ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State could’ve folded multiple times on Saturday night at DreamStyle Stadium, but instead the Aggies showed a strong resolve in a 34-25 loss to rival New Mexico.
Trailing 14-3 in the first quarter and without starting quarterback Jonah Johnson due to an injury to the wrist on his throwing arm, the Aggies mounted a charge with third-string quarterback Dino Maldonado.
The sophomore junior college transfer led a pair of touchdown-scoring drives in the second quarter, including a 75-yarder to Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda, helping NMSU (0-3) to get within four points at halftime.
Twice in the second half, the Aggies cut the deficit to two points, but the Lobos got the last laugh. UNM’s defense held Maldonado to 13-34 passing for 192 yards, the touchdown and two interceptions. The Aggies also managed only 109 yards on the ground, compared to 178 by the Lobos.
New Mexico (2-0) put the final nail in the coffin early in the fourth quarter, when Terry Wilson found Emmanuel Logan-Greene wide open in the secondary for a 58-yard touchdown.
NMSU head coach Doug Martin was pleased postgame with the Aggies’ play amid difficult circumstances and applauded Maldonado for stepping in on short notice to fill in for Johnson.
Martin added that Johnson will get an MRI on his wrist either Sunday or Monday to assess the full extent of the damage.
For New Mexico, former Americas High School running back Aaron Dumas rushed 10 times for 58 yards in the Lobos’ victory. A true freshman from El Paso, Dumas has shown himself to be a capable runner through two games.
The Aggies will host South Carolina State next Saturday in search of their first win of the season, while New Mexico will have a short week before playing at Texas A&M. The Lobos will travel to El Paso to play UTEP on Sept. 25.