SAN ANTONIO – Wayland Baptist's first football game in 72 years ended with a loss, but also with a whole lot of promise.
The Pioneers dropped a 59-21 decision to Monterrey Tech of Mexico at Heroes Stadium here Saturday night, leaving coach Butch Henderson with things to work on with his team but also with a lot of hope.
"We did a lot of things real well," Henderson said. "It's a disappointment simply because of how big this game was (to Wayland) and these players. Some of them waited two years."
Encouraged by a crowd of close to 2,700 fans, Wayland scored the first points of the game and trailed just 21-13 early in the second quarter before being outscored 38-8 the rest of the way.
"We know we can do some things," Henderson said. "We have to learn to do those consistently, especially offensively. We‘ve got to get where we take the ball and put points (on the board) and not expect our defense to carry the load."
Monterrey Tech, which has won three national championships in Mexico the past five years, did most of its damage on the ground while the Pioneers debuted their no-huddle, pass-oriented offense.
Wayland's first touchdown came on just its second play of the game as El Paso's Anthony Campuzano hooked up with Kendall Roberson of Lubbock on a 42-yard pass play for a 7-0 lead just 2½ minutes in to the action.
Monterrey Tech, three plays after a 50-yard run, matched Wayland's score on a seven-yard run by Alberto Belenguer and the first period ended in a 7-7 tie. The Rams scored twice more before the speedy Roberson exploded on an 80-yard end-around for Wayland's next score, making it 21-13.
Monterrey scored twice more before Wayland found the endzone on 20-yard pass from Campuzano to Plainview's Josh Amador on the last play of the first half, which ended with the Pioneers trailing 35-21.
Wayland's offense couldn't put it in the endzone again while the Rams tallied three more TDs and a 34-yard field goal.
"You have to pick yourself up, walk back in there with that swagger and think positively," Henderson said.
"One of the most positive things is the number of people we had here…family, friends, alumni," Henderson said. "Hang with us. I'm excited about where we're headed. We will be better next week."
The outing was considered an exhibition by Wayland, which will play its official opening game at 2 p.m. next Saturday in Plainview against Adams State of Colorado.