Eagles show out at Homecoming

Hayden Boudreaux

On the tails of a four game win streak the Eagles entered their Homecoming contest against New Mexico State with predictions of an upset. The Eagles would end up winning handedly, 56-26.

Things started slowly for both teams as both were forced to punt on their opening drives. On the Aggie’s second drive, their punter kicked a low-line drive kick that hit his own player in the back of the head, giving the Eagle’s the ball 40 yards away from their end zone. The Eagles were able to capitalize with a 20 yard touchdown run from freshman running back Wesley Fields for the first score of the night.

After forcing another punt, the Eagles took control of the ball on their own 38 yard line. On an impressive rushing display the team worked their way down the field, picking up nearly five yards a play. The drive was capped off by Matt Breida outrunning the Aggie defenders for a 20 yard touchdown run. The Eagles were on top 14-0 in the first quarter.

Things settled down until midway through the second quarter when quarterback Kevin Ellison took a designed run play 67 yards into the end zone for his first score of the night. The score would be the first of three in the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, Ramsby took the ball across the goal line from 23 yards out to give the Eagles a four score lead.

New Mexico State came to life to respond to the back to back Eagle touchdowns. They managed to pick up a huge 63 yard gain through the air before throwing another completed pass into the end zone. Not to be outdone, Ellison answered on the next drive with a 60 yard touchdown pass to Wesley Fields for both of their second scores of the night.

The Aggies began driving again and worked down the field on several big pass plays. On a deep pass play, senior safety Matt Dobson went down hard and would not return for the rest of the contest. The drive and the half would end harmlessly on a missed 43 yard field goal with the Eagles on top 35-7.

New Mexico State came out of the locker room fired up and passed the ball down the field on a 12 play 86 yard drive that ate up over four and a half minutes of the clock that ended in a touchdown. On the drive, linebacker Ironhead Gallon was disqualified due to an illegal targeting hit on the Aggie quarterback.

When the Eagles took over Breida turned on the jets and took off for a 55 yard gain to put the Eagles down at the five yard line. Ramsby ended the drive with a five yard plunge into the end zone to increase the lead to 42-14.

Prepared to answer, the Aggies dropped back and threw an interception to Antonio Glover. It was Glover’s fifth pick of the season and he took his all the way down to five yard line on a 36 yard return. This time, Upshaw took a dive up the middle to score his first touchdown of the night.

New Mexico State failed to move the ball again and was forced to punt it back to the Eagles. The next Georgia Southern drive wore down the Aggie defense with 10 plays for 66 yards that chewed up 5:16 of the clock into the fourth quarter.

With a hefty lead, head coach Willie Fritz elected to send in several backups on defense. The Aggies were able to move down the field quickly through the air and punched into the end zone for a score. Junior Eagle linebacker William Bussey was called for targeting and also ejected from the game following a booth review. The Eagles still held a big lead, 56-20 after the failed extra point.

Redshirt junior Eagle quarterback Vegas Harley took out the backup offense to help bring the game to an end. The drive was going strong after big runs from Harley but a fumble allowed the Aggies to return it 70 yards for a NMSU touchdown. They failed on the two point conversion so the lead sat at 56-26 and that was where it would finish. 

The Eagles are on now on a five game win streak and will enter the biggest conference test of the year against Appalachian State this Thursday night on ESPNU.