CISCO, Texas — After trading touchdowns back-and-forth from the opening kickoff, the 24th ranked Cisco College Wranglers suffered a hard-fought 48-45 loss last Saturday to the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos at Cisco’s Chesley Field.
Third-year head coach Scott Taylor’s Cisco Wranglers come to Miami Saturday for a 2 p.m. Southwest Junior College Football Conference opener with a 1-1 season record.
Interim head coach Dale Patterson’s Golden Norsemen return for homecoming festivities with a 0-1 record in the SWJCFC and a 2-1 overall mark. NEO dropped a 49-14 decision last weekend at No. 2 ranked Blinn College in Brenham, Texas.
The game between the Wranglers and the Broncos came down to the play of NMMI quarterback David Vega and running back Xan Mangum.
The game was literally back and forth from the first TD to the last, as one team would score then the other would come back.
NMMI started the scoring with a 36-yard field goal by Graham Ball, then Cisco came back with a safety.
The Broncos ended the first 15 minutes with the first touchdown of the night when Celento Hairston carried the ball in from four yards out, giving NMMI a 9-2 first quarter lead when the kick failed.
The second quarter was non-stop scoring, as each team put three TDs on the board.
The Wranglers scored first on a 12-yard TD pass from Jacob Morgan to Al Stevenson for a 9-9 tie.
The Broncos responded with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Vega to Sonny Duran as each team scored on almost every possession.
One non-scoring series saw Cisco recover a fumbled kickoff by NMMI, then, on the next play, the Broncos intercepted a Wrangler pass.
The sides continued trading scores until the final minutes of the stanza, when NMMI blocked a Wrangler field goal, then Vega threw a pass to Sonny Duran that was intercepted.
The half ended with the Broncos up 30-23.
Cisco tied the game at 30-all with 8:07 remaining in the third quarter after intercepting another Vega pass. Four plays later Morgan hit Kali Rashaad on a 22-yard TD pass.
But the Broncos went up on a 5-yard run by Hairston to lead 36-30 after three quarters.
Cisco came back with the first touchdown of the fourth quarter on an 11-yard TD pass from Morgan to Cedric Gilbert.
NMMI matched that touchdown before Cisco got their final score with 0:41 seconds remaining on a Morgan 6-yard pass to Jarman Johnson producing a 43-42 lead.
With the clock ticking down, Vega passed to Duran who went out of bounds on the CIsco 34, giving NMMI a first down.
The next pass to Mangum was incomplete but the next gave the Broncos a 3rd-and-6 on the Wrangler 30.
Vega found Mangum open for a 30-yard touchdown pass with just 0:36 seconds left on the scoreboard.
Sophomore Jamal Nero led the Cisco ground game with 70 yards on 17 carries as the Wranglers were limited to 75 yards on 21 carriers.
Morgan completed 25 of 47 passes for 283 yards and six TDs with two interceptions.
Rashaad led the Wranglers receiving corps with eight catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Al Stevenson caught five passes for 42 yards and one TD.
Cisco’s defense surrendered 604 total yards on 85 plays. The Broncos rushed for 202 yards on 40 carries while completing 30 of 45 passes for 402 yards.
Sophomore safety Terrance Franklin led the Wranglers defense with 10 unassisted tackles and one assist.
Norse notes: The weekly meeting of the Golden Norse Football Booster Club will be at noon Wednesday in the Bruce Carter Student Union Ballroom. Cost is $7.50 per person. Coach Patterson will discuss the loss at Blinn and talk about the homecoming game with Cisco.