East County Sports

Western New Mexico brings eastern flavor to USD

EastCountySports.com staff report 

SAN DIEGO – Head coach Adam Clark, a graduate of West Hills High and Grossmont College, brings his Western New Mexico Mustangs out to San Diego for their annual trip to meet the University of San Diego Toreros on Saturday at Toreros Stadium.

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Western New Mexico head coach Adam Clark, of West Hills High and Grossmont College

Clark, former linebacker with the Wolf Pack and the Griffins, brings with him a Mustangs’ squad always laden with local talent from San Diego County, including several inlanders yearly. The San Diego-Western New Mexico pipeline is a well-traveled route.

Western New Mexico University usually returns home from the trip with a defeat at the hands of the University of San Diego, as the Toreros have won by seven or fewer points in each of the past three seasons.

The Mustangs were clicking on all cylinders this past weekend against Arizona Christian, with the defense forcing four turnovers, special teams returning a punt for a touchdown and the offense scoring the other points in the 70-14 victory.

Josh McIntire, from West Hills High, has been the kicker for the Mustangs since 2012, having connected on 38-of-41 extra points and 6-of-15 field goals with a long of 43 in his first season

In 2013, he made six-of-nine field goal attempts with a long of 47. Also, he was the main kickoff and punter for the team, amassing an average of 39.7 per punt, with a long of 69 and 15 inside the 20. On kickoffs, he drilled 19 touchbacks and averaged 58.2 per boot, while also converting 29 extra points.

Last year, he was once again was the main place kicker and punter for the Mustangs. He made 9-of-13 field goals, with a long of 42 against New Mexico Highlands. He made two in a game twice and went 44-of-46 on extra point tries. On kickoffs, he averaged 60.1 yards per kick with 38 going for touchbacks. In terms of punting, he averaged 36.9 yards per attempt with a long of 64 against New Mexico Highlands and had 12 land inside the 20.

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Goodloe

Sophomore defensive back Xavier Goodloe, from Steele Canyon High, played in five games last season and had a forced fumble in last week’s season-opening blowout.

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Edwards, a defensive back from Valhalla high, had two assists and a pair of passes defended in his college debut last week.

The Mustangs’ roster also includes senior Nino LaRussa (West Hills), who played a considerable amount of time on both sides of the ball and special teams over the last two seasons. LaRussa started at Iowa Wesleyan when he left Santee before ending up in Silver City.

Defensive back Ray Calhoun played at Grossmont College following a year at UTEP. At Grossmont, he played two seasons and compiled three interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 18 tackles earning All-Conference honors his sophomore year.

With WNMU in 2014, he saw action in eight games, coming away with 11 total tackles, five solo stops, along with a pass breakup and one defended. The senior had three solo tackles in the season opener.

D’Angelo Bowie is a senior WR from Virginia Beach, Va., who caught 23 passes for 371 yards and seven touchdowns and was named to the All-Conference Team in 2013 as a member of the Griffins.

The WNMU roster features 12 other players from San Diego County high schools and six others from area colleges.

Last year’s game between these two was nearly a complete comeback by the Mustangs. USD held the 23-3 lead into the fourth quarter when WNMU began to make their move. Two late TD passes trimmed the deficit to six, 23-17. The Mustangs then got the ball late in the game, but weren’t able to score on their final drive as the Toreros held on for the victory.

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Anthony Lawrence as a member of the Grossmont Foothillers (photo by Linda Byerline)

USD is making a change at starting quarterback, opting to go with redshirt freshman Anthony Lawrence, from Grossmont High, who will make his first career start for the Toreros.

Lawrence led USD on its only scoring drive in the Toreros’ 37-3 loss to San Diego State last Saturday. He completed 4-of-7 passes on a 77-yard drive in the third quarter, which led to the field goal and finished 9-of-13 for 71 yards in the game.

Lawrence is replacing senior Trey Wheeler, who sustained an injury to his left shoulder in the game.

While at Grossmont High, Lawrence finished his career as the San Diego Section’s all-time leader in passing yardage (9,079), touchdowns (96) and completions (691).

WNMU and USD will play this Saturday at 6 p.m.  Saturday’s contest will be streamed live at www.usdtoreros.com with Jack Cronin (play-by-play) and J.T. Rogan (color analyst).

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