Aggie FB Flashback: Aggies Defeat Rival UNM 24-13

Star Freshman Paul Dombrowski rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries and one rushing touchdown to lead the New Mexico State Aggies (1-2) to a 24-13 victory over interstate rival the University of New Mexico (2-3) Saturday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Paul Dombrowski (Hesperia, Calif., Sultana HS), the first freshman quarterback to start since Ty Houghtaling in 1996, played for injured Buck Pierce (Gasquet, Calif., Del Norte HS), who was sidelined with a bruised shoulder suffered at the University of California game two weeks ago. Dombrowski was 5-for-11 through the air, for 54 yards passing. Aggie quarterbacks have not thrown an interception in three games this season.

Dombrowski is just the fourth Aggie quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards in a game. David Spriggs was the last NMSU quarterback to run for more than 100 yards, accomplishing the feat against Texas-El Paso in 1978.

The Aggies, coming off a 53-0 loss to the Lobos last year, improved Aggie Head Coach Tony Samuel's record to 3-3 against the Lobos since coming to NMSU in 1997. Samuel used a powerful running game, compiling 287 yards on the ground, to defeat a Lobo's team that committed 12 penalties for 90 yards, but out-gained the Aggies 331-316.

Senior Walter Taylor (Hobbs, N.M., Hobbs HS) added 78 yards on nine carries and junior Eric Higgins (Lexington, Kent., Reedly JC/Dunbar HS) added 54 yards on 13 carries as the Aggies ran the ball 49 times, compared to 11 passing plays. The running game allowed the Aggies to dominate the clock, with a 32:26 to 27:34 advantage.

Leading the Aggies defensively was senior Darrell Bernard (Miami, Fla., West Hills College), who recorded 10 tackles, including two for a loss. Sophomore Richard Glover (Las Cruces, N.M., Bakersfield CC/Onate HS) grabbed the Aggies' first interception of the year and posted six tackles, one for a loss. Junior Joe Olivo (Milton, Mass., Xaverian Brothers/West Point Prep) recorded one sack and five tackles.

For the Lobos, Casey Kelly completed 19 of 34 passes for 233 yards. Dontrell Moore lead the Lobo rushing attack, gaining 79 yards on 20 carries.

The Aggies got on the scoreboard first on a 52-yard field goal by Dario Aguiniga (Tijuana, Mexico, Marion Catholic HS). The field goal was the second field goal of 50 or more yards for Aguiniga in two straight games and was a personal record. The Aggies would end the first quarter with a 3-0 lead.

The Lobos would open the second quarter with an one-yard run by Casey, taking a 7-3 lead. the Lobos drive went 13 plays, for 89 yards and took almost six minutes off the clock.

The Aggies answered quickly, driving 73 yards on five plays, highlighted by Dombrowski's 50 yard run, taking the Aggies to the Lobo 10 yard line. The Lobos defense would stop the Aggies at the two yard line, opening the door for Aguiniga's second field goal of the night from 19-yards, closing the gap to 7-6.

Aguiniga would attempt a 51-yard field goal with :26 seconds left in the second quarter, but pushed the ball just left of the uprights. The miss ended a 14 play, 56 yard drive by the Aggies. The Aggies and Lobos would go to the lockeroom with the Lobos leading 7-6.

Following a three-and-out to start the third quarter, the Aggies would get a break when Glover intercepted Casey on the Lobos' 47. The Aggie offense capitalized quickly, driving 47 yards and five plays and scoring on a one-yard run by Dombrowski. The Aggies would add a two point conversion to take a 14-7 lead.

The Aggies would increase their lead on Aguiniga's third field goal of the night. The 42-yard field goal capped a 14 play, 39 yard drive that took 7:55 off the clock, giving the Aggies a 17-7 lead.

The Lobos would answer on their next possession, driving 80 yards on 13 plays, scoring on a one-yard run by Moore with 8:20 left in the game. The Lobos would miss the extra point and would trail the Aggies 17-13. Moore rushed for 32 yards on the drive.

The Aggies put the game out of reach when Higgins scored on an eight-yard run, giving the Aggies a 24-13 lead. The score ended a six play, 80-yard drive. Higgins rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown.

The game ended with a number of Aggie fans charging the field and tearing down the goal post in the south end of the stadium and the Aggie players celebrating at midfield.

A crowd of 28,587, the largest to witness an Aggie-Lobo game at Aggie Memorial Stadium, witnessed the 93rd meeting between the two teams

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