No. 13 Lions start off season right in Bailiff’s debut

Tyler McDonough, Sr. Sports Reporter

L.A. Dawson leads the Lions onto the field in the season opener against Selección Nuevo León | East Texan Photo by John Parsons

Commerce- The No. 13 Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions football team defeated Selección Nuevo León 83-0 as Head Coach David Bailiff picked up his first win with the Lions in his debut at Memorial Stadium.

The Lions started off the game hot, and never looked back as quarterback Miklo Smalls (Plano-East) started the game for the Lions going 4-4 for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Smalls’ services were not needed for very long, as backup quarterback Preston Wheeler (Austin-Bowie) replaced Smalls halfway through the second quarter.

Ryan Stokes, Kelan Smith, Jeremiah Bridges, and Tyler Guice all hauled in catches for the Lions, accumulating for 108 total yards. Smith and Guice both caught touchdowns.

A&M-Commerce was extremely efficient rushing the ball, as the Lions rushed for a total of six touchdowns. Spencer Long and Antonio Lealiee came in relief for E.J. Thompson and Carandal Hale and led the way for the Lions. Long rushed for 73 yards on seven carries and a touchdown, while Lealiiee ran for 65 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns. Jaquorious Smith also electrified the crowd as he broke a 60-yard run for a touchdown.

The Lion defense was as stout as always, pitching a shutout and holding Selección Nuevo León to -83 yards.

Dayne Douglass and Tali Amosa led the way for the Lions, each recording five tackles. The Lions recorded 52 tackles as a team.

Special Teams for the Lions were solid as well, as Jake Viquez performed knocked down 24-yard field goal and nine extra points in the first game in four years without Kristov Martinez. Andrew Gomez also appeared, knocking down a 27-yard field goal.

With the win the Lions move to 1-0 on the season and will travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Western Oregon Wolves this upcoming Saturday in Monmouth, Ore. at 1:05 p.m. PDT (3:05 p.m. CDT).