FINAL ROAD TRIP OF 2012 SENDS LIONS TO EASTERN NEW MEXICO
A&M-Commerce Lions at Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds
Saturday, November 3 • 2 p.m. CT
Greyhound Stadium • Blackwater Draw, N.M.
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-7, 1-5 LSC); Eastern New Mexico (2-6, 1-5 LSC)
A&M-Commerce hits the road for the final time in the 2012 season, making the trip west to Blackwater Draw, N.M. for a showdown with Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, November 3. Opening kick against the Greyhounds is set for 2 p.m. CT (1 p.m. MT).
Lions on the Web
Fans unable to make it to Eastern New Mexico for Saturday's season finale can still keep up to date with every Lion play. KETR 88.9 FM will carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood and Brock Callaway on the call as the live stream will also be available online at KETR.org. Live stats will be available at LionAthletics.com with Twitter followers receiving updates @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Greyhounds
2012: 2-6 overall, 1-5 Lone Star Conference (T-7th), 1-2 home
Last Three Games: L at Midwestern State (51-28), L vs. West Texas A&M (44-21), L at Abilene Christian (59-17)
Head Coach: Josh Lynn (Eastern New Mexico, 2002). First season at Eastern New Mexico (2-6, .250)
Key Offensive Players:
• #12 Wesley Wood (Sr., QB): 84-of-148 passing for 1,092 yards (56.8%), 10 TDs, 4 INTs, long of 80; 159 rushes for 607 yards (3.8 avg.), 9 TDs, long of 56
• #14 Derek Kendall-Campbell (Jr., RB): 71 rushes for 323 (4.5 avg.), 1 TD, long of 23
• #6 Christian Long (Jr., FB): 60 rushes for 270 yards (4.5 avg.), 2 TDs, long of 32
• #4 Chase Kyser (Sr., RB): 22 catches for 273 yards (12.4 avg.), 3 TDs, long of 32
• #18 De'Coreyon Thomas (Jr., RB): 16 catches for 208 yards (13.0 avg.), 1 TD, long of 60
Key Defensive Players:
• #3 Perron Sellers (Sr., LB): 79 tackles (39 solo), 9.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 3 PBU, 1 FR
• #19 Seth Bailey (Jr., LB): 62 tackles (25 solo), 3.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, 2 QBH, 2 FR, 1FF
• #96 Wayne Bounds (So., DL): 43 tackles (11 solo), 2.5 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 BK
• #28 Jayson Serda (Jr., S): 41 tackles (23 solo), 1.0 TFL, 2 INT, 2 PBU, 4 PD
• #34 Noah Brown (Fr., DL): 25 tackles (11 solo), 3.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 PD, 3 QBH
Key Special Teams Players:
• #94 Dylan Baca (So., K/P): 5-of-7 FG (71.4%), long of 33; 19-of-21 PAT (90.4%); 32 punts for 1,185 yards (37.0 avg.), long of 57, 5 50+, 8 I-20
• #28 Jayson Serda (Jr., S): 10 kick returns for 172 yards (17.2 avg.), long of 27; 2 punt returns for 11 yards (5.5 avg.), long of 9
• #41 Dillon Metzger (R-So., WR): 16 kick returns for 287 yards (17.9 avg.), long of 29
Synopsis: Eastern New Mexico started off the 2012 year strong, defeating Sul Ross State 38-35 before taking down Incarnate Word 34-24 on a late pick six at Cowboys Stadium, improving to 2-1 on the year. Since then, the Greyhounds have dropped five-straight Lone Star Conference games, dropping double-digit decisions in each. Eastern New Mexico is 1-2 at home this season, notching the win over Sul Ross State before falling to both Angelo State (49-19) and West Texas A&M (44-21).
Saturday marks the 26th meeting between A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico with the Greyhounds holding a slim 13-12 advantage in the all-time series. The Lions won the last meeting between the two - a 60-28 thrashing at Memorial Stadium on Senior Night in 2011. But prior to that, Eastern New Mexico had controlled the series, winning six of the previous seven meetings. Historically, A&M-Commerce has struggled in Blackwater Draw, posting just a 2-10 all-time record and losing six straight with its last victory at Greyhound Stadium coming in a 28-14 win in 1995. Head coach Guy Morriss is 1-2 all-time against Eastern New Mexico and is 0-2 in Blackwater Draw.
