Following three frustrating weeks, West Texas A&M was able to say goodbye to their three-game losing streak by putting a complete game together for a dominating 49-27 win over Western in New Mexico in a Lone Star Conference matchup in front of a fantastic Homecoming crowd of an announced 8,500 at Bain-Schaeffer Buffaloes Stadium on Saturday night.
“It’s always good to win Homecoming,” WTAMU head coach Josh Lynn said. “This is my first Homecoming at West Texas A&M. What a crowd. What a climate. West Texas A&M knows how to put on a Homecoming.”
Doing exactly what they needed to do, the Buffs (3-4 overall, 2-3 in LSC) had the offense cruising scoring on their first three possessions to open a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
WNM (1-6 overall, 0-5 in LSC) went three-and-out on its opening possession allowing WTAMU to go right to work. As freshman quarterback Kanon Gibson led the Buffs down the field, Lynn turned to another freshman QB to provide a spark and Brennan graduate Ashton Dubose stepped right in.
Dubose took his first collegiate snap, called his own number and made a couple of Mustangs miss on his way in for a 16-yard touchdown that put WTAMU 7-0. That was just the start of what Dubose could show as he was called upon for certain packages throughout the game going for 42 yards on eight carries finishing with two TDs.
“We put in some stuff for Ashton because we know he’s an incredible athlete,” Lynn said. “We have this rule where freshman can play for three games and not lose a redshirt, so we might as well use him in some form or fashion. It was encouraging to see and he gave us a spark.
The Buff offense went back to work on its next drive with Lynn showing a riskier side rolling the dice on a fourth and eight from the WNM 32-yard line. The gamble paid off with Gibson delivering a perfect strike to Kenneath Read Jr., who beat his defender for a 32-yard pitch and catch putting the Buffs up 14-0.
WTAMU then tacked on a three-touchdown lead to open the second quarter thanks to an 11-play, 78-yard drive capped by Gibson firing a bullet to Lubbock Monterey graduate Tyrie Tipton over the middle of 21 yards on a third and 15.
“It felt so good to get this win,” Lynn said. “We needed to start fast, and I thought we did that. We overcame some mistakes, but the offense moved the ball and a lot of guys got to play.”
Gibson continues to grow into his starting QB role as the Wink grad was on point going 17-of-18 for 236 yards with three touchdown passes. Tipton led the receivers with 57 yards on four catches with a TD, and Tray’vion McCoy-Gay led the ground assault with 91 yards on 19 carries including touchdown runs of 13 and eight yards.
Bushland grad Calder Jr., makes first career start
Local product and 2021 Bushland graduate Leaford Calder Jr. made his first career start at cornerback for WTAMU on Saturday night. Calder, who has seen limited action on special teams this year, made a tackle and played aggressive against his receivers.
“Leaford played great,” Lynn said. “It is tough for a young guy making his first start to play against an offense like Western New Mexico that likes to sling it around. I’m proud of the way he locked his receiver down. He’s worked hard in practice. We’ve had some injuries but he’s now getting an opportunity because of that, and he played well.”