Here's the write-up from our recent football trip to Alpine...
Broncos open season with 24-14 victory
ALPINE, TEXAS (Staff reports) - Class is now in session at the New Mexico Military Institute, and the Bronco football team has already passed their first test, downing Sul Ross State University 24-14.
Head coach Jeff Lynn and his Bronco footballers traveled to Alpine, Texas this weekend, their first of four straight road games, to face the Lobos in the season openers for both squads.
Adding a bit of hype to the match-up, Drew Bridges, NMMI's new offensive coordinator, is not only a Sul Ross alumnus, he also coached there from 2002 to 2006.
After an auspicious start of, "one, two, three, punt," for their first three offensive series and only one first down in their first four possessions, it looked like it could be a long night for coach Bridges and new freshman QB Ryan Perez. Perez was 0-4 in passing, and the NMMI running game had netted only three yards in eight tries. Adding insult to injury, Sul Ross managed to score a touchdown on their first possession, and narrowly missed a 36-yard field goal on their next. At the end of the first quarter, Sul Ross led 7-0.
The fourth straight NMMI punt started the 2nd quarter, and after two Sul Ross first downs drove the ball deep into NMMI territory at the 34-yard line, the Bronco Black Swarm defense got a huge stop on a fourth-and-4. This seemed to inspire the offense, as they put together a 15 play, 66-yard drive into the end zone, capped by a 2-yard touchdown run on fourth down by Darien Crawford. Freshman kicker Brandon Posey, from Rio Rancho High School, tied things up at seven, with a successful point after.
At halftime it was tied, 7-7.
The Bronco 'D' again got a quick stop of the Lobo offense, after the kickoff to begin the second half. Linebacker Ronald Pierre picked up his first sack of the year on a third and 13, and again the Bronco offense responded to the inspired play of its defense. This time they put together a 17 play, 75-yard drive, eating 6:30 seconds off the clock. QB Ryan Perez threw a 5-yard strike to Darien Crawford for the touchdown. Posey again made the point after and the Broncos were now up 14-7. At the end of the third, the score was still 14-7, but NMMI was threatening to score again.And score again, they did, only five plays into the fourth quarter.
Running back Anthony Landrum punched the ball in from the 1-yard line, completing another 75-yard drive by the Broncos. Posey hit the point after and it was now 21-7. A forced fumble by the NMMI defense caused by safety Travis Silafau and corner Ty Hendrix set up NMMI's final score, a 35-yard field goal by Posey.
Sul Ross' final score was set up by some poor punt coverage and missed tackles, allowing the Lobos a start from the NMMI 42-yard line. The Lobos needed only five plays themselves to score, but it was perhaps already too late, as only 3:44 remained after an 8-yard touchdown run. A final drive by the Bronco offense left no doubt about the offensive capabilities of the Red Strike offense and erased any uneasiness of its initial shaky start. They took the ball from their 29, all the way to the Sul Ross 1-yard line before time ran out.
"We've just got to learn to come ready to play and start out strong," said head coach Lynn, with a slight smile and look of relief on his face. He'll have some time to help coax and coach, as the Bronco are off next week. Their next game will be 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 13, against Cisco Junior College in Midland, Texas.
The BEST parts of the trip: winning, singing with the kids in the car on the 5 1/2 hour drive, spending the night w/ Mr. Bic and Miss Meredith, seeing Ava & the Wrights, the kids napping on the way home.
Now, the honest truth from the trip. I miss Alpine. I miss the area. I miss the people. I miss the weather. I miss the whole stinkin' place. I didn't realize it until we were driving into town. The stadium is an important part of my history with Drew. Watching him coach the Sul Ross Lobos was a huge part of our dating. I'd go to a game, he'd coach, we'd go out after. And Alpine is where we set up our first home. Welcomed home our son. Found friends. Fell in love with a church family. And I miss it.
But now we are in Roswell & learning to find our way here.
Last night, we joined a church.
Here's to making new memories!