Silver City, N.M. – The Western New Mexico University football team picked up their first win of the season against Oklahoma Panhandle State this past Saturday, 44-21.
Senior quarterback Javia Hall had an outstanding performance that helped lead the Mustangs (1-2, 1-1 LSC) past the Aggies as he produced six touchdowns, four passing and two rushing, followed by 249 passing yards on 17 of 25 completions.
“Great job by the whole offensive staff. They found out what we are good at and came out with a good game plan”, said WNMU Head Coach Adam Clark.
OPS (1-2, 0-1 LSC) started the game off right in the first quarter as they were able to block a WNMU 23-yard field goal that put them on the scoreboard first 7-0.
It did not take long for the Mustangs to answer back on the following possession as they drove the ball down field and soon settled for a 34-yard field goal. After a defensive stop and great field position on the 50-yard line, WNMU went to work offensively. Hall put a few passes together that brought them down to the Aggies 18. On a third-and-four, Hall found an open Gordy Longville for a touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion, the Mustangs pushed themselves to the lead 9-7.
In the second quarter, WNMU found a groove offensively outscoring OPS 28-7. All four touchdowns were contributed by Hall. Three of his four touchdowns came from throws; two to Xavier Ayers for a 75 and 25-yard pass, and one to Treydonte Hill for a 47-yard pass. Hall also pounded in one rushing touchdown for 14-yards. With an Aggies touchdown, the Mustangs went into halftime with the lead, 37-14.
“It’s a lot better to jump out in front with some momentum. We ran with it into the first half that gave us a great advantage”, said Coach Clark.
It was a slow start for both teams as neither teams were able to score on their opening possession of the third quarter. Finally, starting on their own 8, OPS capped off a 92-yard touchdown drive that cut the lead, 37-21. WNMU’s closest chance to scoring came in mid-quarter. On the Aggies 34 and faced with a fourth-and-nine, Hall scrambled for two yards but could not find the first down mark.
Opening up the fourth quarter, the Aggies brought the ball down field to the WNMU’s own 2- yard line. After a few stop, OPS was faced with a 4th and goal. Quarterback Shane Truelove was looking for wide receiver Eddie Thomas but the pass was deflected by Mustang’s Dominic Barry that forced a turnover on downs.
This would not shake WNMU’s offense as Hall drove in a 14-yard rushing touchdown with 5:44 left to play. This would be the final score of the game as the Mustangs went on to take the win 44-21.
As a team, the Mustangs racked up 461 yards of offense; 283 passing and 178 rushing. The Aggies came away with 438 of total offense; 252 passing and 186 rushing.
Offensively, Ayers stacked up 118 yards of receiving on five receptions with two touchdowns. Both Hill and Longville added a touchdown each. On the other side of the ball, Barry and AJ Smith had 8 tackles each, followed by an interception from Steven Stewart.
“It’s tough to come off to back-to-back losses. Today we went out and did a lot of great things”, said Coach Clarke.
The Mustangs will be looking to add another win to their schedule as they will be traveling to UT Permian Basin this Saturday.