Cowboys win the Bronze Boot at Border War

The 106th iteration of The Border War took place Saturday, Nov. 4, at War Memorial Stadium. Despite the snowfall the (5-3) Wyoming Cowboys beat their cross-state rivals the (6-3) Colorado State Rams and won the Bronze Boot.

The Rams were able to get on the board first, with kicker Wyatt Bryan scoring a 41-yard field goal on the opening drive. The Drive also saw a 36-yard run from No. 1 running back D Dalyn Dawkins. The Cowboys were not able to respond with their opening drive resulting in a 3 and out after an untimely false start penalty.

The following CSU drive started with momentum getting three first downs before having their momentum slowed by a false start penalty and had to punt the ball away. They were able to pin the Cowboys on their own 6 yard line. The Pokes were able to get their first first down of the game off a 10-yard run from quarterback Josh Allen. Allen has a rush for at least 10 yards in seven of his last nine games.

Poke defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan was able to sack CSU quarterback Nick Stevens, leading to third and 20. Linebacker for the Cowboys, Cassh Maluia got another sack the very next play leaving it fourth and 21 for the Rams. The Cowboys Offense was able to keep the momentum the Defense created alive, converting 3 first downs before the end of the first quarter. With Allen completing a 21-yard pass to wide receiver Austin Conway.

The Cowboys opened the first quarter hot with a 21-yard pass to running back Trey Woods putting the Pokes on the CSU 3-yard-line. After a Woods rush for a loss of seven, Wyoming Kicker Cooper Rothe made a field goal from 25 yards out. Tying the score at 3-3 with 13:10 left in the second quarter.

The Rams retaliated putting together a 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a one yard rush for CSU running back Izzy Matthews. The drive took up 6 minutes and 20 seconds and after the PAT was made by Bryan the score was 10-3 in favor of the Rams.

Colorado and Wyoming traded uneventful drives, Wyoming was able to get the ball back a minute before the end of the half. With 8 seconds left in the half Wyoming called a timeout for a final attempt to score before the half. But a quick pass to Cowboy wide receiver C.J Johnson left them with 3 seconds left on the clock and Rothe ended the half by making a 43-yard field goal.

The score heading into half was 10-6 CSU on top. Stats for the Cowboys at the half consisted of 137 total yards of offense averaging 5.1 yards a play, the CSU stats were 201 total yards of offense averaging 5.3 yards a play.

The Pokes got the ball to start the second half and started with the ball on their 26. A unique play from the Cowboys where they hid Conway behind the offensive line at the start of the play resulted in a 40-yard rush. Rothe capitalized on the drive with a 32-yard field goal bringing the score to 10-9 Rams. This field goal marked Rothes career high of 3 made field goals in a game.

Due to the heavy snow the Rams went to the run game for the next drive and were able to drive down to the pokes 28 until they were stopped for a 4th and 8. The Rams decided to try and go for the 4th down conversion. They were able to convert after a pass to number 9 Warren Jackson leading to a first down at the Wyoming 15.

CSU lined up for a 34 yard field goal to cap off the drive, however the snap was mishandled and the ball was turned over on downs. Wyoming got the ball on their own 25 to start their drive. The Pokes were not able to get a drive going and went three and out.

CSU would get the ball on their 22 with only 36 seconds left in the third quarter and after a rush for a loss of a yard by Detrich Clark, CSU decided to run the clock into the fourth.

The Rams started off the fourth with a 33-yard pass to Dalton Fackrell. Which brought them into Wyoming territory. The Rams pieced together a couple of good runs and brought themselves to the Pokes 13-yard-line.

The Cowboys defense were able to stop CSU and make them attempt a field goal from the 17-yard-line. And Bryan was able to convert bringing the score to 13-9 Wyoming.

The Cowboys started the ensuing drive on their 25 after a touchback. After an 11-yard pass complete to fullback Drew Van Maanen. Allen went on a quarterback keeper and fumbled giving the ball back to CSU on the Wyoming 49 with 10:03 left in the game.

The Cowboys managed to stop the Rams on the Cowboy 30, after an attempted fourth down conversion. Allen was able to complete a pass to Van Maanen who made a diving leap to make the catch, Van Maanen was injured on the play, he was able to get off the field under his own power.

Running Back Kellen Overstreet capitalized on the catch with a 16-yard rush that was combined with a facemask call on the Rams, bringing the ball to the CSU 21. The Poke drive was finished with a 3-yard touchdown run from Overstreet, and after Rothe made the PAT the score was 16-14 in favor of the Wyoming Cowboys.

The score would remain the same throughout the last few minutes of the game and the Cowboys would take home the Bronze Boot.

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