Preston Williams scores three touchdowns in season-ending loss

The final chapter of the 2018 season has been written for Colorado State football (3-9).

In a Thanksgiving showdown between Mountain West rivals, the Rams fell to the Air Force Falcons, 27-19 at the Academy Thursday.

The game plan for CSU was clearly to get the football to Preston Williams, and the 6-foot-4 wide receiver did not disappoint. Collin Hill (QB) targeted Williams three times on the first offensive series and that trend continued throughout the game as Air Force struggled to contain him on the outside. The Tennessee transfer finished the game with 12 catches for 248 yards and all three of CSU’s touchdowns.

Williams’ first touchdown of the day came with 7:07 remaining in the second quarter. The redshirt junior created separation with a post corner route and Hill hit him in stride for the score.

Down 17-6 after Wyatt Bryan missed the extra point, the Rams went back to Williams repeatedly, ending the first half with eight straight targets for No. 11. By the end of the first half, the athletic wideout had eight receptions for 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns; including a 58-yard touchdown with only 26 seconds left in the second quarter to cut the Falcons’ lead to four (17-13).

Preston Williams (No. 11) hauls in a reception against Utah State on Nov. 17.   PHOTO:   Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian

Preston Williams (No. 11) hauls in a reception against Utah State on Nov. 17. PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian

Following a red zone interception early in the third quarter, Hill was removed from the game with a concussion. Playing in relief of Hill, K.J. Carta-Samuels led the offense in the final quarter and the passing offense continued to move the ball down the field at will.

On his first series, Carta-Samuels completed all three pass attempts and delivered a 31-yard touchdown pass to Williams, his third of the day. Unfortunately for the Rams, Bryan’s PAT was blocked, so the Falcons kept the lead (20-19).

With a chance to put the game away, Air Force was able to respond with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, taking 6:18 off the clock in the process (27-19). The drive was symbolic of the entire ballgame as the Rams struggled to contain Air Force’s advanced rushing attack. Cole Fafan racked up 34 carries for 260 yards and the Falcons totalled 395 rushing yards as a team. As a result, Air Force was able to dominate the time of possession, 38:31-21:29.

The Rams would ultimately get one last chance to tie the game, but after driving down the field, Carta-Samuels was picked off.

The loss to the Falcons is CSU’s fifth consecutive and concludes a disappointing year fear for the Rams.

PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian