Courtesy of Adams State Athletics
ALAMOSA, Colo. - Junior Terjean Saffold (Stockton, Calif.) scored three first-half rushing touchdowns and added another receiving score in the third quarter as the Adams State College Grizzlies rolled up 441 yards of total offense while blanking the New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys to claim a 55-0 homecoming shutout, Saturday afternoon here at Rex Stadium.
The Grizzlies, who averaged an impressive 6.8 yards per carry, had 271 rushing yards and five scores on the ground as they snapped a 4-game slide while improving to 2-4 overall and to 1-3 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. The Cowboys, held to just 26 rushing and 110 total yards, fell to 1-5 overall and are also 1-3 in the loop.
The Grizzlies are now 3-0 under coach Marty Heaton in homecoming games and have scored 124 points in their last two. The Grizzlies also have two homecoming shutouts under Heaton, last blanking Fort Lewis, 6-0, in 2008 before tallying a record-setting point-scoring barrage to beat Western New Mexico, 69-42, last season.
Saffold, who ran for 100 yards while scoring twice in the fourth quarter of last week's game at then 17th-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, needed just 17 carries to rack up 113 yards on Saturday as he ran for more than 100 yards for third time this season. He only had one second-half tote as the final result was never in doubt with the Grizzlies scoring touchdowns on seven of their first eight possessions before putting in second and even third-stringers in the second half. The Grizzlies had led 34-0 at the break and 48-0 after three quarters.
Redshirt freshman running back Chris Jamison (Mesa, Ariz.) also had a fine day rushing 12 times for a career-high 83 yards while fullback Thomas Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) and quarterback Trevor Eggleston (Tucson, Ariz.) also had rushing touchdowns.
Reserve quarterback Sean McDougal (Fort Collins, Colo.), who played for most of the second half and part of the second quarter, had two passing touchdowns, one to Saffold and another to Scott Kellogg (Littleton, Colo.) while completing five passes for 69 yards. The Grizzlies, who ran 40 times while throwing just 25 times, also scored on a 78-yard punt return Trevor Zott (Arvada, Colo.), the Grizzlies' first special teams touchdown since Nov. 4, 2006 when Oscar Murray scored on a 20-yard blocked punt return.
Forcing a punt on the Cowboys' first possession of the game, the Grizzlies then marched 38 yards on six plays as Saffold leapt into the end-zone for his first score from a yard out.
After a fumble on the Grizzlies' second possession, Adams State came up with a Jeremiah Van Valkenburg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) interception that set up the offense to march 70 yards on 11 plays as Adams State took 14-0 lead on a Saffold 5-yard touchdown and the ensuing point after by sophomore David Van Voris (Elizabeth, Colo.), who connected on all seven of his attempts, with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
On their first possession of the second quarter, the Grizzlies then marched 83 yards on 12 plays as Brown rushed in for a 2-yard score before McDougal entered the game to lead the Grizzlies on a 5-play, 48-yard drive capped by his 25-yard touchdown pass to Kellogg.
Leading 27-0 despite the bobbled point after snap, the Grizzlies then came up with a Zach Johnston (Colorado Springs, Colo.) interception just three plays later. Saffold then rattled off runs of 7, 2 and 16 yards scoring his third touchdown of the day on a 4th-and-1 with 58 seconds to go in the half.
Eggleston, who completed 8 of 14 passes for 101 yards, after his 6-touchdown performance in last year, managed the game well and came out to start the third quarter. He completed a 61-yard pass to JB Hall (Boulder, Colo.) on just the third play of the drive before scrambling and diving in for a 3-yard score on a 3rd-and-goal.
Leading 41-0 at that point, the Grizzlies then used a 24-yard Zott punt return and an ensuing 15-yard face mask penalty to take the ball over inside Cowboy territory for the fourth time of the afternoon.
McDougal took advantage completing back-to-back first down passes to Kellogg before finding Saffold for a 17-yard catch-and-run score that put the Grizzlies up 48-0.
The Cowboys, who had just three first downs in the first half, two of which came because of Grizzly penalties, then mounted their best drive of the game moving 71 yards to the Grizzly-6 before a stop at the line of scrimmage by defensive linemen Dereck Raymond-Johns (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Thomas Porter (San Ramon, Calif.) followed by three Jordan Mendoza incompletions kept the shutout intact.
The fourth quarter was a punt-fest as the teams exchanged four punts, the last of which was returned for Zott's score with 6:11 to go before a James Ackel (Riverside, Calif.) interception sealed the win.
Mendoza, who played the whole game at quarterback for the Cowboys, finished the day 14 of 26 for 84 yards. He also had 18 carries but was held to 17 net rushing yards as the Grizzlies came up with six tackles for a loss and three sacks throughout the afternoon.
Porter led that charge with a career-high 10 tackles, including two for losses, and 1 ½ sacks.
Tony Udley led the Cowboy defense with 14 stops.
The Grizzlies have now defeated teams from New Mexico four straight times and will look to get another such win as the visit Western New Mexico next Saturday (Oct. 16) for a 1:30 p.m. game in Silver City, N.M.
The Mustangs claimed a 25-7 road win at Western State on Saturday and are now 3-3 overall and 2-2 in RMAC play.