Prospector from El Paso, Texas on September 14, 1976 · Page 14
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Prospector from El Paso, Texas · Page 14

El Paso, Texas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 14, 1976
Page 14
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Vernon's instep boots Miners 13-10 If football games lasted only 57 minutes instead of 60, the New Mexico State Aggies would be 0-1-1 instead of 2-O t For the second time in a row, the Aggies waited until the final moments to pull out a cliff-hanger victory, as Skip Vemon's 51-yard field goal with six seconds left sunk the UTE1 Paso Miners 13-10 Saturday night in front of a standing-room only throng of 13,155 in Las Cruces. Vemon's boot came after NMSU quarterback Elaine Miller had led his offense from his own 32-yard line to the Miners' 34 after a UTEP punt with 1:01 remaining. First Miller tossed a 14-yard pass to Andy Warner. Roy Cooksey then gained 10 more on an end-around after nearly being trapped in the backfield. Miller then threw consecutive completions to Stanley Sam and Cooksey, and the Ags called time out with 11 seconds left. Vernon, a sophomore who holds the NMSU record for longest field goal (54 yards against Wichita State last year) and who has never missed an extra point in his college career, trotted onto the field, measured the distance, awaited the snap and kicked the-ball. At first, it appeared as if it would end up short, but the ball kept on sailing and finally cleared the crossbar with about three feet to spare, setting off a wild celebration among the Aggie players on the field. As in last season's Miner-Aggie clash, it was mistakes that did UTEP in, as they had two field goals blocked, had a touchdown called back, missed several other scoring opportunities and handed New Mexico State their only touchdown on a silver platter. The Ags got that TD less than five minutes into the game, when on fourth down at the Miner 30-yard stripe, punter Jerry Walker watched the snap from center sail over his head and into the end zone. Walker got it back into field of play, but he was tackled at the five. On the next play David Wells took the ball around right end for six points. Vernon added the seventh with 10:46 remaining on the first-quarter clock. The rest of the period was a punting duel between Walker and NMSU kicker Cliff Olander, until Tanny Johnson broke loose for a 49-yard run on the final play. The Aggie tackier was called for spearing, putting the ball on the State 12-yard line. Three running plays pushed the ball to the four, but on fourth down quarterback Don Amerson's pass for Kevin Baker was too high. Less than two minutes later, the Miners were knocking on the door again at the Aggie 12 after a short punt. But then UTEP went backwards on a procedure penalty and two sacks, until it was fourth down at the 28. Miner kicker Miguel Alvarez came in for the 45-yard field goal try, but Walt Williamsblew in and blocked it. Another scoring opportunity for UTEP went up in smoke with two minutes to go in the half when, on fourth down at the NMSU 13, an Amerson touchdown pass to Dean AUcorn was rubbed out because of an ineligible receiver downfield - the second score wiped out by such a flag in as many games. "They called it on us again," groaned Coach Gil Bartosh after the game-. "Two weeks in a row.. .I'm not sure what the refs want. That cost us the game." The 15-yard walkoff moved the ball back to the 28,where Alvarez came in to try his second 45-yard field goal, but in blew Williams for his second block. "Our number one snapper was out with a broken foot and the guy who was taking his place had never snapped before," commented Bartosh on the blocks. "Well have to watch the films to see what exactly happened." But then the Aggies finally helped out the Miner cause as Lee Mitchell picked off an ill-advised pass from Miller two plays later Not over me, you don't and returned it to the NMSU 32. Six plays later, Alvarez came in again with the ball on the 20. This time Williams was kept out of trouble and the kick split the uprights with five seconds left. The Miners went to the locker room at halftime down 7-3, but having held the Ags without a first down. UT El Paso took the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards in eight plays, helped out by 54 yards in penalties against the Aggies — two consecutive personal fouls and a pass interference infraction. Amerson