Former Cleveland High standout Luke Wysong (15) finds some running room along the west sideline, in front of his UNM teammates, on this first-half play against Maine on Sept. 3, a 41-0 Lobo victory. (Herron photo)
ALBUQUERQUE – Last season, then-freshman Luke Wysong scored one touchdown for the University of New Mexico Lobos; that was on a 63-yard punt return in UNM’s 36-7 loss to visiting Colorado State.
Wysong, a former Cleveland High standout on the gridiron and on the track, nabbing state Gatorade Player of the year honors in both sports after his senior season, found two more ways to score: on a 13-yard run and then on a 10-yard reception, which both came in the second quarter last Saturday in UNM’s 41-0 rout of the Maine Black Bears.
“I’m finally getting offensive touchdowns; that felt nice,” Wysong said. “I’ve gained quite a bit of weight since last season … I still feel the same speed, if not faster than I was.”
Also, he said, the added weight helped his endurance, meaning he could be on the field more.
UNM’s defense allowed just 118 yards of offense and only seven first downs, all of which came in the second half and Maine never got closer than 38 yards on the end zone.
The Lobo shutout was the first since a 66-0 win in the 2015 season opener against Mississippi Valley State.
While the defense was the story, the Lobos’ revamped offense put up six touchdowns and totaled 437 yards with 267 yards on the ground and 170 through the air.
Miles Kendrick, starting his first game for UNM as a graduate transfer from Kansas, went 14-for-17 passing for those 170 yards with two TDs. He also added 40 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Wysong had six rushes for 43 yards; three receptions for 51 yards; and three punt returns for another 34 yards.
“This week’s huge for us,” Wysong added, referring to UNM’s Mountain West Conference opener Friday vs. Boise State.
Head coach Danny Gonzales is asking for fans to wear all red. Kickoff is set for 7:06 p.m.
Lobo lowdown: This season’s UNM roster has 10 former City of Vision high school players: Isaiah Chavez, Zach Vigil, Josh Howes, Larry Allen III and Jaylen Morgan from RRHS; and Wysong, Jalen Washington, David Murphy, Dion Hunter and Joe Maez from CHS. Vigil, incidentally, got his first college carry Saturday vs. Maine, gaining two yards on a second-half play.