Photo: Rio Rancho High graduate Josh Foley (Courtesy of NMSU)
By Sebastian Noel
Enchantment Sports Staff Writer
What was the significance of that number last week when New Mexico State played at Alabama?
No, it is not the betting line the New Mexico State Aggies ended up covering in a 62-10 loss to perennial national championship contender Alabama.
The line was actually 54.5 — and the Aggies did cover.
But 51, is the most yards any individual has rushed in a game against Alabama this season.
That yardage belongs to Rio Rancho’s own Josh Foley, who did it for the Aggies last week.
The redshirt freshman tallied the 51 yards on seven social media-worthy carries against one of the nation’s best defenses. It was Foley’s college debut at running back.
Josh Foley’s first carry as an Aggie (Courtesy/Dan Foley).
He was unafraid and unfazed by the Tide — or the huge crowd at Alabama.
“I knew this would be the game I could get my opportunity,” Foley told Enchantment Sports.
The result certainly didn’t shock the former Ram either.
“I’m just happy I was able to do what I know I can do with the opportunity I was given.”
Are New Mexico’s prep football standouts finally getting the opportunities they deserve?
“I really hope so,” Foley said, “New Mexico is highly overlooked. Playing the best of the best from other states really shows me how overlooked this state is. There are a lot of players from New Mexico who can play at this level, they just don’t get the opportunity,” Foley said.
“I believe playing high school football in New Mexico has prepared me nicely for college football.”
If you still doubt New Mexico’s talent, maybe a trip down south to Las Cruces this weekend will help convince you.
San Diego State (2-0) faces New Mexico State (0-2) today (Sept 14), and it is a homecoming for sophomores Jordan Byrd (Manzano) and Keshawn Banks (Rio Rancho).
Byrd had what could prove to be his breakthrough game in last week’s 23-14 win against UCLA. He had four carries for 32 yards, and even more impressively had 10 catches.
Byrd is showing his speed can be a weapon out of the backfield, and his ability as a slot receiver.
As for Banks, the Rio Rancho grad finds himself even higher on the depth chart at his position than Byrd. The defensive lineman recorded a tackle for loss.
So pack up the car and hit the road south because a football double header awaits you.
Start your day with some high school football as Las Cruces (2-1) plays host to Rio Rancho (1-2). Then stay for the main event as the Aggies play host to the Aztecs.
If you go to both games, just remember, one of the kids on the field at the Field of Dreams could soon achieve their dream of playing on college football Saturday — or even NFL Sunday.
Foley dared to dream, “I mean it was a dream come true. That’s every young football player’s dream; to be able to walk out of the tunnel and play one of the best teams in the country.”
Sebastian Noel is a play-by-play announcer for ProView Networks, and also is host of “Local Focus with Sebastian Noel,” airing weeknights at 10 p.m., on ProView.
Noel also serves as the on-field reporter during the My50TV game of the week during the football season.