Cowboys Open MWC Play With Tough 44-36 Loss To Rams

Oct 12, 2002

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By JOHN MOSSMAN
AP Sports Writer

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Cecil Sapp ran for 143 yards and two touchdownsand freshman Justin Holland threw two scoring passes as Colorado Stateoutslugged Wyoming 44-36 Saturday in the Mountain West opener for both teams.

Colorado State (5-2) outgained Wyoming 501-362, but the Rams needed twofourth-quarter scores to break a 30-30 tie against the Cowboys (1-5), whoseonly win had come against The Citadel.

Late in the third quarter, Wyoming's Casey Bramlet completed touchdownpasses to Ryan McGuffey, and Jovon Bouknight and added a pair of 2-pointconversion passes - all within a span of 1:20 - as Wyoming rallied from a 30-14deficit.

Holland usually plays only sparingly, but this time he was in for fiveseries, including much of the fourth quarter, and he led the Rams on a 71-yarddrive for the go-ahead score.

Chris Pittman ran 24 yards on a reverse, and Sapp broke several tackles on a16-yard TD run off the left side on the opening play of the final period for a37-30 lead.

Starter Bradlee Van Pelt directed most of a subsequent 80-yard scoringdrive, passing 17 yards to Pittman and 20 yards to Henri Childs. Van Pelt waswhistled for an unsportmanlike-conduct penalty inside the 10, and Hollandreplaced him, promptly throwing a 17-yard TD pass to freshman tight end MattBartz with 6:15 remaining.

Van Pelt and Holland each threw a touchdown pass in the first half asColorado State took a 23-14 lead at intermission. The two quarterbacks combinedto complete 12 of 16 passes for 144 yards.

The Rams scored on four straight possessions after Joey Huber's punt wasblocked barely two minutes into the game, putting Wyoming up 7-0. Tom Vincentblocked the kick, and Leonard Jones recovered it in the end zone.

CSU rebounded with a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive, highlighted by VanPelt's 28-yard pass to Joey Cuppari. Sapp scored from the 1.

Dexter Wynn's 46-yard punt return and Van Pelt's 28-yard pass to Pittman setup Jeff Babcock's 21-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead late in the openingperiod.

With Holland directing the next series, the Rams fashioned another 13-play,80-yard drive that included three straight runs totaling 31 yards by RahsaanSanders. Holland passed 8 yards to tight end James Sondrup for a 17-7 lead.

Wyoming countered with a 17-play, 76-yard scoring drive, kept alive byBramlet's 4-yard pass to a diving Brock Ralph on fourth-and-2. Derek Armahscored from the 4 to cut the deficit to 17-14.

Van Pelt returned and took the Rams 51 yards for another score, capped byhis 4-yard pass to Bartz.

Van Pelt's 16-yard touchdown scramble early in the third quarter gave theRams a seemingly comfortable 30-14 lead.

The Cowboys, however, converted three fourth-down plays on an 80-yard drive,culminating on Bramlet's 22-yard pass to a diving McGuffey.

Two plays later, Guy Tuell's interception set up another Wyoming score.Bouknight hauled in Bramlet's 36-yard TD pass, and the 2-point conversion passto Scott Sorensen made it 30-30 with 2:18 left in the period.