Sunday, October 31, 2010

LSC Roundup 10-31

MSU ends decade-long skid vs. Texans - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
The Midwestern State Mustangs have accomplished a lot during Bill Maskill’s tenure — gone to the playoffs three times, won a conference title and have had one of the best offenses in the country.

But Saturday night in front of a homecoming crowd of 8,532 in Memorial Stadium, they finally accomplished something that had eluded them for 10 years.

They beat the Tarleton State Texans.

Keidrick Jackson rushed for two touchdowns and Lester Bush ground out 70 yards and a score of his own as the No. 22 Mustangs held on for a 31-26 win over the Texans.

The win broke a seven-game slide against TSU and the Mustangs improved to 7-2 for the season and 3-2 in Lone Star Conference South action. MSU will be at Texas A&M-Kingsville next Saturday for a 7 p.m. game against the Javelinas.

The Texans fall to 2-7 and 1-4 under first-year head coach Cary Fowler — a former offensive coordinator at MSU.

“We had to go the whole distance for the win,” Maskill said. “We had a lot of things we had to overcome and we didn’t play that well. To get a significant win and not play as well as you are capable of playing is obviously a good thing. It was a real good win for the kids.”

No. 3 Wildcats fight off Rams to remain unbeaten - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
This one wasn’t easy. The Angelo State defense put a lot of pressure on quarterback Mitchell Gale, keeping him off balance much of the day. Yet the Abilene Christian sophomore still managed to make some plays, enough to keep the No. 3 Wildcats unbeaten.

Gale threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns to lead ACU past the Rams 33-20 in a Lone Star Conference football game on Saturday at Shotwell Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of fight in us,” Gale said. “We knew it was going to be a struggle with them. They’re a good team. It wasn’t going to be easy. but we came out on top. Now, we’ve got to get ready for next week.”

The victory keeps the Wildcats (9-0 overall, 5-0 LSC) alone atop the LSC standings with two games remaining. The Wildcats began the day with a one-game lead over Texas A&M-Kingsville, which beat Southwestern Oklahoma State in an afternoon game. ACU already has beaten the Javelinas this season.

Buffs work over Incarnate Word - Amarillo Globe News
West Texas A&M did exactly what was expected Saturday afternoon, dominating an overmatched Incarnate Word squad in a 49-10 victory in the first meeting between the teams.

Despite coasting in the second half at Benson Stadium, the Buffs handed the Cardinals the third-worst loss in the program's two-year history. WT had an opportunity to eclipse that 44-point mark but chose to let the game clock expire at Incarnate Word's 11-yard line.

The victory kept WT on track for its Lone Star Conference showdown against third-ranked Abilene Christian at 6 p.m. Saturday at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Buffs head coach Don Carthel said maturity kept his team from overlooking the Cardinals.

"They're old enough to know what's at stake," Carthel said. "This game today was just as important as the one next week against Abilene in terms of wins and losses."

"(Incarnate Word is) a team we are supposed to beat on film. They are a young team, they play hard and are well-coached, but we've got more talent then they do and we have more depth then they do."

Texas A&M-Kingsville rolls over Southwestern (Okla.) State - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
For one game, Texas A&M-Kingsville got all it wanted across the board against Southwestern (Okla.) State.

In their most dominating performance since 2005, the fifth-ranked Javelinas buried the Bulldogs 56-17, rolling up 546 yards of offense at Milam Stadium.

There was no question about offense concerning the offense as the Javelinas improved to 8-1 on the season and 7-1 in the Lone Star Conference. The yardage was the most gained this season by the Javelinas, who got four touchdowns from Jonathon Woodson, two shy of the all-time school record set in 1938 by Leroy Fry.

“Everybody just came out and played hard. It was a simple game plan,” said Woodson, who rushed for three TDs and 117 yards and added a pass reception for a score. “We were going to come in and run the ball and give it a chance. That’s what happened. We did very well with it.”

A&M-Kingsville totaled a season-best 325 rushing yards. The Javelinas bombarded SWO with four TDs on their first five possessions, built a 42-3 halftime lead, possessed the ball for almost 37 minutes and rarely looked back. It was A&M-Kingsville’s most lopsided victory since Bo Atterberry became coach in 2007 and the Javelinas’ most lopsided win since a 60-6 verdict over Texas College in the 2005 season opener.

“Finally, finally a little bit different. We finally put it together from the beginning,” said Javelinas quarterback Nate Poppell, who threw for 183 yards and TD passes of 6 yards to Woodson and 73 yards to Ryan Lincoln. “We were able to withstand it the whole game.

“It was a good week of practice. We knew the expectations coming into it,” Poppell said. “We were the first to understand how we’ve been playing throughout the season. I think after last week we were a little disappointed in the way we came out. We just came out today and made up for it and really put it to them.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

LSC Football Recap 10-30

LSC Football Recap: Oct. 30, 2010

Texas A&M-Commerce 31, Central Oklahoma 30
EDMOND,OKLAHOMA - Adam Farkes threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns and Texas A&M-Commerce held Central Oklahoma to a season-low 260 total yards in pulling out a 31-30 Lone Star Conference North Division victory here Saturday afternoon.