took the ball in off the left side from three yards out, and Alvarez' PAT sent the visitors out in front 10-7. The advantage was short-lived, however, as New Mexico State came back with a 53-yard drive of their own to the UTEP 15-yard line. From there, Vernon tied it up with a 32-yard field goal. The punting game was the key to the Aggies' final march to victory, as Olander pinned the Miners back on their two and four-yard lines on successive kicks. As a result, UTEP was forced to hand back the ball and give NMSU good field position. "NMSU deserved to win," said Bartosh after the contest. "They had just as many tough breaks as we did - minus one." "We played raggedly on offense," the Miner mentor related. "Our consistency was terrible. The defense played their hearts out. . .It's really tough to lose agame like this." Ag coach Jim Bradley gave credit for the win to the defense and.l naturally, the kicking game. On the other hand, he said, "Our offense didn't do too well tonight." The statistics bore out Bradley's opinion of the NMSU offense. The Miners collected 17 first downs to the Aggies' eight, outrushed them 186-131, outpassed them 61-34 and controlled the ball 38 : minutes and SOseconds to NMSTTs 21:10. In the first half, UTEP's possession bulge was 20:56 to 9:04. Walker and Olander kicked to a virtual standoff in the punting department, Walker averaging 43.0 and Olander 43.0. Amerson completed four passes in 12 attempts, while Miller was 5-for-10 with one interception. The Ags lost one of three fumbles to the Miners' none of two. UTEP was penalized seven times for 55 yards, while New Mexico State's several personal fouls contributed to their 116 yards on eight penalties. The only category NMSU won was in re turns, 112 to 5 2. Miner fullback Robert Elliott was seen limping off the field a few times, but Bartosh gave assurances that he would be ready to play New Mexico in the Miners' conference opener this Saturday in the Sun Bowl. Sports Waigwa wins 2nd race Don't speedl By Angelo Pokluda UT El Paso senior Wilson Waigwa cruised to a first-place finish Saturday in Juarez with a winning time of 22:43 as the Miner cross-country team filled the. first six finishes in their second race this season. Track Coach Ted Banks is pleased with the performances put forth so early this year. "The kids ran real well," he said jubilantly, adding that any time a squad takes the first six finishes it is somethingspecial. Behind Waigwa for second place was Frank Munene, who covered the 4.7-mile course in 22:56. Close behind Munene was Sammy Maritim who finished third with a clocking of 23 minutes flat. Tony Zuniga showed no signs of injury that kept him from completing last week's race at Horizon City. Zuniga finished the run fourth at 23:04. Harrier newcomer Juan Garcia finished close to Zuniga as he crossed the tape at 23:18 for fifth place. Gibson Gatei clinched sixth place with his 23:24 run. A difference of '0:41'- separated the first-place Waigwa from Gatei, while only 20 seconds separated Zuniga from Gatei. Freshman Yukon Tomasato finished 17th followed by Vaughn Courtney at 21st. The Miners will host the Hew Mexico Lobos in a Western Athletic Conference race Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Horizon City golf course as they enter the heart of their season. UTEP women netters do well in Las Cruces The UT El Paso women's volleyball team captured consolation honors over the weekend in a tournament at New Mexico State. After falling to host NMSU in their second match 15-4, 15-8, the Miners stormed back and defeated Eastern New Mexico 15-6,15-1, then turned back the University of New Mexico in two 15-4 sets in the consolation finals. The UTEP netters split two games with Sul Ross State in the opening round, losing the opener 15-7 before retaliating with a 15-9 triumph, Texas Tech went back home New Mexico State in the finals 15-6,15-11. Coach Norm Brandl praised his squad's effort, saying, "We played competitively even when we lost. We've got good athletes and good size on the team." He singled out for credit the hitting of Barbara Grimpey and the setting of Diane Bohling and Maria Corral. The next activity for volleyballcrs will be ascrimmage against New Mexico State Saturday at 9 a.m. in Holliday Hall. The Miners' next regularly scheduled event will be the University of New Mexico Invitational in Albuquerque Oct. land 2.

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