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Dino Maldonado shines on his first start in New Mexico | Local sports


Dino Maldonado has succeeded. He made the most of it.

The St. Joseph High grad is a New Mexico State quarterback. The quarterback was propelled into the starting role for the first time in his career last weekend.

Maldonado propelled the Aggies to their first win of the season, beating South Carolina State 43-35. The former Knight completed 24 of 32 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns without interceptions.

Maldonado won the title of National Player of the Week for his performance. He threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jared Wyatt to give the Aggies a 29-6 lead in the second quarter. He then threw a 41-yard touchdown at Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda to give NMSU a 36-13 lead near halftime.

Maldonado’s last touchdown pass was a 1-yard dime for Eric Marsh. That gave the Aggies a 43-13 lead over South Carolina State early in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs scored 22 straight points to close the game and bring it closer.

Injuries to Jonah Johnson and Weston Eget put Maldonado in first place in last weekend’s game.

Maldonado also played in the September 11 game against the University of New Mexico. The 6-foot-2 second completed 13 passes for 34 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions after coming in for relief.

The Aggies are scheduled to host the University of Hawaii on Saturday for their home game. It was not clear if Maldonado would start for the Aggies. Johnson and Eget were both scheduled to train this week, according to Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun.

Maldonado was named College Sports Madness Independent Offensive Player of the Week. The Aggies are an independent FBS program, which means they don’t play in a conference.

After graduating from St. Joseph in 2018, Maldonado enrolled in Portland State, an FCS program. From there the appellant transferred to Ventura College to play for coach Steve Mooshigian.

Maldonado played one season with the Pirates, appearing in eight games at Ventura. He threw for 1,724 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019.

Ventura College, like most junior colleges in California, has not formed a team in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maldonado chose to enroll in the NMSU last summer and attempt to take the Aggie program. His plan and dedication paid off last weekend when he was rewarded with his first start.

Per NMSU, Maldonado became the first Aggie to throw for 300 yards or more in his first career start since JJ McDermott pitched for 319 yards against Louisiana Tech on October 13, 2007.

“We tried to run a lot of game and screen action for Dino at the start because these are games where he didn’t need to do a read,” NMSU head coach said. Doug Martin after the game. “It was just a case of ‘you’re gonna throw it at this guy,’ it’s a screen. It got Dino off to a good start. And of course everyone makes adjustments at halftime. So , we faced a lot of cover from the men in the second half which required us to make throws and reads. This is where we struggled and didn’t do as well as we had to. The state of South Carolina put a lot of pressure in the second half and Dino frankly isn’t doing it. I don’t have the experience to handle these situations yet. He will do it. “

Nevada suffers its first loss

Two former local stars helped Nevada get off to a 2-0 start before the Wolf Pack suffered a 38-17 loss to undefeated Kansas State last Saturday.

Former St. Joseph and Atascadero star Elijah Cooks caught a touchdown pass for the Wolf Pack in the loss. The capture tied the game at 17 in the third quarter, but the Wildcats scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

The cooks and former Lompoc star Toa Taua are both seniors. The Wolf Pack also includes former Lompoc lineman Jacob Nunez, who is a sophomore in a red shirt who transferred from Arizona state last season.

Nevada will play at Boise State again on Saturday, October 2. The Wolf Pack is scheduled to host the State of New Mexico on Saturday, October 9.

Morgan dresses up at ASU

Former Lompoc star receiver Ryan Morgan adapted to Arizona State as a red-shirt / H-back freshman rookie.

Morgan played one game in the 2020 season at ASU and has been dressed this fall, although he did not register a reception.

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