On a cold Senior Day from the Sun Bowl, the Miner senior class treated the 10,758 in attendance to the most dominant performance in the Dana Dimmel era with a 40 to 6 victory of the visiting Panthers of Florida International University.
The Miners took control immediately on their first drive, with backup Quarterback Calvin Brownholtz driving his team in relief of the injured Gavin Hardison 75 Yards when and punching in a 1-yard score giving the Miners a 7-0 lead.
The Miner Defense was equally as dominant holding the Panthers without a 1st down until late into the 2nd quarter. The Miners second score of the game came on a 10-yard touchdown run from Senior and El Paso Native Rey Flores giving UTEP a 14 – 0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Rey Flores would score a touchdown on his next carry, this time breaking a 43-yard touchdown run to give the Miners a 21-0 lead. Rey Flores would finish his final game in the Sun Bowl with a career-high 128 yards on 13 carries, adding 2 catches on his Senior Day.
The Miners next score would come on a 6-play drive capped off by a 17-yard Touchdown pass from Calvin Brownholtz to Tyrin Smith putting the Miners ahead 28 to 0. The Miners would get the ball back with 2:26 left to play in the 2nd quarter and all 3 timeouts. The Miners would not need to utilize any timeouts or much time at all as the next score would take 9 seconds, a 68-yard touchdown pass from Brownholtz to Kelly Akharaiyi to put the Miners up 35 to 0.
The Miners Senior Gary Thread would get an interception at midfield to put Miner Kicker Gavin Baechlie in position to add to his already record-breaking season with a 28-yard field goal to take a 38 to 0 lead into halftime.
With the lead and the UTEP defense enforcing its’ will on FIU the Miners were able to get their entire active roster playing time on the final game of the season at the Sun Bowl. Calvin Brownholtz had a solid game as a back up for Gavin Hardison rushing for a touchdown, throwing for 2 touchdowns on 12-18 passing for 198 yards, while rushing for 36 yards as well.
The Miner Defense also shined, holding the Panthers to 71 yards of total offense with FIU’s only score of the game being a defensive touchdown and adding a 4th Quarter Safety.
The Final Score on the evening would have the Miners prevailing 40-6. The Miners kept their Bowl hopes alive, improving to 5-6 needing to win the final on the road versus the top team in Conference USA the Road Runners of UTSA.
Story by Chris Gomez