Photo credit: @SanJoseStateFB
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE, Calif. — This Friday night looked very similar to last Friday night. San Jose State was looking for their first conference win of the season. The only difference? They defeated conference foe New Mexico at CEFCU Stadium.
The Spartans, who were battle ready, had the ball to start the game versus the Lobos.
The Spartans opened the scoring, thanks to Nick Nash. Nash ran for a 9-yard rushing touchdown — his third of the season — to put San Jose State up 6-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter. Matt Mercurio attempted the extra point, but it was blocked by De’John Rogers.
The Spartans led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. San Jose State football was greeted by the San Jose State men’s basketball team, who made a brief appearance on the home field.
The Spartans took a 13-0 lead when Josh Love threw a pass to Billy Humphreys for the 5-yard passing touchdown at 12:56 of the second quarter. Mercurio kicked in the extra point.
Love threw another pass to Bailey Gaither for the 80-yard passing touchdown with 8:42 left in the second quarter. Mercurio kicked in the extra point. The Spartans took a 20-0 lead.
Mercurio kicked in a 24-yard field goal to extend the Spartans’ lead to 23-0 with 6:57 left in the second quarter.
Mercurio continued to shine with back-to-back field goals of 24 yards and 33 yards, respectively, in a span of 2:35 late in the fourth quarter. But Mercurio’s field goals were overshadowed by the Lobos’ first touchdown of the game. Sheriron Jones threw a pass to Jordan Kress for the 34-yard passing touchdown and Andrew Shelley kicked in the extra point to help New Mexico pull within 19 with 1:12 left in the second quarter.
The Spartans brought a 26-7 lead to the locker room at the halftime break.
The Spartan defense forced a red zone fumble to stop a Lobos drive and that was a notable third quarter play. However, New Mexico cut the Spartans’ lead to 26-14 with 3:11 left in the third quarter. Jones ran for a 4-yard rushing touchdown and Shelley kicked in the extra point.
The Spartans continued to lead 26-14 after the third quarter.
Mercurio kicked a 49-yard field goal to extend the Spartans’ lead to 29-14 at 12:47 of the fourth quarter. The field goal was Mercurio’s longest career field goal.
Mercurio added a 24-yard field goal to make it 32-14 Spartans with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter. With the field goal, Mercurio tied the single-game school record as the fourth player in Spartan history to do so.
But the Lobos made it an 11-point game with 4:52 left in the fourth quarter. Jones threw a pass to Cedric Patterson III for the 38-yard passing touchdown and Shelley kicked in the extra point.
The Spartans defeated the Lobos by a final score of 32-21. With the win, San Jose State picked up its first conference win of the season.
The Spartans (3-2, 1-1 Mountain West) take on the Nevada Wolf Pack (3-2, 0-1 Mountain West) on Saturday, October 12 at 1:00 p.m. Game will be broadcasted on ATSN.