Falcons Ground Rams, 49-27

The U.S. Air Force Academy issued the following news


Seven touchdowns on offense and special teams led the Air Force

Academy to a decisive 49-27 win over Colorado State

University Oct. 9.

The Falcons came into the game ranked No. 25 in the nation by

the Associated Press,, powered in part by the top-ranked rushing

offense in the NCAA, while CSU limped in with a 1-4 record after

averaging only 11 points per game.

The Falcons offense drew blood quickly. Taking the ball at their

23-yard line on the first possession of the game, two typical

rushes via the Falcons’ triple-option running attack moved the ball

to their 43-yard-line.

Having made the Rams defense expect another run, the Falcons

took to the air. Backup tight end Joshua Freeman provided a chip

block and rolled out into the open space on the right, where

Falcons quarterback Tim Jefferson hit him for a completion that

became a 51-yard gain. Freeman’s catch moved the ball to the Rams’

6-yard line, and a Rams penalty halved the distance to the goal

line. Jefferson handed off to fullback Jared Tew, who carried it up

the middle for the touchdown, putting the Falcons on the scoreboard

on the fourth play of the game.

After a successful defensive stand, the Falcons took their next

possession at their 20-yard line, and repeated their formula of

success. Falcon running back Asher Clark gained 30 yards on two

carries, and then Jefferson went to the air to find junior wide

receiver Zach Kauth along the left sideline for a 39-yard


“Anytime you have those sizeable gains, that helps,” Falcons

head coach Troy Calhoun said.

Clark carried twice more, ending the drive with a 3-yard

touchdown. The extra point kick by junior Erik Soderberg was good,

putting the CSU Rams down 0-14 with nine minutes left in the


Down by 14 points, the Rams continued going to their ground

game, which came into the game ranked 120th in the nation and

averaging 56.2 yards per game. But against the Falcons, the Rams’

rushing attack was averaging 5.5 yards per carry in the first


The Rams drove 72 yards on 11 plays to the Falcons 3-yard line.

A false start moved them back 5 yards, which they regained two

plays later, but faced a fourth down and 2 at the 3. Falcon

defensive lineman Bradley Connor swatted the pass to the ground and

forced the Rams turn it over on downs.

The Rams defense finally tightened down, forcing the Falcons to

punt a few minutes later, but that only gave the Rams the ball at

their own 12-yard-line. That drive ended abruptly when Falcon

defensive back Reggie Rembert intercepted Thomas at the Rams 33

yard line and returned it 30 yards to give the Falcons first and

goal at CSU’s 3-yard line.

Two plays later, the Rams defense forced a fumble to escape

another Falcon scoring drive when Rams linebacker Michael Kuwalok

wrapped up Falcons fullback Tew and allowed fellow Rams linebacker

Mychal Sisson to pry the ball loose.

“I thought we really missed a golden opportunity with the fumble

down there. That’s something we’ve got to look at,” Calhoun


But the Falcons defense came calling for the turnover once again

when defensive back Jon Davis forced Rams running back Leonard

Mason to fumble. Rembert recovered the fumble, giving the Falcons

another possession at the Rams’ 33. Two plays later, Jefferson sent

Kauth deep right and hit him with an easy tossup for the touchdown.

Soderberg’s kick was good, putting the Falcons ahead 21-0.

The Rams’ Derek Good returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to

set up a drive that would finally put the Rams on the board.

Several plays later, Rams wide receiver Lou Greenwood went wide

left to outpace the Falcons defense for a 13-yard touchdown. Rams

kicker Ben DeLine added the extra point, to lower the Air Force

lead to 21-7.

The Falcons scored one more time before the half. Taking the

ball 74 yards on 13 plays and eating up five minutes of game time,

the Falcons sealed the drive with a Jefferson pitch to wide

receiver Kyle Halderman on an end-around. Halderman went wide left

across the goal line for the score. With Soderberg’s point-after

attempt, the Falcons went into the half leading 28-7.

