Rangers blanked by CSU-Pueblo

Alva / Athletics / Football
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Rangers blanked by CSU-Pueblo

Pueblo, Colo. (9-10-11) – The Northwestern Oklahoma State offense struggled in the thin air of Colorado on Saturday night as they were held scoreless by the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves, 41-0.

The loss drops the Rangers to 0-2 on the season. They look to rebound on Sept. 17 in Vermillion, S.D., as they travel to face NCAA FCS opponent South Dakota in the DakotaDome. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

From the opening drive against the Thunderwolves, the tone was set for a long night for the Rangers as Kyle Jech was picked off just three plays into the game. However, Jech settled down, completing 20 passes for 214 yards to lead all passers.

Senior wide receiver Kent McDonald was Jech’s favorite target in the contest as they hooked up for eight catches for 113 yards. Taylor Hooper had seven grabs for 53 yards, Andrew King had two catches for 34 yards and Avery Morris added a six yard catch.

Even though the Thunderwolves only picked up 44 more yards of total offense than the Rangers, 339-295, the home team converted on 7-of-13 possessions.

Jared Jackson, the Rangers leading rusher through the first two games of the season, had 18 carries for 52 yards. Jermil Martin finished with 29 yards and Morris picked up a yard.

The Thunderwolves controlled the ball on the ground, outrushing the Rangers, 202-81.

Northwestern nearly converted on a Pueblo turnover mid-way through the third quarter.

In Ranger territory, sophomore Michael Ray forced a Thunderwolves’ receiver to fumble, which recovered by Chris Jones. The Rangers then went on a 15 play drive that unfortunately ended in a blocked field goal from 42-yards out.

The fumble recovery was the second of the game as Chris Hill picked one up in the second quarter. The Rangers defense forced a total of four fumbles in the contest.

Sophomore Gussie Jones was the leading tackler for the Rangers with a total of ten, while Michael Harmon picked up the most unassisted tackles with five.