T-birds fall short in homecoming thriller

Kevin Holloway

Mesa Community College hosted the New Mexico Military Institute for a homecoming game that was set up to be a good one.
Coming into the game with a record of one win and seven losses, Mesa was in a must win situation.
# 54 Tui Ofalhulu was seen on the sidelines holding a shovel. “We digging out tonight,” he said. “We’re in a big hole and need to dig out, not deeper.”
They started out a little jittery, and penalties halted their first drive abruptly, forcing a punt on a fourth and long.
New Mexico Military got possession and two plays later they were in field goal range.
After a good defensive stand, the Broncos of NMMI kicked a 40 yard field goal, putting them in the lead 3-0.
On the following kickoff #84 Justin Brown had a big return to the 45 yard line.
The next play NMMI got flagged for a pass interference, setting MCC up in prime location to put some points on the board.
Taylor Perkins threw two completions in a row.
The second was a 21 yard TD catch by Tanner Rehrer.
The quarter ended with the Thunderbirds holding on to a four point lead heading into the second quarter.
However, the Broncos were not about to surrender.
Both teams played well on defense forcing three and outs.
NMMI got the ball back with just under five minutes left in the half, and #24 of the broncos broke a 40 yard run for a touchdown.
During halftime Coach Hargrave said that they made a few too many mistakes, but that they were still in the game.
He also added, “We had our chances and we didn’t take advantage of them”
Mesa came out of halftime with a second wind after a good pep talk, forcing a fumble on the first drive and recovering it in Bronco territory.
Mesa scored taking the lead again, but with NMMI making another field goal and MCC leading 14-13, no one in the crowd was comfortable.
After another quarter and a half of good defense, it looked as if it was finally the day that Mesa would get a win at home.With two missed field goals, MCC could have wrapped up the game.
Instead they were up by one point, and they let NMMI take the ball in for a TD.
The two point conversion was good as well, and NMMI took the lead by seven.
NMMI kept the lead for the rest of the game.
Although MCC had a very effective last drive, there just wasn’t enough time left.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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