AWC at NMMI football preview
(11) Arizona Western at New Mexico Military Institute
Kickoff: 1 p.m. today, Colt Field, Roswell
Media: Radio - 560 KBLU; Internet - www.azwestern.edu/athletics
Last game: The Matadors lost to Glendale 34-33 in overtime. ... The Broncos won a shootout in Scottsdale 64-45.
Records: Matadors (6-1 overall, 5-1 Western States Football League); Broncos (5-4, 3-3)
Players to watch: He didn’t play the first game and a half, but DeSean Martin has made his presence felt with a WSFL-leading 548 yards for AWC. ... Delvon Carpenter is a double threat for the Broncos, leading the team in receiving (15 catches, 329 yards, two TDs) but also averages 36.7 yards per kick return.
The lowdown: The Matadors play their first game in almost two years out of the national championship picture after the shocking home loss in overtime. They look to right the ship in Roswell, where they won 28-25 in 2010, but had lost in their three prior trips — including 40-33 in 2009 under current AWC coach Tom Minnick. ... The Matadors had a 10-point lead last week in the fourth but couldn’t hold on. There were a number of miscues leading up to Tilghman Harvey’s missed extra point that would have tied the game in overtime — the Matadors got into the red zone in the fourth quarter but couldn’t score; the Gauchos threw for more than 250 yards in the second half and 160 in the fourth quarter and overtime; and perhaps biggest of all a celebration penalty on Markeith Ambles’ somersault into the end zone from the 3-yard line that negated the touchdown and forced AWC to settle for a field goal. ... Ambles is the WSFL’s leading receiver with 30 catches, 618 yards and five touchdowns. ... The average score of a NMMI game this year is 37-36. ... Quinn Billerman tossed five touchdowns last week and has thrown for more than 1,200 yards this year for NMMI. ... Tanner McEvoy has thrown for 1,452 yards this year for AWC and led the team in rushing last week.