Turnovers lead to ASC setback against Colorado Mesa

Grizzlies drop second straight in Grand Junction

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Grizzly defense held Colorado Mesa to under 200 yards on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon, but four Adams State turnovers helped to propel the Mavericks to a 20-13 win in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) action.

The loss was ASC’s first against the Mavericks since 2007, and drops the Grizzlies to a 5-5 this season and 3-5 in RMAC action after having lost two straight. Colorado Mesa, which has now won back-to-back contests, now stands at 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the league.

After a CMU score on the opening drive of the game, both offenses were lacking until the second quarter when, on 4th-and-7 for the Mavs from their own 28, a bad snap forced punter Andrew Hurley to scramble, and he was caught junior safety James Ackel (Riverside, Calif.). Ackel, who made nine takcles and recorded three for loss on Saturday, forced a fumble which was recovered by CMU but gave ASC the ball on the 12.

The Grizzlies were unable to move the ball with the good field position, but a 33-yard field goal from David Van Voris (Elizabeth, Colo.) put ASC on the board.

A 7-yard sack on third down by redshirt-freshman Connor Stevens (Colorado Springs, Colo.) helped to stall the ensuing Mavericks possession, and ASC gained control at midfield. But the Grizzlies drive would come to an end with their first of four costly turnovers on the afternoon. After 12 plays the Grizzlies had methodically moved the ball downfield and gained 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but a fumble from senior Terjean Saffold (Stockton, Calif.) was picked up in the end zone by Colorado Mesa’s Jordan Price and taken back out to the 32.

But a 3-yard Saffold rush from three yards out on the ASC’s next possession gave ASC a lead with 42 seconds to go in the half that it would take into the locker room thanks to the ASC defense forcing a quick 3-and-out following the fumble.

Adams State received the ball to start the second half, and after covering 52 yards on 11 plays, took a 13-7 lead on a 26-yard Van Voris field goal.

CMU won the field position battle as the two teams exchanged punts, and with 3:46 left in the third the Mavs managed to pin ASC on its own 9-yard line. On 3rd-and-9, junior Trevor Eggleston (Tucson, Ariz.) threw his first of three interceptions, which was picked off at the 14 and set up a go-ahead TD for the Mavericks.

Trailing 14-13 to start the final quarter of play, ASC moved into the red zone early in the fourth and looked to be ready to take back the lead when they lined up for a field goal from the seven with 10:02 to play, but CMU block kept the Grizzlies behind.

The Grizzlies would gain just 20 yards the rest of the way, and the Mavericks would a final score when Travis McRae returned the Mavs’ second pick of the day 30 yards for a touchdown with just 2:04 to play.

Eggleston completed 16 passes for 159 yards but threw three picks for the second straight week and the fourth time this season.

Senior Delton Prescott (Phoenix, Ariz.) continued to remain a favorite target, snagging eight ball for 84 yards. It was his third consecutive game with at least eight catches, as Prescott upped his season total to 66 catches which ranks second for receptions in a season in the Grizzlies’ available history.

The Mavericks did a good job of keeping the ball out of the hands of junior receiver and return man Scott Kellogg (Littleton, Colo.). CMU punted eight times on Saturday but didn’t allow a single ASC return. Kellogg was limited to two kick returns for 52 yards and four catches for 39 yards on the afternoon.

Senior Rocco DeLorenzo (Arvada, Colo.) led the Grizzly defense with 10 tackles, and recorded 0.5 for loss. Adams State held the Mavs to just 193 yards of total offense, including 107 passing and 86 rushing.

The Grizzlies’ 2011 season will conclude next Saturday as ASC returns home for its season finale, hosting Western Sate for the Colorado Classic on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. Adams State recorded its ninth straight win over the Mountaineers in last year’s season finale by a score of 28-19.

A Grizzly win next Saturday will give ASC its best record since 2006. Adams State would also equal its fifth place RMAC finish from a year ago with a win over WSC combined with a Western New Mexico loss against CSU-Pueblo and a Colorado Mesa loss to Chadron State.

Related Item: Box Score

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