Flashback in Wyoming Athletics History

Sept. 25, 1999
Football - Wyoming @ Air Force
Colorado Springs, Colo.

By Thomas Lear

This University of Wyoming Flashback takes a look at the Cowboys' first ever Mountain West Conference game as they traveled to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Academy's Fighting Falcons during the 1999 season. It was the first MWC conference game for both schools, as the newly formed league celebrated its inaugural season after splitting with the Western Athletic Conference. Prior to the September 25th match-up the Air Force Academy lead the all-time series with Wyoming 18-16-3; but the Cowboys would draw within a game in that series with a strong defensive effort at Falcon Field.

Wyoming place-kicker Aaron Elling connected on a 27-yard field goal against Air Force in 1999 that would prove to be the game winner.

The rivals slugged it out in the first quarter of the game as neither team allowed the other to score. The Falcons, however, mounted a drive at the end of the period and began the second quarter with the football on the Cowboy's 2-yard line. Wyoming's defense came up big as they stuffed all four of Air Force's attempts inside of their 10-yard line, forcing a turnover on downs. UW quarterback Jay Stoner then took the reigns and orchestrated a five play, 96-yard drive capped off by a 60-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kofi Shuck; giving the Cowboys a 7-0 lead that they would take in to half-time.

In the second half the Pokes' defense would continue to come up big, lead by Matt Lehning and Al Rich who would finish the game with 14 total tackles a piece. Air Force did not score in the third period and entered the fourth quarter down 10-0 after kicker Aaron Elling added a 27-yard field goal near the end of the quarter for Wyoming. However, the Academy finally broke through 2 minutes and 36 seconds in to the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass from QB Cale Bonds to RB Scotty McKay, making the score 10-7. Fortunately for the Cowboys that would be the only score they would allow the Falcons in their Mountain West Conference home-opener; as they shut Air Force out for the rest of the quarter and cemented their second of seven victories in Dana Dimel's final season as head coach of the Cowboys.