Western New Mexico Tops OPSU 27-9
- by Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports on 10/29/05
Goodwell, OK - The Mustangs of Western New Mexico topped
Oklahoma Panhandle State, 27-9, here on Saturday. Both teams
are part of the Independent Football Alliance (IFA). The
Aggies did not play badly, but turnovers and a pair of placekicking
miscues changed the complexion of the game.
OPSU started off well enough, and thanks in large measure
to a great 49-yard run by James Stephens, the Aggies had a
nice opening drive. However, OPSU could not translate their
efforts to the scoreboard as Hal Rogers missed a 26-yard field
goal attempt. The Mustangs got on the board with two minutes
left in the opening quarter on a Lateef Azziz six-yard run
and the extra point that followed.
Though starting the second period down
7-0, the Aggies still appeared to be the better team on the
field. The OPSU defense played tough in the second quarter,
but the Aggie “O” could
only muster a 28-yard Rogers field goal and went to halftime
With just over eight minutes left in the third period, the
Aggies took the lead on a one yard smash by the dependable
David Daniels. After a missed extra point, the scoreboard
showed the Aggies ahead, 9-7. Western New Mexico came right
back with their own good drive, and after a Brett Spence
five yard TD run and Kevin Hughes’ PAT, the Mustangs
were back on top, 14-9.
In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs tacked on a pair of touchdowns
and one PAT to give the visiting team the 27-9 victory. Though
the Aggies had the edge in most statistical categories, including
first downs (19-16) and total net yards (339-259), their season
record fell to 1-9.
Daniels led the Aggie rushing with 86 yards in 17 tries and
the touchdown, and Stephens picked up 84 yards in just nine
tries. Orlando Vargas carried the ball only once, and it was
a nice 16-yarder. Freshman Gabe Gillmore led the OPSU passing
attack with six completions in 11 attempts for 113 yards.
Clifford Dean, the IFA’s Most Valuable
Defensive Player last season, heard his name over the public
address system several times. The senior linebacker was in
on ten tackles (including two tackles for losses and a quarterback
sack) plus he broke up a pass. Ranoaldo Davis was in on nine
tackles, one a quarterback sack. Jeborric Evans (All-American
last season), had eight solo tackles and made an acrobatic
interception that stopped a Mustang drive near the goal line.
With the win, Western New Mexico upped their record to 5-4.
The Aggies will end their season next Saturday at home in the
inaugural EPIC TOUCH Bowl. Their opponent will be Truman State