The game appeared headed for overtime when Josh Birmingham scored on a two-yard run to cap a 99-yard drive with just 1:26 left to play, but UCO missed the tying extra point and the Lions picked up one first down to run out the clock.

It was the third one-point loss of the season for the Bronchos, all coming on missed PATs (42-41 to Incarnate Word and 56-55 to Southeastern Oklahoma, both in overtime). A&M-C improved to 3-6 on the year and 2-3 in North Division play, while UCO fell to 2-7 and 1-4.

The Lions led 10-0 and 17-7 in the second quarter, but the Bronchos came back to tie it at 17-all on Landon Greve’s 14-yard TD pass to Bryce Davis with 37 seconds left in the half.

A&M-C regained a 24-17 lead on the final play of the half when Farkes tossed a 40-yard TD bomb to Adam Jones.

UCO tied it again at 24-24 when Birmingham scored from three yards out and it stayed that way until late in the third period when London Hamilton’s three-yard TD dash put the Lions ahead 31-24.

Farkes was 22-of-38 passing and the Lions also got 90 yards and two TDs rushing from Hamilton.

Birmingham was held to a season-low 55 yards on 19 carries, while Greve -- who went the distance in place of injured starter Ethan Sharp -- completed 16-of-22 passes for 177 yards and a score.

No. 14 West Texas A&M 40, Incarnate Word 10
SAN ANTONIO,Texas – The 14th-ranked West Texas A&M Buffaloes scored 21 first quarter points en route to pinning a 49-10 defeat on Incarnate Word, Saturday afternoon at Tom Benson Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.

The win sets up a showdown next Saturday, Nov. 6, when WTAMU will host third-ranked Abilene Christian in a contest that will decide the Lone Star Conference South Championship.

The Buffaloes improve to 7-2 on the year, 7-1 LSC, 4-1 LSC South play, while UIW falls to 2-7, 2-5 LSC, 0-5 LSC South.
The Buffaloes started quickly, driving 69 yards for a touchdown on their initial drive. A 12 yard pass from Taylor Harris (Sr-3L, Whitesboro, Texas) to Trevor Hammergren (Fr-RS, Aztec, N.M.) set up first and goal from the UIW three. From there, Jay Tillman bulled up the middle for a three-yard TD run as the Buffs took a 7-0 lead just 2:23 into the contest. The drive saw WT’s Harris (Sr-3L, Whitesboro, Texas) go five-of-five passing for 63 yards.

The Buffs’ second possession began at the UIW 47 and it also resulted in seven points, with Harris finding Brittan Golden (Jr-2L, Denver City, Texas) over the middle on a 12-yard toss. Golden fought his way into the end zone, giving WT a 14-0 lead just 5:56 into the contest.

The second drive saw Harris complete another four passes without an incompletion.

The Buffaloes’ defense stopped UIW on a third-and-one situation, forcing another punt.
Taking over from their own 29, the Buffs again marched crisply down field. From the UIW 11, Tillman bulled straight up the middle to the one yard line, setting up first and goal. A Harris pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage, but on second down Tevin Mitchell (So-1L, Quanah, Texas) went over center for the score. The 15 play drive covered 71 yards and, with 2:05 to play in the first quarter, WT held a 21-0 lead.

On their third possession of the game, UIW quarterback Paden Lynch drove the Cardinals, into the redzone. The Buffs held, though, and Shad Baichtal (Sr-1L, Mission Viejo, Calif.) blocked Thomas Rebolds’ 25-yard field goal attempt.

The Cardinal’s next drive was thwarted as Baichtal came around the left side of the UIW line to sack Lynch for a 21 yard loss.
The WT defense took control on UIW’s ensuing drive. DE Kyle Thomas (Sr-1L, Oceanside, Calif.) blocked a Lynch pass attempt on first down, hauled down UIW back Trent Rios for lost yardage on second down, then, on third down, DT Drew Jones (Jr-TR, West Columbia, Texas) batted a Lynch pass up into the air, where DB Maurice Caldwell (Jr-2L, San Antonio, Texas) stepped under the ball and took it 18 yards for the score. WT now led, 28-0 midway through the second quarter.

Following another UIW punt, RB Kelvin Thompson (Sr-3L, Mineral Wells, Texas) burst through a hole up the middle for 33 yards to the three yard line. From there, Harris hit Tyson Williams (Jr-2L, Aldine, Texas) for the score, putting the Buffs up, 35-0 with 3:52 to play in the first half. The 10 play drive took 3:52 off the clock.

A 44-yard Sergio Castillo (Fr-RS, Mission, Texas) field goal attempt in the final minute had the distance but was wide to the left, leaving WT with a 35-09 halftime lead.

Taking possession to start the second half UIW drove from their own 20 to the WT 27. From there, QB Lynch scrambled up the middle for 12 yards, but was hit and fumbled the ball with WT’s Drew Jones falling on the loose pigskin.

