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Northwestern Oklahoma State opened up the 2009 football season with a 34-28 win at Ranger Field over NCAA Division II opponent Colorado State University-Pueblo on Saturday, Sept. 5.


The Rangers overcame a late charge by the ThunderWolves, but were able to hang on for the win by a touchdown.


CSU-Pueblo opened the game with a bang, as Jamaal Johnson scored on the first play from scrimmage. He went 70 yards to give the ThunderWolves a 7-0 with just over a minute and a half into the game.


The Rangers combated with touchdown at the 10:03 mark when Clayton Smith capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive. After Lantz Mathers blocked a punt that was coming out of the end zone, he fell on the ball for the Rangers second score of the game. Northwestern rounded out the first half as Kent McDonald hauled in a 16-yard pass from Kyle Jech with 46 seconds before half, giving the Rangers a 20-7 lead.


Northwestern came out of the gate early in the third quarter, scoring in less than a minute on Jech’s 38-yard run.


Colorado State added their second touchdown with 11:10 to go in the game. The ThunderWolves’ quarterback, Colin Clancy, connected on two touchdown receptions, pulling CSU-Pueblo a within six points.


With 1:58 left, Jech scored his second rushing touchdown of the night on a 26-yard run to give NWOSU a 34-21 advantage.


The ThunderWolves turned around and scored in the next six plays, putting them within a score of the Rangers with 55 seconds left. A second onside kick failed and the Rangers ran out the clock for the hard-earned victory.


The Rangers tallied 433 yards on the game, while the defense held CSU-Pueblo to 380 yards. Northwestern rushed for 285 yards and passed for 148, while the Ranger defense gave up 71 yards on the ground and 309 in the air.


Jech threw for 148 yards and was 12-of-20 passing. He rushed 10 times for 87 yards and two scores. Nate Guillory rushed 31 times for 130 yards, as Smith ended up with 52 yards on 14 rushes. Korey Williams led the receivers with eight catches for 107 yards, McDonald had two catches for 25 yards.


Nate Barbee led the Rangers with five tackles, while Milton Mitchell and Justin Fulmer each had four.