A Classic Border War Goes Down to the Wire and Ends in a Wyoming Victory

With backup quarterback, the Cowboys pull off a comeback win against Colorado State, 14-13

Backup quarterback Jayden Clemons enters the game for the Wyoming Cowboys in the Border War against Colorado State. Clemons scores rushing and passing touchdowns for the Pokes, leading them to victory, 14-13. (Courtesy photo from University of Wyoming Athletics)

By Kaycee Clark-Mellott

Special to the Wyoming Truth

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Bronze Boot will make the trek back across the Wyoming-Colorado border. The Cowboys generated late-game heroics, conjuring some magic, to beat the Colorado State Rams, 14-13. Without their starting quarterback, the Pokes rallied after trailing by 10 late in the first half.

With 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Wyoming’s quarterback, Andrew Peasley, was knocked out of the game after a late hit on a fumble that Wyoming recovered. It is unclear what injury Peasley sustained. Jayden Clemons entered the game and engineered a Cowboy victory after having thrown only two passes before this game. 

The game started inauspiciously for Wyoming. Following a three-and-out from UW, the punt was returned by CSU receiver Tory Horton 72-yards for a touchdown, creating an early 0-7 deficit for the Cowboys.

The Rams tacked on another three points early in the second quarter after a seven-and-a-half-minute drive. Halfway through the second quarter, Wyoming had only generated 28 yards of offense and one first down. CSU drove down to Wyoming’s 18-yard line where quarterback Clay Millen overthrew his receiver and Deron Harrell intercepted the pass in the endzone.

Nov.12, 2022; Fort Collins, CO, USA; Wyoming Cowboys cornerback Deron Harrell (5) makes an interception against the Colorado State Rams at Canvas Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

In came Clemons. In his second drive under center, Wyoming drove 69 yards down the field and scored a touchdown, courtesy of Clemons’ 14-yard run. At halftime, CSU led UW 10-7.

In the third quarter, Wyoming’s kicker, John Hoyland, missed a 37-yard field goal.

Starting the fourth quarter, CSU concluded a long-sustained drive, propelled by the running game, with a 23-yard field goal after a Wyoming defensive stand. This extended the lead to six points.

Wyoming’s answering drive stalled on their own 30-yard line, forcing a Clayton Stewart punt. CSU’s Holton fielded the punt around his own redzone but appeared unsure whether he wanted to return the ball or call a fair catch; he muffed the punt, allowing Wyoming to recover the ball.

The Cowboys took over at CSU’s 33-yard line and, on their second play of the drive, Clemons threw a 32-yard touchdown to receiver Alex Brown. Following the extra point by Hoyland, Wyoming led 14-13.

CSU drove down to Wyoming’s 23-yard line, where another defensive stand forced a field goal attempt from 40-yards away. Kicker Michael Boyle missed the uprights wide-left.

With time running out, the Rams made it to their own 43-yard line and attempted a 30-yard pass with some pitches and laterals. However, Wyoming stopped it, ending the game and taking the Cowboys to 7-3 on the season. 

While not scoring, the rushing game for the Pokes was dominant, with 142-yards out of its 236 total yards. Titus Swen led the way with 73-yards; Clemons rushed for 32.

Holton, the Rams receiver, had a big day with 168 yards, along with his punt returned for a touchdown. Running back Avery Morrow also had a standout game, with 104 yards on the ground.

The Wyoming defense put pressure on CSU’s quarterback, constantly forcing him out of the pocket and sacking him five times. Defensive end Jordan Bertagnole earned two of them.

While not much of a pretty victory, the Cowboys improve to 5-1 in Mountain West play and sits second in the Mountain division of the conference, only trailing Boise State. 

Next Saturday, Nov. 19, the Cowboys will host Boise State, where a victory would boost the Pokes’ chance at making it to the conference championship game in December. Kickoff for next week’s game will be at 5 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and the Cowboy Sports Network.

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