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Lobos end conference losing streak during homecoming game


At the Homecoming game, University of New Mexico defeats the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 35-14.

The Lobos end their 14 game losing streak in conference play and earn their first conference win at home since 2017.

The Lobos also improved to a 3-4 record and are 1-2 in conference play. The team played a complete game – showing out on offense, defense and special teams.

Dylan Hopkins threw for 202 yards and went 20-25 in completed versus attempted throws. Hopkins now has the highest completion percentage (80%) for a UNM quarterback in a game where they attempted at least 20 passes. He was awarded the conference's Offensive Player of the Week award. Hopkins also had three touchdown passes with two going to Jeremiah Hixon.

Running back Andrew Henry was spectacular in his first game fully rehabilitated after his injury. He rushed for 112 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown and earned 27 yards as a receiver.

After the game, Henry was joined by his younger siblings at the press conference and talked about how he stayed resilient during troubles with his injury.

"It definitely had its challenges but honestly our coaches – Coach G, Coach Vincent – built us up to be strong in the end. If you look at our record, it's easy to be discouraged but you know we have a strong faith here," Henry said.

Jacory Croskey-Merritt had another stellar performance, rushing for 46 yards scoring two touchdowns. He is up 11 touchdowns on the season through seven games. True freshman quarterback Devon Dampier played his fourth game of the season and rushed for 43 yards on five attempts.

Hawaii leads the nation in pass attempts and the defensive plan was to play into that by forcing the ball out of Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager’s hands as quickly as possible to force mistakes.

With that pass rush in mind, the Lobos forced their first, second and third interceptions of the season. With a few upperclassmen hurt, the young secondary stepped up for the game.

True freshman Dereck Moore and sophomore Jermarius Lewis led the team in total tackles with seven each. Lewis was everywhere on the field, finishing with a statline of seven tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and two broken up passes. He was awarded the conference's Defensive Player of the Week award.

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In his press conference, Lewis shared what was going through his mind during his first interception.

"I was just trying to catch up, I won't lie to y'all Bro was moving – he was gone. At the last second, I caught up and got my head around and was able to make a play on the ball," Lewis said.

Aaron Rodriguez punted three times in the game, averaging an incredible 53.7 yards per attempt.

UNM started the game by winning the coin toss and deferring – the first time in the Danny Gonzales era.

During a timeout during the second quarter, Gary Hines – former UNM Wrestler – was honored for his $1 million donation to Lobo athletics, and during halftime, the Homecoming King and Queen were crowned.

Hawaii scored 14 of their points in the first half and the defense shut them down in the second half, but gave up a touchdown in the final minutes of the game.

Gonzales praised the entire team and his staff, the fans and Hawaii. He was pleased with how the offense and defense were both able to keep control of the game. He went on to talk about how competitive the MW Conference is.

"Our league is so competitive. San Jose is up 28-14 over Utah State right now. Hawaii goes down to San Jose next week and I wouldn't be surprised to see Hawaii and San Jose State in a nail biter … our league is so competitive and comparable," Gonzales said.

The Lobos need to win three of their last five games to make a Bowl game. They will face the University of Nevada in Reno on Oct. 28. The Wolf Pack is coming off of their first win of the season.

Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @thomasbulger10

Thomas Bulger

 Thomas Bulger is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @thomasbulger10 

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