Mustangs win Family Day game against WNMU

Vincent Johnson, mechanical engineering junior, tries avoid being tackled by a Western New Mexico University player, but is eventually tackled to the ground by three opposing players during the Family Day game Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley

A sea of gold and maroon fans packed Memorial Stadium Saturday night for the annual Family Day football game. The stands were lined with family members and friends in support of the team — especially since it was the first game without cornerback Robert Grays.

The team prepped themselves mentally and emotionally for this game so they could play it for Rob, who died after an injury two weeks ago.

“The team really prepared themselves on their own. They bonded together this week and kept lifting each other up,” Donte Ellington, assistant coach, said.

Ellington said the players felt more prepared because of the increased amount of time they spent together.

“We felt confident going into tonight’s game because of how much closer they got this week. They had each other’s backs and us coaches couldn’t be more proud,” Ellington said.

The support that the family and fans brought to the game helped bring a sense of confidence to the players, according to wide receiver DeAndré Black.

“Seeing everyone in the stands was a confidence booster for us. Hearing them in the crowd after we made a good play gave us the energy to feed off of,” Black said.

Layton Rabb, accounting junior, looks to throw the ball to another player during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley

Most of the players’ families were able to come and watch their sons play football and show their support to MSU.

“My whole family and both sets of grandparents were able to come to the game. Their support is a blessing — I couldn’t keep on doing what I do without them,” Blaine Albrecht, tight end, said.

The team, now 3-0, plays Texas A&M Commerce on Oct. 7.

The boys are looking forward to continuing the winning streak to 4-0 next Saturday.

“Next week we have a very good match-up against a good team. We’ve got to be composed, do what we do and worry about no one else,” Brandon Sampson, wide receiver, said.

Family Day Football Game 2017

Layton Rabb, accounting junior, looks to throw the ball to another player during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Layton Rabb, accounting junior, looks to throw the ball to another player during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
D.J. Myers, psychology senior, runs the ball down the field to score the second touchdown for MSU right before halftime, bringing the score to 17-14 against Western New Mexico University at Memorial Stadium. Photo by Marissa Daley
D.J. Myers, psychology senior, runs the ball down the field to score the second touchdown for MSU right before halftime, bringing the score to 17-14 against Western New Mexico University at Memorial Stadium. Photo by Marissa Daley
Zach McMahen, criminal justice sophmore, tackles a New Mexico football player during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Zach McMahen, criminal justice sophmore, tackles a New Mexico football player during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Alexis Maggard, spech education freshman, ends her routine in the splits with three lit batons during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Alexis Maggard, spech education freshman, ends her routine in the splits with three lit batons during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
The band wears '24 Strong' stickers on their cheeks during their halftime show in memory of Robery Grays at the Family Day game against Western New Mexico University at Memorial Stadium. Photo by Marissa Daley
The band wears '24 Strong' stickers on their cheeks during their halftime show in memory of Robery Grays at the Family Day game against Western New Mexico University at Memorial Stadium. Photo by Marissa Daley
Maurisha Peyton, early childhood education junior, gets to kick a field goal for a prize during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Maurisha Peyton, early childhood education junior, gets to kick a field goal for a prize during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
MSU Football players get ready to start the game representing Robert by wearing #24 on their helmets for the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
MSU Football players get ready to start the game representing Robert by wearing #24 on their helmets for the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Adrian Seales, criminial justice junior, makes a touchdown for the Mustangs during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Adrian Seales, criminial justice junior, makes a touchdown for the Mustangs during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
The Football players had the number 24 put on all of their helmets before the Family Day game against Western New Mexico Univeristy in honor of Robert Grays, MSU football player that passed at their last football game. Photo by Marissa Daley
The Football players had the number 24 put on all of their helmets before the Family Day game against Western New Mexico Univeristy in honor of Robert Grays, MSU football player that passed at their last football game. Photo by Marissa Daley
Vincent Johnson, mechanical engineering junior, tries avoid being tackled by a Western New Mexico University player, but is eventually tackled to the ground by 3 opposing players during the Family Day game Setp. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Vincent Johnson, mechanical engineering junior, tries avoid being tackled by a Western New Mexico University player, but is eventually tackled to the ground by 3 opposing players during the Family Day game Setp. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Kamerin Jones, early childhood education sophmore, and Abigail Phouleuanghong, early childhood education junior, show cheer pride during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley
Kamerin Jones, early childhood education sophmore, and Abigail Phouleuanghong, early childhood education junior, show cheer pride during the Mustangs vs Western New Mexico football game held in the Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium. Sept. 30. Photo by Marissa Daley