Lions crush Western New Mexico 58-0 on homecoming

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COMMERCE, Texas – Behind a program-record 10 sacks in the first half, the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team dashed over the Western New Mexico Mustangs, 58-0, in the Homecoming game presented by Brookshire’s on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Lions had 10 sacks in the first half, which are the most by the team in a half in program history and fell just one sack shy of tying the all-time single game record of 11.

Justice Williams (Detroit, Mich.) and Celestin Haba (Columbia, S.C.) had two sacks each, while Anthony Hayes (Panama City, Fla.), Elijah Earls (San Antonio – Stevens), and Jaylon Hodge (Houston – Fort Bend Travis) had 1.5 each. Hodge had an interception as well.

A&M-Commerce improves to 4-3 on the season and 2-1 in Lone Star Conference games, dropping Western New Mexico to 1-6 overall and 0-5 in LSC games. The Lions have played the Mustangs three times on Homecoming weekend and have outscored them 172-24 in the three games. Saturday was the first shutout for the Lions against a NCAA Division II opponent since 2017.

The Lion starting quarterback Miklo Smalls (Plano East) scored the first two touchdowns of the day, both one-yard rushes. Smalls played just the first half and had 224 passing yards on 8 for 10 passing. He threw for two touchdowns as well as an interception.

After knocking on the door all season long, Dominique Ramsey (Converse – Judson) returned a punt back for a touchdown to make it 21-0. Ramsey logged 62 yards on the punt return and he also returned another punt for a touchdown in the second half, which was negated by a penalty.

Ramsey had a role in all three facets of the game on Saturday. He made five tackles on defense, returned three punts for 68 yards, and caught a pass on offense for 10 yards.

Andrew Armstrong (Dallas – Bishop Dunne) broke away for a 74-yard touchdown, the longest play of the game for either team in the second quarter. Andrew had 82 receiving yards in the game and also caught an eight-yard touchdown pass in the second half.

The Lions had three touchdown plays for over 62 yards on Saturday. First was the punt return by Ramsey, next was the touchdown catch by Armstrong, and Kevin LeDee (Cy Ridge) scored on a 66-yard reception to give the Lions a 28-0 lead at halftime.

The Lions had just two plays all season coming into the game which gained more than 62 yards and a touchdown was scored on only one of the plays.

Jaiave Magalei came in at quarterback at halftime and threw two passes in the game, both were for touchdowns. He had a total of 13 passing yards on the two touchdown passes, one of them coming to Armstrong in the second half.

In the opening drive of the game, Matt Childers (Henderson) caught a 44-yard pass to set up the Lions in the red zone. Childers caught a five-yard pass from Magalei to score a touchdown in the third quarter. He led all receivers with three catches on the day, he totaled 59 yards on the three catches.

Jake Viquez went 7 for 8 in point-after attempts and also kicked in a 25-yard field goal in the second half. He is 11 for 14 in field goal kicks this year.

The Lions used four quarterbacks throughout the day. Shane Gosson (Missouri City – Ridge Point) took the helm of the offense in the fourth quarter and scored on an 11-yard run with two minutes left in the game to make it 58-0. Gosson had two rushes for 38 yards in the game, he did not throw a pass. Brock Nellor (Mt. Vernon) had two rushes for two yards, he also did not throw a pass.

After just 80 yards rushing last week, A&M-Commerce rushed for 283 yards this week. Carandal Hale (Greenville) gained 102 yards on 13 carries, J.T. Smith (Klein – Klein Oak) racked up 88 yards on nine carries, and Antonio Leali’ie’e (Copperas Cove) had 36 yards on four carries in the second half.

The Lion defense held Western New Mexico to 157 yards of offense and the Lion offense picked up 520 yards on offense, which is a season high.

Along with the 10 sacks, the Lions had three more tackles for loss to total 14 in the game. Kader Kohou (Euless – Trinity), Champ Mathis (DeSoto), Dominion Ezinwa (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) had a tackle for loss each.

Six Lions led the team with five tackles each: Williams, Ramsey, Earls, Hayes, Daryion Taylor (Humble – Atascocita), and Cedrick Wilcox III (Port St. Lucie, Fla.).

Williams also forced a fumble, which was recovered by Earls.

The Lions make the trip across the Lone Star state to Canyon to face West Texas A&M on Saturday, October 23 at 6 p.m.

Cross-posted from Texas A&M-Commerce Lions Athletics Communications