The Buffs were unable to move the ball and Kevin VanVoris (Fr-HS, Elizabith, Colo.) was forced to kick from his own end zone. VanVoris uncorked a 56-yard punt, giving UIW possession at their own 38.
On the UIW possession, WT’s Zane Farris knifed in from the left side, flushed Lynch from the pocket and stripped him of the ball and Taylor McCuller fell on it at the WT 47.

Starting from there, the Buffs gained two yards on first down at which point Harris connected with Williams on a 51 yard post route. The TD, Williams’ second of the game, gave West Texas A&M a 42-0 lead with 6:04 to play in the third quarter.

By this point in the game, several of the WT reserves were in the game defensively.

Thomas Ribold put the Cardinals on the board with a 32-yard field goal with 2:09 to play in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Tommy Hampton took the ball on the far sideline, followed his blocking across the field and outran all would-be tacklers 89 yards to the end zone to put the Buffs ahead by a 49-3 margin.

The Cardinals converted a fourth-and-one midway through the fourth quarter to keep alive a drive which ended when Lynce found Donald on a short route at the goal line. The short pass reception made the score WT 49, UIW 10 with 9:42 remaining in the game.

Following the UIW score, Hampton gave the Buff offense great field position, at the UIW 43 with another long kickoff return. Tanner Marsh (So-1L, Carrollton, Texas) came on in relief of Harris at quarterback, but left shortly after with an injury, giving way to Dustin Vaughan (Fr-RS, Corpus Christi, Texas).

Harris finished the game completing 20 of 33 passes for 227 yards and three TDs. Williams had four catches for 75 yards and two TDs, as seven Buff receivers made pass receptions. Kelvin Thompson was the Buffs’ leading ground gainer with seven carries for 60 yards, while Jay Tillman had 12 carries for 52 yards and one TD..

Defensively, Taylor McCuller had six tackles, while lineman Glen Stanley contributed five stops.

Next week, the Buffaloes host #3-ranked Abilene Christian in a battle for first-place in the LSC South Division. Kickoff at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium is set for 6:05 p.m. CDT.

No. 5 Texas A&M-Kingsville 56, Southwestern Oklahoma 17
WEATHERFORD, OKLAHOMA - Texas A&M-Kingsville put away Southwestern Oklahoma State University in easy fashion with a 56-17 victory Saturday in Weatherford, Okla. The win was the Javelinas fourth straight and improved their record to 8-1 on the season.

Jonathan Woodson rushed for 117 yards and scored three touchdowns as A&M-Kingsville scored the game's first 28 points and carried a 42-3 cushion at the halftime break. Woodson scored on TD runs of 3, 16 and 52 for the Javelinas.

The margin grew to 49-3 when backup quarterback Daniel Ramirez scored on a 52-yard keeper midway through the third quarter.

SWOSU, which fell to 2-7 overall, had two scoring drives against Kingsville reserves late in the game. Quaterback Dustin Stenta had a one-yard scoring run and then threw a two-yard scoring pass to Jordan Davis in the early moments of the fourth quarter.

Kingsville ended the game with 546 yards rushing. The Javelinas limited SWOSU to just 207 yards of total offense, 162 of which came in the second half when the game was out of reach.

No. 3 Abilene Christian 33, Angelo State 20
ABILENE, TEXAS - Angelo State quarterback Josh Neiswander became the school's all-time completions leader while helping the Rams to an early 7-3 lead over No. 3 Abilene Christian, but the Wildcats proved too much to handle in a 33-20 loss in the Big Country-Concho Valley Shootout presented by State Farm at Shotwell Stadium Saturday.

Neiswander entered the game needing two completions to tie Ned Cox at 589 and did so on the team's opening drive with a screen pass to Tristan Carter. The Rams (3-5, 1-5 LSC South) were eventually forced to punt but during team's next possession, Neiswander hit Carter again on a screen for completion No. 590 of his career. The senior from Winnsboro, Texas, finished the contest 33-of-48 for 327 yards to break his own single-game completions record and surpass 300 yards for the third consecutive game, but it wasn't enough for the Rams to upset one of the top teams in the country.

Angelo State's defense was stout early on, forcing a long field goal on ACU's first drive of the game before holding the No. 2 offense in the country to a three-and-out on the second drive. On the Rams' third drive of the contest, Neiswander rolled out on two separate plays and hit CJ Akins for gains of more than 20 yards. Garrett Tidwell gave ASU its first touchdown and the lead, 7-3, on an 11-yard scamper to the left.

After going without a touchdown in the first quarter, the Wildcats (9-0, 5-0 LSC South) wouldn't be denied in the second. ACU punched in a four-yard pass from Mitchell Gale to Emery Dudensing on the first snap of the second quarter and added another score in the final minute before halftime on a pass from Gale to Raymond Radway. ASU's Devin McDonald blocked the first point after try, making the score 16-7 ACU at the break.

The Rams' defense came up with another big stop after halftime in forcing another three-and-out. Neiswander and the Rams pulled within three points at 16-13, when a nine-play, 65-yard drive was capped by a 26 yard touchdown pass to Dakarai Pecikonis. The ensuing extra-point was blocked and that was as close as the Rams would get to ACU.

