Odds are in Lions’ favor against WNMU Mustangs in homecoming match

BJ Laudermilk, Sports Editor

The A&M-Commerce Lions football team will look to win their fourth straight homecoming game on Oct. 14 as the Mustangs of Western New Mexico University come to Memorial Stadium.

After four games, the Lions were ranked No. 2 in the country and still undefeated at 4-0 and 2-0 in Lone Star Conference games. Western New Mexico was 0-5 and 0-3 in conference play at the time of publication.

Statistics would indicate the Lions have the advantage. A&M-Commerce ranks second in the conference in points per game, averaging 39 points in their first four games, while ranking first defensively in points allowed per game at 10.5. Western New Mexico ranks sixth offensively averaging 26.2 points per game, but ranks last defensively, allowing an average of 41 points to their opponents each game.

Lions quarterback Luis Perez is climbing his way through the program’s record book. After the A&M-Kingsville game, Perez ranked eighth in career passing yards and was closing in on numbers seven and six. Perez also tied for seventh with Wade Wilson in pass completions, as well as all alone in third place in passing touchdowns; he has a good chance to move into first place all-time in the upcoming weeks.

Going back through recent history, the Lions fortunes on homecoming weren’t always as positive. From 2008-2013, the Lions lost six consecutive homecoming games, arguably during some of the darkest days in the program’s history.

Before Colby Carthel took over as the Lions’ head coach in 2013, A&M-Commerce’s last homecoming victory was a 20-17 victory over Angelo State on Oct. 20, 2007.

Going back to 2001, the Lions are 6-9 in their last 15 homecoming games. A winning culture has emerged in Commerce since then, as the Lions have won the homecoming games from the last three years, and then go on to win the Lone Star Conference championship outright in the following weeks. Time will tell if both of those streaks extend to four.