NCAA Division II Second Round- # 21 Texas A&M-Commerce Lions @ # 7 Colorado-Mines Orediggers-Storylines, Starters, and Stuff You Need To Know.



Texas A&M-Commerce Lions (10-2)



Colorado-Mines Orediggers (12-0)

When: Saturday, November 30, 1 PM CST

Where: Marv Kay Stadium, Golden, CO

Weather: 37 Degrees & Partly Cloudy at Kickoff, Wind SSE


Radio: Lion Sports Network via 88.9 KETR (Commerce) or stream Charlie Chitwood (Play By Play), Brock Calloway (Color/Analysis) BJ Laudermilk (Studio/Updates)



Projected Starters:

Offense (Multiple)

QB- Miklo Smalls, RS-Soph, 6’2, 185 LBS, Plano, TX (Plano East)

RB-Antonio Lealilee, RS-Junior, 5’11, 210 LBS, Copperas Cove, TX (Copperas Cove)

WR- Ryan Stokes, Senior, 6’3, 185 LBS, St Louis, MO (McCluer North)

WR- WR- Chance Cooper, Junior, 6’3, 200 LBS, Rouse, TX, (Leander)

WR- Eric Hebert, Freshman, 5’4, 145 LBS, Manvel, TX (Manvel)

TE- Tyler Guice, Senior, 6’3, 250 LBS, Atlanta, GA (Eagles Landing)

LG- Deion Malone, Senior, 6’3, 295 LBS, Batesville, MS (South Panola)

LT- Amon Simon, RS-Junior, 6’5, 275 LBS, Humble TX, (Atascocita)

C- Christian Hernandez, Sophomore 6’1, 265 LBS, Frisco, TX (Lone Star)

RT- Richard West, Sophomore, 6’6, 240 LBS, San Antonio, TX (East Central)

RG- Dixon Siuele, Junior, 6’2, 305 LBS, Pago Pago, American Samoa, (Samoana)


NT- Pierre Leonard, Senior, 5’10, 300 LBS, Tyler, TX (John Tyler)

DT- Chris Williams, Senior, 6’1, 285 LBS, Atlanta, GA (Sandy Creek)

DE- Elijah Earls, RS-Junior, 6’0, 240 LBS, San Antonio, TX (Stevens)

DE- Jaylon Hodge, Junior, 6’0, 275, Houston, TX (Fort Bend Travis)

LB- Dominique Ramsey, RS-Junior 5’9 180 LBS, Converse, TX (Judson) (Possible)

LB- Terrell Collins, Senior, 6’0, 245 LBS, St. Louis, MO (Hazelwood Central)

LB- Jalon Edwards-Cooper, Senior, 5’11, 175 LBS, Spring, TX (DeKaney)

LB- Neema Behbahani, Senior, 6’1, 230 LBS, Plano, TX (Plano)

DB- Sammy Gray, Senior, 5’11, 180 LBS, Elk Grove, CA (Cosumnes Oaks)

DB- LA Dawson, Senior, 6’0, 180 LBS, Austin, TX (Lyndon B. Johnson)

DB- Felipe Chambers, 6’1, 190 LBS, Fair Oaks, CA, (Del Campo)


Placekicker-Jake Viquez, RS-Junior, 5’10, 190 LBS, Rockwall, TX (Rockwall)

Place Holder-Preston Wheeler, Senior, 6’3, 200 LBS, Austin, TX (Bowie)

Punter-Andrew Gomez, Junior, 6’2, 210 LBS, Richardson, TX (Richardson)

Long Snapper-Wyatt Leath, Junior, 6’4, 245 LBS, Rockwall, TX (Heath)

Return Specialist-Kader Kohou RS-Junior, 5’11, 190 LBS, Euless, TX (Trinity)

Storylines: Last week’s euphoric win over a rival and general menance to Lion Football was really the kind of game where you could look at yourself and say “ths team can be in McKinney on the 21st.” What we saw were a combination of heart, intensity, and execution of a game plan. Last week, we did the 4 things that I belive any team sport, but especially football teams, have to do. First, be a team, second be more excited to play, third, do your job, and finally, make routine plays. This team did that last week and no reason to think that cannot happen again.

Playing against Mines is a lot like Pueblo in some respects. In the two losses that were games we let get away, we can draw a lot from the Pueblo loss and translate it into preperation for the Mines game. A lot can be gleamed from that. We have played in the Rockies once this year and now with the elevation always being a factor in that part of the country, we know what to expect. We also have played in chilly and generally unpleasent conditions and some of our best football has been played against some very good teams in that situation. This is nothing we have not seen before.

The general consensus amongst the 3 of us here at the Wire and also among some others is that we have two things that a lot of good teams that we play do not have. First, we have an ace in the hole in Miklo Smalls. Russ put it best when he talked about the quarterback a lot times being a non factor making it 11 on defense vs 10 on offense. Smalls evens that score with his ability to make plays with his feet and extend plays makes is actually 12 on offense and 11 on defense. We will go as far as he goes in my opinoin.

Second, they say what does not kill you makes you stronger. Well, we have played and beat the following teams that finished the season on some positive note:

Western Oregon: Traveled 2,200 miles to play a team that won their conference, led by a Harlon Hill Trophy nominee. We played and beat that team on the road in the first two weeks of the season.

Eastern New Mexico: Defeated a A 7-4 team by 3 scores that is headed to the Heritage Bowl for postseason as the LSC representative, and that also had the second ranked rushing attack in the entire country.

Western New Mexico: Held the top ranked passing attack in the conference and 14th in the entire country to well below their season average and forced them to turn the ball over.

West Texas A&M: Defeated a good Buff team on the road by 2 scores that finished the year 8-3 and was a top 10 regionally ranked team for 2 weeks.

Angelo State: Completely shut down an offense averaging 38 points and 450 yards of offense to 3 points and 161 total yards of offense.

Tarleton: After losing by two scores to them, we returned to the scene of the crime and held an offense averaging 44 points a game to 16 and averaging 600 yards per game to 330 yards per game and outgained them by almost 100 yards. Not to mention that team was ranked 3rd in the country and had was 22-2 in their last 2 seasons.

So to wrap this up, we have been through fire. Now the question is, are we refined and battle tested enough to win this thing? You bet. Will we? We will find out soon enough.

Roar Back Here.....

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