Recap: Air Force vs. New Mexico
United States Air Force Academy, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Kale Pearson passed for 159 yards and a touchdown, and D.J. Johnson rushed for three scores as the Air Force Falcons held on down the stretch to defeat the New Mexico Lobos, 35-31, in a Mountain West Conference clash at Falcon Stadium.
Pearson completed 5-of-9 passing, and added a rushing touchdown to his day. The Falcons (5-2, 2-2 MWC), who entered the game averaging 274.2 rushing ypg, got 269 yards on the ground Saturday, including a team-high 85 from Shayne Davern. Johnson finished the day with 51 yards and three scores on 15 totes. The Falcons have won two straight.
Jhurell Pressley carried the ball 11 times for 148 yards and a pair of scores for New Mexico (2-5, 0-3), which has lost two games in a row. The Lobos racked up 367 yards on the ground in the game, but only got 33 through the air in the loss.
The two teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter, and were knotted at 7-7 at the end of one. Pressley took a handoff 42 yards for the first score of the game to give New Mexico the lead, but Johnson plunged into the end zone on a three-yard run with 6:12 to play in the frame to tie the score.
Air Force took its first lead of the game with 13:28 to play in the second quarter when Pearson dashed for a 21-yard touchdown run on the only play of Air Force's drive.
Pressley knotted it up again, this time at 14-14 with 9:04 left in the half with his second touchdown run of the game - this one from 50 yards out.
Just a few minutes later, Tre'Von Roy sacked Pearson for a loss of 14 yards. Pearson fumbled the ball, which was recovered by New Mexico's David Guthrie, who returned it 43 yards for a touchdown and the Lobos' lead.
But Johnson tied the score once again, this time on a six-yard rushing score with 3:21 left in the first half. The teams went into the locker room deadlocked at 21.
New Mexico pulled ahead by a 28-21 score with 8:39 to play in the third quarter when Teriyon Gipson carried the ball 28 yards for a touchdown. The run capped a four-play drive.
Johnson notched his third rushing touchdown of the contest when he plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 6:48 left in the third to knot the score again, this time at 28-28.
The Falcons took the one-touchdown lead, 35-28, late in the third quarter when Pearson found Jalen Robinette on a 50-yard pass completion to finish off a five-play drive.
Zack Rogers booted through a 28-yard field goal to cut Air Force's lead to 35-31 with 12:01 to play in the fourth, but the Lobos weren't able to score again in the defeat.
Both squads were adept offensively in the contest, but Air Force had the edge in first downs (23-14) and in total offensive yards (428-400). The Lobos lost two fumbles in the defeat, and could only manage a 4-of-15 third-down conversion rate.Game Notes