NMMI Sports Press
The New Mexico Military Institute Colt football team earned their second straight victory of the season – and their first on the road – coming from behind against Texico for a 25-14 win.
The start of the game looked bleak, with NMMI giving up two touchdowns to the Wolverines in the first quarter, one on Texico’s opening drive, and another on their third possession with 3:47 left in the period.
“I was disappointed with the way we came out to start the game,” said head Colt coach Randy Montoya. “Not sure if was just because it was the first away game of the season, or what, but we got in the hole quick and had some major adversity.”
The Wolverines racked up just under 100 yards of total offense in that initial quarter, including 80+ yards on the ground, most of it to Texico starting tailback Chris Harrison, who had both TDs, one rushing and one through the air.
But the Institute tightened up their defense, got the ball back to their offense – and big O-linemen up front – and put together a 10-play, 51-yard touchdown drive of their own, eating up over six minutes of the clock to make it a 14-6 ballgame with 6:06 remaining the second quarter. Senior quarterback Jasper Best capped the drive with an 8-yard scramble into the end zone. The extra point attempt was blocked, and that’s where the score stayed at halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, NMMI put together another 51-yard drive in seven plays. This time it was Charles Lewis tipping the left pylon on a 6-yard pitch sweep to pay-dirt. The two-point conversion pass from Best to junior fullback Gus Curnutt was incomplete, however, and NMMI still trailed, 14-12.
NMMI scored again less than five minutes later to put them out in front. Junior linebacker Arturo Genda intercepted a Texico pass to give NMMI possession at their own 47. Seven running plays later, Curnutt plunged across the goal line on a 6-yard dive up the middle, putting NMMI up 18-14, with 4:04 left in the third. Another attempt at the two-point conversion failed.
The NMMI defense forced a quick four-in-out on the Wolverine’s next possession. The Institute offense then went to work. They didn’t manage to score, but they did consume almost eight minutes of the clock on a 15-play, 62-yard drive which stalled on a failed fourth and four try on the Texico 16 yard line.
With 3:54 remaining in regulation, Texico got the ball back, but managed just two yards in four downs against the stingy Colt defense.
NMMI regained possession at the Wolverine 18 and Lewis rushed in for his second TD of the night three plays later to ensure the ‘W’. Junior placekicker Amjad Hamza kicked the conversion over the crossbar, making the final 25-14.
“I’m proud of the how the kids responded,” said coach Montoya. “In the second half, we kind of just imposed our will, did a great job up front, and the running backs ran hard.”
NMMI collected 258 total yard of offense in the win, while giving up just 131 total yards to Texico. Curnutt was again NMMI’s top rusher with 77 yards on 16 carriers, but halfbacks Lewis and senior Jalil Brown were close behind with 69 yards on 10 attempts and 61 yards on 15 rushes, respectively.
The win puts NMMI at 2-1 on the year, while Texico drops to 1-2. Next up for the Colts will be another away game, against the Hagerman Bobcats on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 PM MDT.
“We’ve got another road-test against a scrappy Hagerman team” said Montoya. “We’ll relish this win this weekend, then get back to getting better and improving come Monday.”