April 16, 2011

Silver beats Cherry 41-0 in battle of Lobos

The University of New Mexico football team did something Saturday afternoon it had gotten pretty good at over the last two seasons - the Lobos beat themselves.

In this case, that was not all bad.

The Silver team beat the Cherry 41-0 in the annual spring game in front of an official crowd of 1,450 at University Stadium. After a 0-0 score at halftime, the Cherry squad scored 38 points in the third quarter. That is more points than the Lobos scored in 11 of their 12 games last season enroute to their second consecutive 1-11 record.

Quarterback Tarean Austin changed teams at halftime and it made a tremendous difference. He was 8-for-9 in the second half without an interception. He was impressive in the third quarter after an unspectacular first half.

The Cherry team scored five touchdowns in the third quarter with five different players crossing the goal. One of the most impressive was a 52-yard interception return by linebacker Joe Stoner, a junior from Midwest City, Okla.

``I liked the guys' competitiveness today,'' said UNM coach Mike Locksley. ``We've still got a lot of work to do but our athleticism has increased.''

Locksley really liked some of the things he saw on the field. ``Our unity is amazing. We've got a group of guys who are coming together.''

The Cherry scored on a 35-yard pass from Austin to Andrew Aho, a 5-yard run by James Wright, Stoner's pass interception, a 36-yard run by Demarcus Rogers and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Joe Harris. To top the day off, James Aho kicked a 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

``I started off pretty slow,'' Austin admitted. ``As the game went on, I got comfortable. We've got guys who can make plays down the line. They are all go-to receivers for me.''

UNM's starting quarterback from last season, B.R. Holbrook, had knee surgery at the end of the season and did not participate in spring drills. He is expected to be available for the season. ``I've got a rule that you don't lose your starting position to injury. We need to get B.R. healthy,'' Locksley noted.

The leading rusher in the game was quarterback Stump Godfrey, who had 77 yards on 10 carries, but he had trouble holding onto the ball and finished with three fumbles, only one lost. Wright finished with 69 yards on 19 carries. Rodgers ran for 54 yards and Kasey Carrier had 49.

Austin was 14 of 27 passing for 206 yards with two first-half interceptions. Godrey finished 11 for 24 with no interceptions.

The Lobos open their season on Sept. 3 with a home game against Colorado State, one of only two teams they have beaten in the last two seasons.

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