Falcons sheer Rams 38-17

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher DeWitt
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
Turnovers and a tough Air Force defense proved to be too much for Colorado State University as the Falcons soared to a 38-17 win over the Rams at Falcon Stadium in Colorado, Nov. 8, advancing their record to 8-2 overall.

Colorado struck first scoring on a 1-yard run by CSU senior Gatrell Johnson topping off a 8-play, 62-yard drive. Jason Smith scored the extra point, leaving the Falcons down 7-0.

Air Force answered back with Freshman quarterback Tim Jefferson passing to Ty Paffett for a 53-yard reception during an 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Sophmore Kyle Lumpkin drove into the endzone on a 4-yard run with 6:43 remaining in the first quarter. Ryan Harrison secured the extra point tying the score 7-7.

"We made a few big plays, and that helps," said Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun. "I think we had some gains that were larger than 10, we haven't had a whole lot of those recently."

Freshman tailback Asher Clark scored after taking a fourth-and-short converstion attempt 41 yards for a Falcon touchdown. Following the extra point by Harrison, the Falcons led at the end of the quarter 14-7.

On the opening drive of the second quarter, the Falcons were forced to punt, giving up some momentum to the Rams. Colorado then marched down the field rewarding themselves with a 4-yard pass from Billy Farris to junior wide receiver Dion Morton. Smith tied the game with his extra point, tying the score at 14.

Air Force's Jefferson wasted no time regaining the lead for the Falcons with a 74-yard pass, the longest by the Falcons this season, to Kyle Halderman on the return play. Halderman set a career high 99 yards in receiving with his two receptions. Harrison scored the extra point, putting the Falcons on top again 21-14.

Rams showed their might, marching down the field on a 16-play drive but were forced to attempt a field goal after a delay-of-game penalty on a fourth-down conversion attempt. Smith's 23-yard field goal, brought  the Rams to within four points at the end of the first half.

In the second half, Colorado, proving they were not ready to give up, went for a fourth-down conversion, following a penalty, securing a first-down on a 23-yard reception by Rams junior Rashaun Greer. However three plays later, Falcon sophmore Reggie Rembert intercepted Farris to give Air Force the ball on their own 20. Clark ended the series with a career-best run of 45 yards and a career-high 136 yards rushing total to give the Air Force some breathing room. Harrison's field goal gave the Falcons a 28-17 lead.

Quarterback Billy Farris was picked off for a second time by Ken Lamendola, his first, in the following series leaving the Air Force with the ball on the Rams' 26-yard line. Two plays later Jefferson found tight-end Travis Dekker in the end-zone for a 4-yard, touchdown reception. Harrison's extra point would hold the lead at 35-17 through the end of the third quarter.

"We just kind of fell apart there a little bit in the third quarter," said Colorado State Head Coach Steve Fairchild. "We made some bad decisions, we missed a couple of things protection wise, and ended up turning the ball over a couple of times and that's all it took for this thing to get out of hand.

"I give Air Force credit, Troy did a nice job. They played very well and they deserve this victory," Fairchild said.

Air Force was shutdown on Colorado's 10-yard line with 12:24 remaining after the opening drive of the fourth quarter. Harrison's 27-yard field goal attempt put the Falcons up 38-17 and extended the streak of points scored in consecutive quarters to 18. Harrion also set a new Air Force single-season record with 20 field goals.

"You look over the last five weeks and you find different ways to win, and what we've been able to do is keep a glue," Coach Calhoun said, whose five game winning streak is the most since the 2003 team opened the season 5-0.

Colorado was unable to make anything happen and had to punt after just four plays. Air Force ground the clock down for 14 plays and 70 yards before time expired broadening the Falcon's Mountain West Conference winning streak to a school record four games leaving them 5-1 in the conference.

Colorado State's record sinks to 4-6 going 2-4 in the MWC.

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