The 20th-ranked Cardinals came alive in the second half Saturday at Bruce Field to open the season with a 36-10 win against New Mexico Military Institute in a Southwest Junior College Football Conference opener.
After trailing 10-6 at the half, the Cardinals rode the arm of quarterback Jeremy Hunt and a no-nonsense defense to reel off 30 unanswered points in the final two quarters.
In his first game as a Cardinal, Hunt connected on 27-of-40 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns. He did not play favorites slinging the ball around, completing passes to 14 different receivers.
The Cardinal defense pitched a shutout in the second half, allowing just two first downs and 21 yards.
The Cardinal defense also came up with a turnover that led to a score when Jaeden Ward recovered a fumble.
Eddie Godina provided the first nine Cardinal points, booting field goals of 31, 37 and 46 yards.
The Cardinals took the lead for good with 5:29 left in the third quarter on a 12-yard pass from Hunt to Jamon Mack. The touchdown put the Cardinals in front, 15-10.
NMMI fell to 1-1 with the loss.
The Cardinals are scheduled to be at home Saturday against Tyler (1-1). Game time at Bruce Field is 7 p.m.
TVCC – Eddie Godina 26 FG
NMMI – Taylin Nalls 10 pass from Ephriam Tuliloa. (Roland Tyson kick)
NMMI – Tyson 31 FG.
TVCC – Godina 37 FG.
TVCC – Godina 46 FG.
TVCC – Dwight Walker 3 pass from Hunt. (Godina kick)
TVCC – Zion Hester 2 run. (Godina kick)
TVCC – Willie Cherry 2 pass from Hunt. (Godina kick)
TVCC STAT LEADERS
PASSING – Jeremy Hunt completed 27-of-40 for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns.
RECEIVING – Keonta Fiakpui caught four passes for 79 yards to lead 14 receivers with receptions.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES – Jaeden Ward had one.