Bacone NMHU

New Mexico Highland’s Rashon Brooks attempts to tackle Bacone running back Lynward Gross during second half action on Saturday at the Indian Bowl. The Warriors lost 26-13.

Phoenix special photo by Linda Johnson, Muskogee, OK

When coach Joe Thrasher and his staff look over the videotape of Saturday’s game, he will see some highlights — but there won’t be many.

Thrasher, in his debut as Bacone College’s coach, watched the Warriors only manage 13 points in a 26-13 loss to the Division II New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys in the season opener for both teams at Indian Bowl.

“I’m sure when I look at the statistics that we chewed up a lot of yardage, but we’ve got to get points on the board. That’s the bottom line,” Thrasher said.

A one-yard touchdown run by fullback Clint Thomas and two field goals of 36 and 35 yards by Brandon Hawley accounted for all of the Warriors’ points in spite of 276 yards of total offense.

The Warriors used two quarterbacks (Daniel Leung-Lo-Hing and Kyle Dieckman) and nine receivers caught at least one pass. Lo-Hing completed 14 of 32 passes for 128 yards, but he was intercepted three times and Dieckman completed 6 of 13 passes for 42 yards. Jamal Dean caught a team-high six passes for 64 yards.

Thomas’ touchdown run, which came with 9:34 left in the first period, and Hawley’s extra point gave Bacone its only lead at 7-6.

The Warriors had cut the Cowboys’ lead to 19-13 on Hawley’s 35-yard field goal with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter and appeared to have some momentum.

NMHU, however, came back on the ensuing drive and went nine plays and 77 yards in three minutes and 47 seconds. Steve Smith finished off the march with a five-yard touchdown run with 1:05 left in the third period.

Hawley kicked his 36-yard field goal with 3:30 left in the second quarter.

The game, though, didn’t get off to a good start for the Warriors. Punter Shawn Bongard had the ball slip through his hands and it ended up at the Bacone 12-yard line with 13:43 left in the first period.

Three plays later, NMHU’s Kendrick Harris scored from five yards out with 12:14 remaining. Harris finished with 111 yards on 16 carries in the game.

Besides Smith’s TD run, Nick Alaimalo had a one-yard touchdown run for the Cowboys in the third quarter. Eddie Abreu caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Alex Aispuro in the second period for the Cowboys’ other points in the game.

Thrasher remained upbeat after the loss.

“We saw some good things and I’m confident we’re going to get better and better,” he said. “I love my guys. I’m looking forward to next week.”

Bacone returns to action next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. when it plays Bethel College, ranked No. 17 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics poll, at McKenzie, Tenn. The Warriors will next play at home on Oct. 7 against Texas College.

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