Texas Lions A & M-Commerce Celebrate Homecoming Against Western New Mexico | Sports


Texas A&M University-Commerce will celebrate the homecoming and look to return to the football winning column today against western New Mexico.

The Lone Star Conference contest is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. at Ernest Hawkins Stadium in Memorial Stadium in Commerce. KETR-FM (88.9) will broadcast the game.

A & M-Commerce, who started the season nationally, are 3-3 after losing 20-17 in overtime last week at home to Saginaw Valley State of Michigan.

Western New Mexico is 1-5. The Mustangs have lost their last five games after winning their first game of the season 35-17 at Adams State, Colorado. Western New Mexico fell 49-14 to Western Colorado, 42-14 to West Texas A&M, 27-19 to UT Permian Basin, 62-3 to Angelo State and 50-47 last week to compete. with eastern New Mexico.

Last week’s loss marred A&M-Commerce quarterback Miklo Smalls’ return with a knee injury. Smalls missed the 2020 season with the team due to the pandemic, so last week’s game was his first in two years. Smalls, who had 3,010 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2019, had 22 of 36 passes in last week’s game for 193 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished with four rushing yards in 10 carries including a long gain of 10 yards.

“We were delighted that Miklo returned,” said Lions coach David Bailiff.

“Miklo was a bit inconsistent,” the bailiff said. “He will do nothing but improve. It didn’t seem like the leg was bothering him at all. Unusually, he throws two interceptions. It’s not like him.

Saginaw Valley State running back Tommy Scott Jr. scored on a 6-yard rush in first overtime to pass the Lions, who lost the toss and had to go first in overtime after both teams drew 14-14 in regulation time. The Lions were content with Jake Viquer’s 27-yard field goal in overtime after Smalls was sacked for a 3-yard loss in third and four from the Cardinals’ 7-yard line, Scott rounded the right end for the touchdown after the Lions defense has been penalized twice for offside.

The A&M-Commerce running game fought against the Cardinals, recording just 80 yards on 39 carries for an average gain of just 2.1 yards per carry.

“Our inability to establish a running game, you know, really hurt us,” the bailiff said.

“It’s a puzzle,” he said. “We have to understand why we can’t establish a running game consistently. We have five big horses up there. You know, this is something that we really have to look at. What we do during the week does not keep us running football consistently. We have excellent running backs. “

Antonio Leali’ie’e leads the Lion rushers with 205 yards on 36 carries. EJ Thompson rushed for 200 and two TDs in 54 carries and former Greenville Lion Carandal Hale has 174 yards and two TDs in 30 carries.

Western New Mexico fell last week to compete with the East in the Green Chile Bowl despite a 47-36 lead in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Devin Larsen, a 6-3, 205-pound freshman from Gilbert, Ariz., Leads the Mustangs offense. He has 132 of 231 passes for 1,279 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions.

Josh Powell, a 5-9, 173-pound senior wide receiver from St. Louis, leads Mustang receivers with 39 catches for 234 yards. Bryce Coleman caught 21 for 152 and a touchdown. James Hoben caught 13 for 142 yards.

Western New Mexico is averaging 91 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry. Coleman, a 5-9, 185-pound senior from Tucson, Ariz., Leads with 251 yards and three touchdowns on 70 carries.

A & M-Commerce is 4-0 in the short streak with the Mustangs, including wins of 62-21 in 2019, 55-7 in 2018, 52-3 in 2017 and 38-24 in 2016. The 2019 and 2017 trumps the Mustangs were on the return of the Lions.

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