Late pick helps Arizona holds off Lobos in the New Mexico Bowl

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For all the offensive yards at the New Mexico Bowl, for all the points scored, it ended on a defensive play.

Arizona’s Cam Denson intercepted a pass by New Mexico’s Austin Apodaca with 35 seconds left to end a wild 45-37 game.

There weren’t a lot of defensive plays, however. The Wildcats of Rich Rodriguez  finished with a winning record, 7-5, behind quarterback Anu Solomon. Solomon led Arizona to a 35-17 lead by throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Caleb Jones caught four passes for 182 yards and a score, and Jared Baker had 107 yards rushing.

But New Mexico, which plays for Bob Davie, made a strong comeback and had a chance to win going down the stretch. Lamar Jordan had 135 yards rushing and three touchdowns and threw a 92-yard scoring pass to Delane Hart-Johnson before leaving with an injury, but the Lobos suffered three interceptions.

Both teams had 500-plus yards for the game. New Mexico had twice the possession time, but it didn’t help.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.