Abilene Christian kick returner Kendrick Johnson ran down a 73-yard punt by ASU's George Shamblen around the seven minute mark in the third quarter and returned it 31 yards. The Wildcats built more momentum on the second play of the drive when Gale hit Radway for 44 yards and set up a first and goal situation. Two plays later, Gale connected with Dudensing again to push the advantage to 23-13.

The Wildcats blocked an ASU field goal try on the next possession and Edmund Gates pushed the dagger deeper by taking a screen pass to the right sideline 55 yards for a score. Neiswander found Akins for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit to 10 points, but ACU didn't give up another. Angelo State's final drive ended with less than two minutes to play when a Neiswander dive left the Rams inches short on fourth down.

Akins led the Ram receiving corps with 129 yards on seven catches. Pecikonis also had seven catches and finished one-yard shy of 100 yards at 99 for the game. As a team, Angelo State was held to minus-23 yards rushing, the fewest yards rushing by an ASU team since Sept. 14, 2002, a minus-45 effort in a 38-0 season-opening loss to Tarleton State. Shamblen punted seven times for an average of 50.9 yards and placed two kicks inside the 20-yard line.

Gale guided the Abilene Christian offense to 459 total yards while completing 27-of-41 passes for 377 yards and four scores. Gates led ACU's receivers with six catches for 124 yards.

Angelo State will travel to Southeastern Oklahoma next weekend for a 2 p.m. Lone Star Conference crossover game (Nov. 6), before welcoming Central Oklahoma to San Angelo Stadium for Military Appreciation Day (Nov. 13).

Eastern New Mexico 41, Southeastern Oklahoma 13
BLACKWATER DRAW, N.M. - Despite holding the ball for less than 10 minutes in the opening half, the Eastern New Mexico University football team (4-5; LSC North -2) charged to a 41-13 halftime lead over visiting Southeastern Oklahoma State (3-6; LSC North 2-4) en route to a 55-20 victory in Lone Star Conference North Division action, Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Stadium.

With the win, ENMU improved to 2-6 in their series with the Savage Storm, with the last win coming during the 1998 season at Blackwater Draw.

ENMU's Darian Dale opened the scoring by hauling in a 27-yard touchdown pass, and Rodney Mitchell returned his first interception, 76 yards to give the Hounds a 14-0 lead. Baylen Laury's one-yard plunge trimmed the Hounds' lead to 14-7, but Eastern scored the next three touchdowns to pull away for the win.

The Greyhounds out-gained the Savage Storm by a 507-432 margin in total offense, led by Wesley Wood's 360 yards passing and Tony Venezuela's 64 yards rushing. Laury, the LSC's leading rusher, went for 118 yards and two touchdowns. ENMU's Tillman Stevens finished with 18 tackles, while Matt Kalisch had 2.5 of the Greyhounds' seven sacks. Brad Chesdhir SOSU with seven tackles.

Eastern New Mexico will travel to Northeastern State next weekend, while the Savage Storm will host Angelo State.

East Central 48, Northeastern State 21
ADA, OKLAHOMA. – Quarterback Tyler Vanderzee threw for two touchdowns and caught a scoring pass off a reverse while the East Central University defense accounted for two TDs as the Tigers rolled to a 48-21 Lone Star Conference North victory over Northeastern State Saturday at Norris Field.

The win lifted the Tigers to 4-5 on the season and 4-1 in the LSC North with a chance at clinching at least a tie for the division title next Saturday with a visit to Texas A&M-Commerce. The RiverHawks, who fell to 5-4 and 4-1, also have a chance of getting at least a share of the crown with a win at home against Eastern New Mexico next week. NSU can win the title outright if it beats ENMU and A&M-Commerce tops ECU.

Vanderzee was 14-of-26 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns of 51 yards to Zack Patteson and 76 to Cleotha Euwins. Vanderzee also hauled in a scoring pass off a reverse and pass from Jason Stephenson which resulted in a 38-yard scoring play.

Defensively, the Tigers got into the scoring act as Dontae Smith scored off a 74-yard interception return and an Armonty Bryant sack and forced fumble led him to returning the ball seven yards for a touchdown. Bryant recorded three of ECU’s six sacks on the day and topped the team’s tackle chart with seven, including six solos.

NSU quarterback Kenny Davis was 18-of-35 passing for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but was picked off twice. Davis hooked up with Nick Whitlow on a 9-yard scoring pass and later connected with Sean Donohue on a 23-yarder for a touchdown.

The RiverHawk special teams picked up a score as Steven Hopper returned a blocked punt three yards for a touchdown.

ECU had 445 yards of offense, compared to NSU’s 218. The RiverHawks netted just 28 yards on the ground off 29 rushing tries.

Seven different receivers caught passes for the Tigers, led by Stephenson with five for 47 yards and Patteson with three for 71. Euwins had two for 80 yards, with his 76-yard scoring reception.

Eleven RiverHawks caught passes, led by Whitlow and Prince McKinney with three apiece for 27 and 22 yards, respectively.