Vye Solid Once Again in Second Career Start
Senior quarterback Kevin Vye had another solid performance in his second career start for the Lions, completing 31-of-43 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown. Vye's first half performance was one of the best performances Lion fans had seen in quite some time, completing 14-of-15 passes for 162 yards and a 28-yard touchdown strike to Garrett Smith, helping put A&M-Commerce on top 14-3. Vye helped engineer a pair of impressive touchdown drives early in the half against Abilene Christian as A&M-Commerce put together back-to-back 11-play drives, covering 75 and 73 yards respectively, both of which ended in Lion touchdowns.
Rawlings, Smith Provide Dynamic One-Two Receiving Punch
A&M-Commerce's receiving duo of Tyler Rawlings and Garrett Smith has been efficient all season, but the pair showed off their capabilites Saturday against Abilene Christian. Both Rawlings and Smith hauled in nine catches, a career-best for both, with Smith generating 93 yards and Rawlings adding 91. On the season, the two have combined for 72 receptions for 825 yards (11.46 avg.) and two touchdowns.
Terrell Highlights Lion Defensive Showcase
Senior cornerback Marlin Terrell made his presence felt all afternoon against Abilene Christian Saturday, recording two of A&M-Commerce's three takeaways. Terrell helped thwart a Wildcat scoring chance, intercepting a Mitchell Gale pass at the A&M-Commerce five-yard line in the first quarter and returning it 32 yards to the 37, setting up the Lions' second touchdown of the first half. Terrell then scooped up a fumble from Gale early in the third quarter near midfield, returning it 22 yards to the Wildcat 15-yard line and setting up Chase Thrasher's 33-yard field goal to give the Lions a 17-3 lead. Terrell finished with four tackles on the day, including a pass break-up, and sits sixth on the team with 33 tackles in 2012.
Wren Quietly Anchoring Lion Secondary
One of the unsung heroes in 2012 for A&M-Commerce has been junior cornerback Joel Wren who has quietly made his presence felt. Wren ranks second on the team in tackles with 57, including 26 solo, with 3.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups. Against Abilene Christian Saturday, Wren notched eight tackles, tying teammate Danny Mason for the team-high, including four solo tackles against the Wildcats.
Ground Attack Will Be Saturday's Key
Heading into this Saturday's game at Eastern New Mexico, the key to the game could very well come down to if A&M-Commerce can stop the Greyhound rushing attack. Eastern New Mexico currently sits second in the Lone Star Conference, averaging 198.1 rushing yards per game, while A&M-Commerce is eighth in rushing defense, allowing 192.8 yards per game. If there was ever a game for the Lions to try and establish their running attack, this would be it as the Greyhounds are the only team below the Lions in rush defense, allowing 211.0 yards per game.
What's On the Line
A&M-Commerce is looking to end a pair of dubious streaks this weekend as the Lions hit the road for the final time in 2012. A&M-Commerce has dropped six straight games at Greyhound Stadium in Blackwater Draw, N.M., with the last victory coming in a 28-14 win in 1995. It has been a while since the Lions have experienced a road victory as well with the last win away from Commerce coming in a 31-30 victory at Central Oklahoma in 2009, a span of nine games. One streak that won't come to an end this weekend is A&M-Commerce's struggles on the road against Texas teams as the Lions have lost their last 14 road games against teams from the Lone Star state, dating back to the 17-9 victory at Angelo State in 2006.
Through the first six games of the season, A&M-Commerce had struggled finding its offensive groove as the Lions failed to record a point in the first quarter and had managed just 10 points in the first half of 2012, compared to 56 in the second half. The last two games, however, A&M-Commerce has done a complete 180, proving to be efficient in the opening half before faltering in the second. Against Angelo State and Abilene Christian, the Lions outscored their opponents 27-3 through the opening 30 minutes, yet were outscored 40-6 in the second half, generating just a lone field goal in both losses.
Following this week's trip to Blackwater Draw, N.M., A&M-Commerce closes out the 2012 season at home, facing 13th-ranked and Lone Star Conference leader West Texas A&M on Saturday, November 10. Opening kick against the Buffs is set for 2 p.m. with the 2012 Lion seniors being recognized prior to the game.
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