Hopefully, the Fort Lewis Skyhawks fans enjoyed their Homecoming tailgate party on Saturday.

Because as soon as the football game started, Colorado Mesa University dominated Fort Lewis in every aspect of the game, spoiling the Skyhawks’ homecoming with a 42-0 victory.

The Mavericks started strong and never looked back to improve to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Fort Lewis falls to 2-5, 1-4 in the RMAC.

CMU got off to a quick start with an efficient offense and a shut-down defense. Mesa led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and took a 28-0 lead into halftime. The Mavericks finished with a commanding lead in statistics as well, racking up 452 yards to 169 by the Skyhawks.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Aric Kaiser hooked up with senior receiver Nate Neville for a pair of first-half TD passes, the first for 32 yards and the second for 52. Neville’s second gave the Mavs a 21-0 lead before halftime. But Fort Lewis put together a drive and looked as if they would score at the end of the half to take momentum into the break.

That’s when CMU junior linebacker Mark Palacios sacked quarterback Max Baiz and the ball popped free – and right into the hands of fellow Mav linebacker Andrew Hurley, who scampered 84 yards for a touchdown, a 28-0 lead and took any remaining wind out of the Skyhawks’ … wings.

The Mavericks added 14 points in the 3rd quarter for the final margin, and the defense managed their second shutout of the season.

CMU returns home next Saturday for homecoming against Colorado School of Mines. Kickoff will be at 1:00 at Stocker Stadium