Coming out of the locker room at halftime, CSU took the first

possession, but managed three plays before sending their punter in

to do work. But the Falcons sent a strong rush up the middle on the

punt, getting a partial block by freshman defensive back Anthony

Wooding to give the Falcons the

football at the CSU 38-yard


Four plays later, backup quarterback Ben Cochran found tight end

Chaz Demerath wide open on a fake field goal. Cochran completed the

easy pass for a 25-yard touchdown, to put the Air Force Academy a

four touchdown lead.

The Rams showed that they still had fight in them, when the CSU

defense snatched an interception deep in Air Force territory.

Jefferson completed a pass to Cochran, who was instantly hit by by

a CSU defender. The hit popped the ball up in the air, and Rams

defensive back Ivory Herd grabbed the jump ball for an 8-yard

return to the Air Force 30. The Rams stayed with their revived

ground game to move the ball, and scored on a four yard run by

running back Leonard Mason. Freshman linebacker Jamil Cooks blocked

the extra point to make the score 35-13, Air Force. So far this

season, Cooks has blocked one punt, one field goal and one extra

point attempt.

Air Force’s special teams took it up another notch on the

kickoff. Wide receiver Jonathan Warzeka took the ball at his own

goal line and found enough blocking on the right side to break free

and race up the right sideline for a touchdown. This was Warzeka’s

second 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown of his career, and

lifted the Falcons to a 42-13 lead.

“They outplayed us on special teams,” said CSU head coach Steve

Fairchild. “They got through to a punt and a kickoff return. You

can’t do that. There were too many big plays and they are too good

of a team. You have to play a much more perfect game that we did,


The Falcons added to that lead with another touchdown pass by

Jefferson, this time to Kauth again for 19 yards. Another Soderberg

extra point lifted the Air Force lead to 49-13.

With the game well in hand, the Falcons started rotating the

reserves in, getting more game time under the belts of their

second- and third-string players.

CSU became the first team this season to score against Air Force

in the fourth quarter by putting two touchdowns on the board. The

first was a 5-yard pass from Thomas to tight end Eric Peitz. CSU

closed out the game with a 2-yard touchdown run by backup fullback

Chris Nwoke in the game’s final minute, to end the game at


Despite the lopsided score, the Rams piled up a healthy amount

of yards on offense, gaining 285 on the ground against the Falcons’

porous run defense.

“We have a ton of work to do,” Calhoun said. “We have a lot of

work to do in a short period of time. That’s why when we go out to

practice on Monday, it’s going to be imperative that we’re


With the win, the Falcons closed out the first half of their


football season with a 5-1


“The second half of the season, you just look. It’s going to be

a different world,” said Coach Calhoun. “They’re going to have to

be ready to play,” he added, referring to his team.

Next up on the Falcons’ schedule is a trio of tough back-to-back

Mountain West Conference matchups, against San Diego State, TCU and

Utah. San Diego State went into Saturday with a 3-1 record, while

TCU was ranked No. 5 in the nation with a 5-0 record, and Utah was

ranked 10th in the nation with a 4-0 record.

“I think when you look on the horizon, for what we’re going to

have to do — really the next three games, we play three teams that

deserve to be among the top 20 in the country. Three of the next

four are on the road,” said Coach Calhoun.

After those three conference battles, the Falcons will turn

their attention to winning back the Commander in Chief’s trophy

when they face Army Nov. 6. And while the Falcons’ fanatical fans

can scope out the rest of the regular season, the actual

football team remains focused on

only the next game ahead, Calhoun said.

That next gridiron battle game is a road game at San Diego State

on Oct. 16. Kickoff will be 5 p.m. PST. The game will be televised

by CBS

College Sports Network. The game

will also be broadcast by KVOR 740 AM over the airwaves and online

at www.kvor.com. Play-by-play action is available online via

Gametracker at www.goairforcefalcons.com/gameday.

by John Van Winkle

Air Force Academy Public Affairs

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