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Aggies Cruise in Home Opener

Goodwell, Okla.—The Aggies' first home game of the season kicked off against the Sterling College Warriors as they wore all red uniforms to highlight the Rock'n Red Out day at Carl Wooten Field. The Aggies bounced back from last week's loss at Lamar, and showed dominance on both sides of the ball.

The first quarter saw limited action on offense as the only score came on a 41 yard field goal by OPSU's senior kicker Carlos Nieto. The Aggies defense finished the 1st quarter strong as junior linebacker Royce Asi came up with a quarterback sack on 3rd down to end the opening period.
The 2nd quarter opened with a fake punt by Sterling College, and Greg Williams scored on a 38 yard run which gave the Warriors a 6-3 lead. The Aggies, however, showed their fire on defense as senior cornerback Keidrick Brewster blocked the extra point attempt. Junior cornerback Jamel Major recovered the ball and outraced the Warriors to score on a 97 yard return. The Aggies gained 2 points from the score but still trailed 6-5.

The Warriors came back on their following drive to score on a 25 yard screen play from Cardona to Hudspeth giving them a 13-5 advantage on the scoreboard. The Aggies quickly responded on a two minute drive capped off by a 10 yard score ran in by junior running back Justin Fogle. The Aggies defense continued to force the Warriors to punt, and the offense responded with consecutive scores. Fogle again found the end zone as he reversed field and scored on a 28 yard run. Junior quarterback Caleb Holbrook then got things going for the passing game as he found freshman receiver Jemine St. Louis who scored from 24 yards out on the following possession. The Aggies defense again came away with a big stop on the Warriors following possession as junior linebacker Isaia Vimoto blocked a 38 yard field goal attempt and Major again was there for the recovery. OPSU led 26-13 going into halftime.

The 3rd quarter saw limited action until the Aggies marched down the field with just over eight minutes to go in the quarter and found themselves facing fourth down on the goal line. They opted to go for it and came away successfully as freshman tight end Kameron Young powered his way in for the score. The Aggies led 32-13 after the extra point attempt failed. After a 4-and-out by the Aggie defense, Nieto again kicked a field goal, this time from 35 yards out to make the score 35-13. The final possession of the game saw the Warriors attempt a play inside the Aggies' 10 yard line with under 10 seconds to play. Major again came up with a big play as he intercepted the ball in the end zone to end the game.

The Aggies defense shutout the Warriors in the second half, and only allowed 226 total yards of offense for the game. Sterling's quarterback Cardona finished with 57 yards on 7-20 passing and one interception. They picked up 169 yards on 48 rushing attempts as the Aggies held them to only 3.5 yards per carry. Leading the defense were junior linebacker Tanner Hallford, junior safety Dominique Guest, and junior linebacker Andrew Dougherty who had 9,8, and 7 tackles, respectively. Dougherty also contributed with five tackles for loss. Sophomore defensive end Glenn Bonner also had an outstanding game as he finished with five tackles and came away with two explosive quarterback sacks.

Leading the offense was Aggie quarterback Holbrook who went 16-28 with 218 yards passing and one touchdown. On the ground, Sophomore running back Chris McClendon showed great athleticism as he rushed for 88 yards on 15 attempts, and had a big 59 yard reception. McClendon also contributed on special teams as a returner and finished the game with 175 all-purpose yards. Fogle finished with 72 yards on nine rushing attempts along with his two touchdowns. Receivers Tim Hollingshed, Ricky Backstrom, and Jamal White all contributed as they recorded reception yards of 30, 36, and 49, respectively. The offense finished with a total of 454 yards.

"I was really pleased with how our guys responded after an unusual start with their fake punt and our fumbled kickoff. Our offense played really well in the second and third quarters and our defense played outstanding all night. We will have to continue to improve to beat a very good Adams State team next week by cutting down our penalties, and making more plays on special teams." Coach Russell Gaskamp

Next week, the Aggies look to continue playing winning football as Adams State comes to Goodwell on Saturday, Sept. 14. Game time is set for 3pm. The Aggies will also be hosting Family Fun Day at Carl Wooten Field which will  begin at 12 p.m.


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