Air Force’s Lakota Wills (9) correctly signals the landing in the first quarter on Saturday at University Stadium against New Mexico. (Roberto E. Rosales / Journal)
Albuquerque renewed its tradition of having a multitude of hot air balloons in the morning sky on the first weekend of October.
On the University Stadium field, the Air Force Academy revived its dominance of the New Mexico soccer team with a 38-10 defeat in the Lobos’ Mountain West Conference kick-off ahead of 13,158 Saturday night announced.
It was the Lobos’ fourth straight defeat to AFA when UNM (4-1, 1-1) lost their third straight game, falling to 2-3. The Lobos had very few responses to the Falcons’ vaunted triple option, which rushed the AFA to number one in the nation. The Lobos became the AFA’s youngest victims.
The Falcons stacked 408 yards, which was their season high, led by defenseman Brad Roberts (29 carries, 142 yards, 2 TDs).
Trae Hall, a UNM quarterback who played receiver, caught a 21-yard pass from quarterback Terry Wilson for the Lobos’ only touchdown. It was the UNM’s second TD in a span of 37 possessions.
However, AFA responded with a vintage 14 play, all runs, 75 yard drive to resume its dominance.
In what turned out to be of minimal concern, UNM Senior Mannie Logan-Greene and Redshirt student Andrew Erickson, both starting wide receivers, as well as freshman tight end Trace Bruckler returned and were available after being out due to one last week COVID-19-positive cases were missing in the team and subsequent contact tracing protocols.
Wide receivers Keyonta Lanier, a starter, Elijah Queen and Zarak Scruggs Jr. were absent from the Lobos and stayed out after missing last week.
The Falcons absolutely dominated the first half, scoring a goal on their first four possession of the ball, seemingly ending the game with a 24-0 lead. The only thing the Air Force could stop in the first half was the clock as the time ran out during their fifth possession.
The Falcons went for 190 rushing yards with 41 carries to take complete control in the first half. Quarterback Haaziq Daniels ended his one-pass attempt of the half and walked 33 yards to Brandon Lewis, who led to Brad Roberts’ 2-yard touchdown with 63 seconds to go in the first half, for a 24-0 lead achieve. Daniels finished 1-to-2 on his passes.
The Lobos had only one first down with a 46 yard attack in the first half. They were marked five times for 45 yards.
The dominance of the AFA was evident in the time of possession, with the Falcons using the Lobos in the first half from 23:03 to 6:57.