ECU’s Charles Opeseyitan netted 97 yards on 23 carries and scored off a 5-yard run with 3:12 remaining in the contest to pad the Tiger advantage.

The Tigers also scored a pair of safeties in the game, one of which came off a blocked punt by Victor Cooper.

LSC Game Day Roundup 10-30

No matchups between ranked teams this week - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
With the regular season nearing its end, there weren’t any surprising results in last weekend’s Lone Star Conference South Division matchups.

What might have been surprising, however, were the final scores.

It seems like every week, the schedule includes a contest between two nationally ranked teams, and last Saturday was no different.

West Texas A&M met Midwestern State, both ranked in the Top 15 in last week’s American Football Coaches Association Division II poll, with the Buffaloes coming away with a 42-29 victory.

ASU FOOTBALL: Rivalry returns - Joey Richards, Special to San Angelo Standard Times
When it comes to rivalries, Abilene Christian and Angelo State go way back — like 1965, eight years before the Wildcats joined the Lone Star Conference. It’s been an intense rivalry, and today’s 47th meeting between the two football teams at Shotwell Stadium won’t be any different — even with one team struggling while another is playing like a contender for a national championship.

“I understand the rivalry,” sixth-year ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “I understand what it’s all about — the close proximity and all the great games down throughout the years. I have great respect for the rivalry and the program. Anytime ACU and Angelo hook up, it’s going to be a great game.”

Angelo State quarterback Josh Neiswander also appreciates the rivalry, although the senior isn’t sure the Rams have made it much of a rivalry the last few years — losing four straight, all by three or more touchdowns.

“I know it’s been a long-standing rivalry between ACU and ASU for a long time,” Neiswander said. “I know since we’ve been here, we haven’t won a game. So I don’t know how much of a rivalry it can be, if one team is always winning. But based on the history of the two schools, it’s always been a great rivalry.”

ACU football preview: Wildcats aim to stymie upset-minded Rams - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
What’s riding on this game: The Wildcats are trying to remain in sole possession of first place in the Lone Star Conference. Texas A&M-Kingsville is a game back, and ACU already has beaten the Javelinas. If ACU continues to remain unbeaten, the Wildcats likely will be ranked No. 1 in Super Regional Four. The No. 1 team gets a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage through the region finals. The first region rankings come out next week. Angelo State leads the series 27-18-1, but ACU has won the last four games in dominating fashion and seven of the last eight.

Joey D. Richards’ pick: ACU 52, Angelo State 21

Javelinas hoping for fast start against Southwestern - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
The intent remains the same every week for Texas A&M-Kingsville’s fifth-ranked football team. The Javelinas are continually trying to find a way to come out of the gates strong and maintain that level throughout the course of a ballgame.

It has transpired that way infrequently this season for the Javelinas, who still have fashioned a 7-1 record in the process. Last week was another stumble off the starting blocks before they came around and beat Tarleton State 13-10 on Christian Brom’s 41-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining.

Saturday afternoon, it certainly would behoove them to rise early and often against a capricious Southwestern (Okla.) State team that is salivating at the chance to stain the Javelinas’ season-long aspirations.

“Our objective is to get all of the guys playing fast and physical consistently snap in, down in, down out, regardless of the opponent,” A&M-Kingsville coach Bo Atterberry said. “We’ve been in some positions this year where some guys have learned some lessons like, ‘If I don’t do that, I can’t produce at the level I’d like to.’ So you’re always learning, figuring things out.

“We’ve got such a great opportunity in front of us you’d hate to think anybody is thinking anything other than step on the accelerator.”

Fowler: Win over Midwestern would be huge step forward

Sports Editor

One on hand, Tarleton State is brimming with confidence after posting a come-from-behind win on the road then almost upsetting a top 10 opponent at home.

On the other hand, the Texans continue reeling, as last week's loss guaranteed their streak of winning seasons that dates back to 1999, will end this year.

Whichever side of Tarleton shows up in Wichita Falls Saturday, taking on No. 22 Midwestern State in its homecoming game at Memorial Stadium is no small task.

Kickoff in Saturday's Lone Star Conference showdown is set for 7 p.m.

After suffering its second loss of the season in a 42-29 defeat at West Texas A&M last week, MSU (6-2 overall, 5-2 LSC, 2-2 LSC South) is in playoff mode the rest of the way.

But the Mustangs haven't defeated Tarleton State since 2000, and have never done so under head coach Bill Maskill.

"I know they want us, and I know they probably think this is the year to get us," Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler said. "But we've come a long way the last few weeks, from getting our first win against Angelo State, to going on the road and coming from behind at (Texas A&M-Commerce) and coming so close against (Texas A&M-Kingsville). We're getting better each week, and if we can reach the intensity level I hope to see for a full 60 minutes, we'll have a chance to pick up a big win Saturday."

Several of Midwestern's seniors are players Fowler recruited before leaving MSU for Tarleton in 2008. He was the Mustangs' defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator from 2001-07.
None of those players stands out more than quarterback Zack Eskridge, who was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Division II version of the Heisman, last year.

