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Marquis Sumpter scores first college TD

Marquis Sumpter scored his first college touchdown September 19.

Sumpter, a receiver for Western New Mexico State and a true freshman who graduated from Fallbrook High School in June, caught a pass from quarterback Dennis Havrilla for a 54-yard touchdown with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter of the Mustangs’ game at Mesa State.

“It felt good to score finally in college,” said Sumpter, who was playing his second collegiate game.

Western New Mexico defensive end Christian Upshaw had sacked Mesa State quarterback Robert Felberg and then recovered Felberg’s fumble to give the Mustangs the ball at their own 46.

On the first play of the Mustangs’ possession, Havrilla threw to Sumpter. “It was right to me,” Sumpter said. “I was surprised how wide open I was.”

Sumpter caught the ball approximately 25 yards from the end zone. “It was a great pass,” he said. “I was only concentrating on catching the ball and scoring.”

Sumpter ran the remaining distance for the touchdown. “Quick 20 yards and no one around me,” he said.

The touchdown was the first score of the game, giving the Mustangs a 6-0 lead.

Sumpter, who caught one pass in his only previous college game, caught a total of five passes for 91 yards against Mesa State.

“I haven’t really played much,” he said. “I was just concentrating on catching the ball and helping my team out.”

Two of those other receptions occurred as part of Western New Mexico touchdown drives, including a 16-yard reception which gave the Mustangs first and goal.

Sumpter also caught a pass during a drive which led to a Mustang field goal. He had two third-quarter receptions and one catch in each of the other three periods.

He also made his first college tackle against the Mavericks after Havrilla fumbled and Mesa State defensive lineman Tony Kelly recovered the ball at the Maverick 25.

Kelly advanced two yards before Sumpter tackled him at the 27.

Sumpter’s brother T.J., who is one of Western New Mexico’s starting cornerbacks, had five tackles in the Mustangs’ 43-37 loss in Grand Junction, CO.

Marquis’ first college touchdown came one week after T.J.’s first college interception, which took place one day after Fallbrook High School senior Caleb Sumpter returned an interception for a touchdown.

“We’re all trying to beat each other out and score every week,” Marquis said of the brothers’ accomplishments.

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