After falling behind 7-0, junior quarterback Dustin Vaughn found fellow junior Lance Ratliff for a 57-yard touchdown strike tying the game at 7-7. After Pueblo scored a touchdown on their next drive, junior Aaron Harris capped off a WT scoring drive with a seven-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14.
The Buffs were unable to put up any more points before the half. However, a seven-yard touchdown run from J.B. Matthews and a late field goal gave the Thunderwolves a 24-14 halftime lead.
WT got a 62 yard touchdown pass from Vaughn to Ratliff, but were unable to complete the two-point conversion. Pueblo kicked two field goals in third quarter to take a 30-20 lead into the fourth.
An interception returned for a touchdown gave Pueblo a 37-20 lead before Vaughn hit junior Torrence Allen for a 75 yard touchdown that brought it back to a 10 point game. Despite redshirt freshman Geremy Aldridge scoring a one-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the game, the Buffs were unable to rally late.
“Our defense played pretty well, we did not allow any long passes, but we did not tackle well,” Head Coach Don Carthel said.
Freshman Calvin Burns led WT’s rushing attack with 4 runs for 41 yards, while Harris had nine carries for 34 yards and one touchdown. Ratliff finished with seven catches for 153 yards and two scores and Allen had nine catches for 164 yards and one score. Vaughn was 28 of 45 passing for 380 yards with three touchdowns and a pick.
“Vaughn executed the offense very well and was in sync with receivers Torrence Allen and Lance Ratliff,” said Coach Carthel.
The Buffs will play their home opener on Sept. 8 against Western State. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.