino rushed 33 times for 196 yards and a score while Jason Haferman, making his first start for CMU, was solid as the Mavericks earned not only their first win of the season but the first for Martin as head coach. With the victory, CMU improved to 1-3 on the year and 1-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. The Yellow Jackets dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in RMAC play.
Haferman, who played sparingly as a freshman in 2010, took over for Cisco during the fourth quarter of last week's 41-30 loss to Chadron State when the red-shirt freshman went down with a leg injury. In his first start, the junior completed 18 of 28 passes for 157 yards and a pick but scored on runs of 4, 6 and five yards.
Haferman's third scoring run had put the Mavs up 28-16 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter but just like last week, CMU couldn't hold the lead. Black Hills, behind quarterback Ward Anderson, scored twice in a seven-minute span in the fourth quarter and took a 29-28 lead with 3:17 remaining.
But the Mavs, behind Cimolino and a penalty on the Yellow Jackets, drove into field range and with nine seconds left, Alex Zemezonak booted a 17-yard field to give CMU the win. On the final drive, Cimolino carried the ball six-straight times for 31 yards.
This game resembled the first three of the season in many ways. The Mavericks fell behind early, were plagued with penalties and couldn't seem to hold on to the ball.
CMU was called for penalties 18 times for 191 yards, 11 of those coming in the first half, and turned the ball over four times, including three fumbles. But the defense would not let the game get out of hand.
In the first quarter alone, the Yellow Jackets moved into CMU's end of the field four times but came away with just 10 points. And after Bryar Desanti scored on a 2-yard run with 11:37 to go in the second quarter, giving the Yellow Jackets a 16-7 lead, they would not score again until the 9:55 mark of the fourth quarter.
In all, CMU held Black Hills in check, allowing just 310 yards of offense while watching its offensive unit churn out 406 yards of total offense, 249 of that coming on the ground. Jake Edmiston led the Mavs with 14 tackles, including a sack, while Luke Knapton recorded 11 tackles, including six solo tackles.
Jordan Price, who was burned for two long fourth-quarter scores last week in the loss to Chadron State, successfully defended three passes in a row in the end zone to stop the Yellow Jackets from scoring late in the third quarter, keeping the Mavericks' lead at 12.
Colorado Mesa returns home next week and will play host to New Mexico Highlands (3-1 overall and 2-0 in RMAC). Highlands beat Colorado Mines 42-37 in Las Vegas, N.M. Saturday.