Sports Roundup – September 24

United falls to second place in Group C

Nearly 1,000 New Mexico United fans made the drive up north to Colorado Springs in what was dubbed United's first home match of the season.

United, who rented the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC's field and sold all tickets to its fans, lost 2-1 to the Switchbacks on Saturday (Sept. 19).

The loss effectively placed United in a vulnerable spot and, later in the day when El Paso FC defeated Real Monarchs SLC, New Mexico had lost its first place positioning in Group C standings with just three matches in the season left.

Currently, El Paso FC leads Group C with 27 points to New Mexico United's 23 as of Monday (Sept. 21).

During Saturday's match between New Mexico and the Switchbacks, however, the Black and Yellow scored first in the 28th minute after hometown hero Devon Sandoval struck a goal into the back of the Colorado Springs goal, giving them a 1-0 lead.

But the Switchbacks scored on a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time, and again later in the 48th minute – in the second half of the match.

United was able to get more shots on goal toward the end of the match – in fact, they outshot Colorado Springs 18-10 throughout – but none of those attempts translated into goals, effectively giving New Mexico its fourth loss of the season, and its second in three matches.

New Mexico was supposed to play against Río Grande Valley FC on Wednesday (Sept. 23) but members from that team tested positive for the novel coronavirus. United will play first-place El Paso on Saturday (Sept. 26).

Mountain West athletic directors meet

Multiple media reports have said that athletic directors from Mountain West schools met on (Sept. 21) with the main goal of getting football reintroduced this fall, with Oct. 24 being a start date mentioned.

After the ADs meet, they are expected to take their proposal to the governing board of the Mountain West, and a decision can be made as soon as this week or early next week. This story went to press on Monday (Sept. 21).

Originally, the mid-major conference had decided to postpone fall sports in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but recent decisions from the Big Ten and other conferences in reversing their decisions to postpone football forced the hand of the Mountain West.

The University of New Mexico Lobos, a member of the Mountain West, would be among the football teams allowed to play this fall if a decision is made soon.

The Lobos have a new head coach in Danny Gonzales, who was a former player for UNM and defensive coordinator at Arizona State. Rocky Long, his former coach and also a head coach at San Diego State as recently as last year, is UNM's new defensive coordinator.

Cowboys make dramatic comeback

Just to get it out of the way – yes, I am a Cowboys fan. And yes, we are going to win the Superbowl behind Dak Prescott.

And on Sunday (Sept. 20), they showed why that may be the case.

Down 20-0 towards the end of the first quarter, Dallas had originally started off the game by fumbling the football in two of its first three possessions.

The Cowboys then were able to score on an Ezekiel Elliot 1-yard run in the beginning of the second quarter and added a field goal before halftime. Still, the Falcons had a 29-10 lead heading into the third quarter.

Dallas scored a touchdown on a Prescott rush to start off the third quarter and again later in the quarter to make it 29-24 Falcons.

But a touchdown from the Falcons – as well as a field goal – gave them a 39-24 lead in the fourth quarter.

But then Prescott orchestrated 14 unanswered points – a third rushing touchdown by him, as well as a passing touchdown – to make it 39-37 Falcons toward the end of the game.

That's when Greg Zuerlin – the Dallas kicker – kicked a perfect onside that gave the Cowboys the ball back. Then, he nailed a 46-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Cowboys a 40-39 win despite being down by as many as 20 points.

The Cowboys are now 1-1 on the season.

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