Eskridge's numbers are down slightly this fall - he has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,729 yards and 15 touchdowns while tossing just six interceptions - but Fowler says that's mostly because the Mustangs have done so well running the ball.

"Marcus Mathis (82-507, 4 TDs) is the only guy you see among the conference leaders, but their depth in the backfield is incredible," Fowler said. "They have like six good running backs."
Midwestern leads the league in rushing by a wide margin. The Mustangs average 218.8 yards per game on the ground, 45.6 yards more than Southeastern Oklahoma State in second.

"They run the ball out of the spread and they have great backs who fit their system perfectly," Fowler said.

Tarleton's defense allows 141.2 rushing yards per game, and held No. 5 A&M-Kingsville to 135 yards on 42 attempts last week. That's when the Texans unveiled a 3-4 defense Fowler says they will employ again during the stretch run of the season.

"It's really not much different than what we have been doing," he said. "We just stood Jacob Rowe up so he could move around and do some different things both against the run and in pass coverage."

Rowe and inside linebacker Damian Perkins each had 14 tackles last week, and Rowe also had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a sack and a pass break up.

"We'll use four down linemen sometimes and three down linemen sometimes," Fowler said. "We want to mix it up and not give good quarterbacks like (Eskridge or A&M-Kingsville's Nate Poppel) the same look over and over."

Offensively, Tarleton is averaging just 317.4 yards per game and will be challenging a MSU defense that allows just 349.

"They do a lot of the same things defensively that they did when I was there," Fowler said.
That could be an advantage for Tarleton, which is led by quarterback Nick Stephens. The junior has passed for 1,205 yards and seven scores in just five games.

"We've been getting healthier offensively, and as we have, we've gotten better," Fowler said. "But there's still a lot of things execution-wise we can improve on, and if we do that, we'll be in good shape Saturday."

Fowler knows a win would be huge for his program.

"First we just needed a win, and now we have a couple of those," he said. "Now we need to beat a big-time opponent, and we came up just short last week. Getting a win against a team like Midwestern would be a big boost for us going into our last two games and then off-season."

(No football stories from Times Record News or Amarillo Globe as of yet).

Friday, October 29, 2010

LSC Women Soccer Update - Week 8

Women’s Soccer Update.
Week Eight.
National poll.
ACU moved into the national picture for the first time in LSC history, appearing at #23.  Midwestern dropped out but still received votes.  St Edwards improved to #6.

Regional poll.
1)      St Edwards
2)      ACU
3)      Central Missouri
4)      Midwestern
5)      Angelo State
6)      Truman State
7)      University of Incarnate Word
8)      A&M Commerce
9)      Nebraska-Omaha
10)   Southwest Baptist
Player of the Week.
Offensive – Ashley Brown, Angelo State.  Scored the game winner in the defeat of Midwestern, and the lone goal in the 1-3 loss to ACU.
Defensive-Natalie Crosslin, Southwest Oklahoma.  Scored in the defeat of TWU and played 110 minutes in the back in the 0-0 draw with A&M Commerce.
Goalkeeper-Elliott London. Allowed one goal in two matches over the weekend and notched one shutout.

Midwestern. A split over the weekend finds the Mustangs still in control of their destiny (and conference hosting privileges) to land at a 8-1 LSC mark.  Friday against UIW in San Antonio the first half was a scoreless affair.  A 61st minute chip by MSU’s Maddie Fraser provided the margin in a fairly even match.  Sunday the Rambelles managed a goal with just 12 seconds left in regulation to mark the first loss of conference play for MSU.  The defeat knocked the Mustangs out of the national poll and down a couple of notches in the regional rankings.  Road matches to close out LSC play are at TWU and A&M-Commerce.

ACU.  Delivered two wins over fellow second place holders to match Midwestern at 8-1.  Friday in San Angelo against the Rambelles neither side found the net in the first period to end at 0-0.  The 60th minute saw the ASU side score first, while the Cat’s Ashley Holton answered in the 71st.  Andrea Carpenter hit the winner in the 87th, with Kat Garner adding an insurance goal via a corner in the 89th.  This week ACU closes out on the road against Commerce and TWU.  The Cats are celebrating their first-ever entry in the national rankings as they appear at #23.

UIW.  Faced the top of the conference over the weekend and dropped a pair of one goal games to stand at 6-2 in conference play.  Friday’s match vs. #18 Midwestern saw only one goal scored – unfortunately for the home team Cardinals this was in their net.  Sunday UIW saved a PK only to see ACU freshman Kristen Cavello bury a loose ball in the 76th for the winner.  UIW hits the road against cellar dwellers NSU and ECU to finish conference play.

Angelo State.  Split results land the Rambelles at 7-2 in LSC matches.   Friday against ACU a scoreless first half was followed by an ASU goal in the 60th for the 1-0 lead.  Three unanswered goals by the visiting Wildcats made the final 3-1 Cats.  Sunday a Senior Day win over Midwestern (much appreciated by ACU) redeemed the weekend for ASU.  The winner came with just 12 seconds left in regulation.  The Rambelles look to finish strong in Oklahoma this weekend facing ECU and NSU.

