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New Mexico State holds off South Carolina State for first win

LAS CRUCES — Emergency starting quarterback Dino Maldonado found his club’s first-ever matchup with South Carolina State quite to his liking.

The New Mexico State third-stringer, pressed into duty after starter Jonah Johnson went down with a wrist injury in last week’s New Mexico loss, skippered touchdown drives on each of his first five first-half possessions.

NMSU jumped out to a three-touchdown lead and it turned out they needed every one of those early points, hanging on late for a 43-35 victory Saturday night in front of an announced Aggie Memorial Stadium crowd of 11,283.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak, handing NMSU (1-2) it’s first victory at home since a 44-35 win over UTEP in November 2019.