West Las Vegas’ football team (0-3) is hungry not only for its first victory but for its first trip to the end zone this season.
The Dons appear to have a good shot at both Friday night when Crownpoint visits Perkins Stadium.
For one thing, it’s homecoming, and with Robertson taking its bye week, there will be only one football game of local interest on tap. Those factors could give WLV its most robust and spirited crowd of the season (with the possible exception of the season-ending Vegas Bowl).
Another factor is that this young Dons group has shown improvement in a couple key areas, notably turnovers and special teams. Only a play or two prevented the Dons from scoring against unbeaten Tucumcari last week.
Less certain, however, is what kind of fight Crownpoint is apt to put up.
The Eagles are 2-1 this year under coach David Burns. They opened by nipping Newcomb 14-12 on Aug. 28. After sustaining a 41-6 defeat against Class 3A playoff regular Shiprock, the Eagles throttled Ramah 49-14 one week ago.
West did rout Crownpoint 55-8 on the road last September, holding the Eagles to 57 yards of offense. But that Dons squad was stocked with playmaking seniors, including Derek Gold, who scored five touchdowns in that game. On the flip side, Crownpoint’s top rusher from that game, Kyle Yazzie, is also gone.
Sophomore quarterback George Martinez and senior halfback Michael Armijo have shown signs of becoming a tough backfield duo for WLV. Senior cornerback Spencer Parson and linebacker Jayvis Medrano have been among the Dons’ leading defenders.
Also this weekend, New Mexico Highlands attempts to get off the slide with a trip to Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
Chad Roanhaus’ Cowboys and Mountaineers own identical 0-3 overall and 0-1 league records.
WSC opened with a 45-17 loss vs. Fort Hays State, followed by a 38-0 road loss at Montana. In their RMAC opener, the Mountaineers picked off a couple passes but lost 45-13 at Nebraska-Kearney.
WSC is averaging a respectable 247.3 yards a game but is allowing 415.7. Receiver Shaun Suttorp is an offensive star with 23 catches for 212 yards to date. Quarterback Tyler Daniels is 31 of 53 for 318 yards and is a threat to scramble for yardage.
Mike Reynolds’ 20 tackles (11 solo) lead the Mountaineer defense.
NMHU is averaging 180.3 yards and allowing 440. The Cowboys have had 11 turnovers compared to three for opponents. Travis Lee (11 catches, 118 yards, one TD) and Robert Grant (53 rush yards a game) lead the offense. Chris Burns (28 stops, 11 solo) and T.J. Norris (25) are the defense’s most prolific tacklers.