Central Oklahoma.  Tied and won for the weekend, leaving the Bronchos with a 4-4-1 record.  A goal from each team in the first half knotted the score 1-1 against Commerce Friday.  The Lions opened the second half with a goal in the 46th minute and led until the 88th minute when the Bronchos tied it again.  Neither side managed a goal through 2OT periods for the 2-2 draw.  Sunday the Pioneers traveled to Edmond but could not break the Bronchos, who scored in the 25th,48th and 81st before TWU netted a PK for the 3-1 final.  The Bronchos remain in Edmond for the final weekend of play against WTA&M and ENMU.

WT A&M. Split the weekend matches to settle at 3-5-1.  At home against NSU the Buffs surrendered a 1st half goal for the 0-1 first half deficit.  Lindsay McHorse tied it up for the Buffs in the 71st and regulation ended 1-1.  With 24 ticks left in the second OT period NSU struck for the 2-1 winner.  Sunday the Buffs stampeded through the Tigers of ECU, scoring six unanswered goals. (Did the loss to NSU get their attention?)  For their final weekend of conference play the Buffs roam Oklahoma to visit UCO and SWOSU.

TWU.  Dropped a pair of matches to slide to 2-5-2 for the season.  Friday the Pioneers scored a 44th minute goal for the 1-0 halftime advantage.  Two second half goals for the Bulldogs, in the 57th and 89th minutes stole the “W” from the TWU side.  Central Oklahoma scored in the 21st minute for the 1-0 halftime lead Sunday.  Two more Broncho goals in the second half before a PK by TWU, lead to a 1-3 result.  The Pioneers remain home this weekend against (tied for first place) Midwestern and ACU.

A&M Commerce.  Settled for two draws for the weekend to arrive at 3-3-3 in LSC play.  The Lions have now tied three matches in a row.  Against UCO both teams netted a first half goal.  The Lions scored an early goal in the second half but surrendered a late goal to end regulation 2-2.  2OT periods did not result in a goal by either side, leading to the draw.  Sunday, after a two hour weather delay, neither SWOSU nor Commerce could find the net through 110 minutes of play, for a 0-0 draw.  The weekend the Lions close out at home against the conference leaders ACU and MSU.

SWOSU.  A win and a draw improved the Bulldogs to 3-5-1.  TWU scored 1st in the match, but the feisty Bulldogs scored two second half goals – the winner coming in the 89th minute for the 2-1 result.  Sunday against the Lions 110 minutes of play did not yield a goal, providing a 0-0 draw.  The Bulldogs stay home for the final weekend, welcoming ENMU and WT for a pair of matches.

NSU.  The Riverhawks offensive woes eased over the weekend (no goals for four matches prior) as two wins improved NSU to 2-4-3.  A first half goal in the 40th provided a 1-0 halftime lead that WT matched in the 72nd minute.  24 seconds before the 2nd OT period ended  Rachel Sordahl slid home the 2-1 winner.  Another OT match on Sunday against the Zia’s provided another lift.   Eastern scored in the 34th, NSU converted a free kick into a 57th minute goal, and Katie Valdez ended play in the 96th with the golden goal winner.

ECU.  Dropped two matches on the road to slide to 1-7-1.  90 minutes of scoreless soccer against the Zia’s yielded a 0-0 regulation draw before ENMU converted a corner two minutes into the 1st OT for the 0-1 loss.  Sunday the Tigers were on the wrong end of a Buff stampede for a 0-6 disaster.  The Riverhawks stay home and try to regroup against Angelo and UIW.

ENMU.  The Zia’s took advantage of their best opportunity for a win, splitting 1-1 for the weekend.  Their first (and likely only) win of the season came against ECU at home.  90 minutes with no goals led to OT, where a corner kick resulted in the Zia’s inaugural win of the LSC season.  Another OT match on Sunday unfortunately favored NSU, ending 1-2.  The Zia’s close out the LSC campaign on the road In Oklahoma, vs. SWOSU and Central Oklahoma.

It just gets better and better.  Last week Midwestern was in the drivers seat, a 3-way tie for second existed and we had two winless teams.  Now we have a tie for first, multiple scenarios that could present, NSU and ENMU now boast conference wins.  Have there ever been this many late goals that decided games in one week?  The conference tourney could be in Wichita Falls, or maybe Abilene, or even San Angelo. Have the car gassed and ready to go?

Most like scenario?  Midwestern and ACU finish in a tie for the conference lead, with MSU hosting due to a head-to-head tiebreaker.  Both receive first round byes.  Angelo St finishes #3, UIW #4, WT #5 and Central Oklahoma #6.  Commerce and SWOSU are still possibilities but both will require help to get to the tourney.  The LSC is a great place for the engaged soccer fan.  As in recent years, multiple teams are in play for the tourney as late as week eight, and no team marches through conference play unscathed.  The conference looks strong again as ACU emerges on the national scene (losing only to MSU and #15 Florida Southern), a historically strong UIW joins the LSC, WT made it through regionals last year before falling in California, and Midwestern has been ranked for several weeks in the national poll.  All these factors aid the whole conference in recruiting.  It is just a matter of time before one of our conference members makes it to the Elite Eight and adds to the regional stature

LSC Roundup 10-29

Javelinas defense measures up against the best - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
Back in 2004, Bo Atterberry was the defensive coordinator at Southeastern (Okla.) State when that ballclub advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

That season, Southeastern had the 16th-best defense in the country, limiting opponents to 283.9 yards per game. Now in his fourth season as the coach of the fifth-ranked Javelinas, Atterberry has maintained that Southeastern was one of the best defensive units with which he has been associated.

