ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Military Institute football team is celebrating the first NJCAA national championship win in program history. The Broncos defeated Iowa Western 31-13 on Friday, and a case can be made that it was thanks to the local players on the roster.

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Sophomore quarterback and former Volcano Vista Hawk, Diego Pavia, has been the lead man under center for the Broncos this season. He had a solid performance in the national championship, throwing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Pavia also ran for 55 yards and added another score on the ground.

The Broncos also had local players make an impact on the defensive side of the ball. “Jake Gellhausen made huge plays, Christian Carreathers was demolishing up front,” said Pavia. “It was just fun playing alongside those guys, knowing them for a while and being able to compete with them.” Gellhausen, an outside linebacker, finished his national championship with 0.5 sacks and tackles for loss (TFL). Defensive lineman, Christian Carreathers, also had 0.5 sacks and TFLs, in addition to recovering a fumble.

In total, the NMMI roster had 21 players from the Land of Enchantment on the 2021 roster. It is still unclear how many of those players will return for the 2022 season, but head coach Kurt Taufa’asau believes winning a national championship will help make NMMI one of the top junior college recruiting destinations moving forward.