Oredigger Football

Football Monday: Orediggers Clobber WNMU 43-0

{gallery}1011/i4/football/{/gallery}Steven Wooldridge / Oredigger

The Mines football team has turned into an offensive machine over their past few games. Led by quarterback Clay Garcia and wideouts Cody Renken and Jarrod Ducet, the Orediggers steamrolled the Western New Mexico University Mustangs 43-0 Saturday at Campbell Field in Golden.

In recent years, CSM has had no trouble capitalizing when they have had the ball, and this season is no exception. In the past three games, the CSM offense has tallied a total of 1570 yards (523.3 yards per game) and 20 touchdowns (6.7 TD per game). Saturday’s total of 578 total yards was enough to dominate the Mustangs and lead Mines to its third straight victory.

Mines did not take its time in lighting up the scoreboard. On their second possession of the game, the Orediggers drove 56 yards in two plays, eating up only 32 seconds as Garcia’s 14 yard strike to Ducet gave Mines the 7-0 lead. CSM then proceeded to score on three of their next four possesions, only one of which settled for a field goal.

Garcia has been a surgeon as of late, dissecting defenses and crippling the opponents. To put it into perspective, at the conclusion of the first half, CSM had already garnered 368 yards through the air. Most teams would consider a 368 passing yard performance a good total for an entire game. The dominance in passing rendered the rushing attack nearly obsolete. The leading rusher for Mines at halftime was Dan Palmer with only 7 yards, and as a team, CSM ended up with -2 yards at the break. Do the math, and that means that the passing attack gained more than 100% of the total offensive production. A hard feat to accomplish.

Whoever has been keeping stats for Mines in the past few days probably needs to get a raise. Garcia finished with another monster game as he went 33/53 for 444 yards and 5 touchdowns. Renken caught 10 of those passes for 112 yards and a score, and Ducet ended with 10 receptions for 123 yards and two scores.

But as the Arizona Cardinals could attest to last year, a good offense means absolutely nothing unless the defense is strong enough to back them up. And the defense was up to the task. Junior linebacker Josh Ruff led the Orediggers with 10 tackles and helped to anchor a defense that forced three-and-outs on the first three drives for the Mustangs.

And it never got easier for the Mustangs. The defense put constant pressure on Western New Mexico quarterback, Antoine Young, all game long. Young was sacked a total of 10 times, twice by senior Marc Schiechl, and never really had a chance to create any offense. Mines picked up four more turnovers as sophomore Ryan Wood grabbed an inception for the second game in a row and teammate Alex Laudenslager earned the first interception of his career.

In the second half, CSM running back Dan Palmer picked up the running game by finishing with 8 rushes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Palmer was carrying the bulk of the rushing attack while teammate Trevor Florendo saw limited action. Florendo, who left Saturday’s game early, recently underwent off-season back surgery and hopes to be back to full strength in the next few weeks.

The shutout pitched by the defense was the first for the Orediggers since October 18, 2008, against Adams State College.

For Western New Mexico, the struggles continue. The loss drops the Mustangs to 1-3 overall, 0-2 RMAC. Their offense is averaging a mere 11.0 points per game. CSM (3-1 overall, 2-0 RMAC) heads to Fort Lewis next week to take on the Skyhawks.

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