Silver City, N.M. – A fourth quarter outburst from No. 10. Midwestern State University led them to the win, 43-22, over the Western New Mexico University football team last Saturday during homecoming.
Even though WNMU outgained MSU in total yards of offense 467 to 398 and in time of possession 35:35 to 24:25, Midwestern’s 22 point fourth quarter helped them attain the win.
Individually for the Mustangs, Hall earned 286 yards of passing on 27 of 46 passes with two touchdowns. Williams led the team in rushing with 146 yards of rushing and one touchdown. Ayers brought in 156 yards of receiving with two touchdowns.
WNMU’s linebacker Dominic Barry led the team with nine tackles, followed by Leo Marin and Lenier Lee with six tackles each.
In opening play, WNMU’s offense had a chance to put points on the board first. Running back DeAndre Williams handled a few carries to take them to nearly midfield. Then quarterback Javia Hall completed a few passes that positioned them on MSU’s 22. Faced with a fourth-and-seven, Western elected to go for it instead of kicking the field goal. This ultimately led to a turnover on downs when Hall could not complete a pass to wide receiver Raeshawn Lee.
Both teams went back and forth during the quarter until MSU finally broken open the score. Midwestern quarterback Quade Coward found an open receiver for a four-yard touchdown pass that put the first points on the board, 7-0.
Early in the second quarter, MSU’s offense faced a second-and-five and Coward was able to connect to his wide receiver for a 63-yard touchdown pass, making the score 14-0.
On the ensuring drive, Western faced a fourth-and-two on their own 40-yard line. With the punting unit on the field, Williams took the direct snap and earned himself a 43-yard gain and a first down. Now on Midwestern’s 17, WNMU attempted a 35-yard field goal but missed it wide left.
After a quick three-and out by Midwestern, Western attained possession and brought the ball down to their own 45. Then what looked like to be run play by Williams, he decided to toss it back to Hall for a flea flicker. With wide receiver Xavier Ayers open downfield, Hall threw the ball to him for a 55-yard touchdown pass that cut the deficit to just one touchdown, 14-7. This would be the last score of the half as MSU went into halftime with the lead.
Early in the third quarter, Western was forced to punt. Midwestern’s returner was back to receive the kick but was unable to handle the ball which led to a fumble. Luckily, WNMU’s Ian Davis was there to recover the ball that put them in great field position at MSU’s 30. Now with Western in scoring position on the 4-yard line, Williams handled the ball and rushed in for a touchdown. After a missed extra point attempt by Tyler Vargas, the Mustangs were still trailing, 14-13.
With 1:52 left in the third quarter, MSU put together a 12 play, 65 yard drive that led to a touchdown, pushing their lead 21-13.
WNMU was forced to punt on their next drive on their own 44 and again a MSU returner fumbled the ball and was recovered by Davis on MSU’s 28.
As the drive continued into the fourth quarter, Midwestern’s defense came up big twice. Western was faced with a third and goal, only one yard out from the touchdown. WNMU decided to run a quarterback sneak with Hall but was stopped just short. On following play, WNMU decided to go for it on fourth and goal, but again was stopped by MSU as Hall tried for another sneak.
This would work out for WNMU as defensive end Aaron Leauma stop the MSU’s rushing carrier in their end zone for a safety, cutting the deficit 21-15.
On the kickoff, Treydonte Hill was back to return but was unable to handle the kick and would be stopped down on WNMU’s 12 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Hall was scanning for a wide receiver but was sacked by a MSU defender that forced Hall to fumble which would then be recovered by MSU.
Midwestern took advantage of the field position and scored for a four yard rushing touchdown. After a successful two point-conversion, MSU was in the lead, 29-15.
WNMU was able to score once more in mid-quarter thanks to an Ayers touchdown pass from Hall, but MSU would eventually end up with the win, 44-22.
The Mustangs now hold a 2-3 overall record and a 2-2 record in the Lone Star Conference. Their next game will be away against Tarleton State with the game beginning at 7 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturday.