Jackets weather the storm, scored first victory of season


Claire Scarborough

The snow and below-freezing temperatures deterred many from being outside, but the Yellow Jacket football team felt the opposite while capturing their first win of the season on Oct. 13 at Lyle Hare Stadium.


After a couple of very close losses that led to the Yellow Jackets falling to 0-6, the opportunity to use the weather as an advantage against New Mexico Highlands University was too good to pass up. Offensive lineman Joe Moraga agreed, adding “We went out there and did our thing, we had been practicing in this [weather] all week.”


The average temperature in New Mexico during October is 51, while the average temperature in South Dakota during the month of October is 45, according to U.S. climate data.


The game got off to a fast start for the Yellow Jackets when linebacker Kolten Johnson intercepted the Cowboys on the third play of the game. From there, the offense put up 42 points compared to the Cowboys’ 7.


Payten Gilmore, a 6’1” junior from Shamrock, Texas, broke the school record for rushing yards in a single game. Averaging 11.3 yards per carry, Gilmore racked up 248 yards during the game, narrowly breaking the previous record of 244 yards set by running back Phydell Paris in 2016.

After losing six in a row, Yellow Jacket players were relieved to finally get the first win of the season.


“[The win] was great, it was a really fulfilling moment after not winning a game, to come out and dominate a team,” Moraga said, “[It] was a moral victory too.”


The Yellow Jackets are now on a winning streak, defeating Colorado Mesa University on Oct. 20. The team looks to finish the remaining three games strong.