While that may be true, that Southeastern unit has company. These days, the Javelinas’ defense has proven to be equal, if not superior, to that squad.

Heading into Saturday afternoon’s Lone Star Conference crossover game at Southwestern (Okla.) State, A&M-Kingsville’s defense is ranked sixth among Division II teams in total defense, allowing 235.5 yards per game. The 7-1 Javelinas are first in rushing defense (53 yards per game) and fifth in scoring defense (13.6).

“I think this bunch is more athletic from top to bottom. That bunch in 2004 was probably made up of a few more guys who’d been together a little bit longer. That, to me, was what made them as good as they were,” Atterberry said. “This group, again, surprisingly with some of the new additions, has picked it up pretty quick and done what we’ve asked them to do and been in the right spot.

“Of course if there’s been a mistake here or there, there’s been some athleticism to make up for it, some effort,” Atterberry said.

A&M-K offense still looking for consistency - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller
Perched with a 7-1 record and No. 5 national ranking, it is difficult to have much of a beef with the way Texas A&M-Kingsville has performed offensively. On the other hand, the Javelinas continue to be a work in progress, still searching for consistency.

The latest effort, a very uneven 357-yard effort in last Saturday’s 13-10 Lone Star Conference squeaker in Stephenville against Tarleton State. Generously, the 7-1 Javelinas handled their business when needed, driving 85 yards for the game-tying score before halftime and a quick 36 yards for Christian Brom’s game-winning field goal with 21 seconds remaining.

Situations like that are giving the Javelinas hope that bigger things are, at least, possible.

“I feel like just from watching game film to game film, I feel like we’re really close. But I also understand that it’s a heated competition out there on Saturday nights and things are not going to go perfect as well,” fourth-year Javelinas coach Bo Atterberry said. “You could say a play here, a play there all you want. But the important thing is you take a look, correct it, put it behind you and start working forward.

“I think the difference between the good and great teams is that ability to correct mistakes and move on and not dwell on stuff.”

LSC Preseason Basketball Polls
UCO, MSU men's basketball preseason choices

Central Oklahoma and Midwestern State are the favorites according to the Lone Star Conference men’s basketball preseason polls announced Thursday.

Both teams won the divisional titles last season as the Bronchos claimed their third-straight North Division crown, while the Mustangs won the South Division and league championship titles for the second consecutive year.

Click here for the complete 2010-11 LSC Basketball Media Guide
The LSC has 15 teams set to play this season with the addition of Incarnate Word and the league races should be as spirited as ever. Action begins on November 12.

Here’s a closer look at what the voters said about LSC men’s basketball in 2010-11:

Central Oklahoma is favored in the Lone Star Conference North Division, according to the annual preseason polls.

UCO returns seven lettermen from last year’s 22-7 team that won a third straight Lone Star Conference North Division championship and made the NCAA Division II national tournament for the fifth time in six years. The Bronchos are led by returning All-American Dauntae Williams, who averaged 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.4 steals a game last season.

The Bronchos were a unanimous selection, collecting all 20 first-place votes to finish with 140 total points in the balloting of LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.

Northeastern State was second in the poll with 107 points to edge Texas A&M-Commerce, who was third with 103. Southwestern Oklahoma was fourth with 81, followed by Southeastern Oklahoma fifth (50), Cameron sixth (40) and East Central seventh (39).

Midwestern State is the Lone Star Conference South Division preseason favorite after going 31-3 overall and 10-2 in league play in 2010-11, according to the LSC’s annual men’s basketball preseason polls.

The Mustangs enjoyed a banner campaign under first-year coach Grant McCasland last season advancing to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history. MSU claimed their third LSC championship in the last four years as well.

The Mustangs received 12 first-place votes out of the 21 votes cast for 159 total points by LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.

Tarleton State was second in the poll with five first-place tallies for 134 points to edge Angelo State, who was third with 127 including three first-place nods. West Texas A&M was fourth with 102 points, Incarnate Word fifth (69), Texas A&M-Kingsville sixth (65), Eastern New Mexico seventh (55) and Abilene Christian seventh (45).

Rank North Division 1st Total

1 Central Oklahoma 20 140
2 Northeastern State 107
3 Texas A&M-Commerce 103
4 Southwestern Oklahoma 81
5 Southeastern Oklahoma 50
6 Cameron 40
7 East Central 39

Rank South Division 1st Total

1 Midwestern State 12 159
2 Tarleton State 5 134
3 Angelo State 3 127
4 West Texas A&M 102
5 Incarnate Word 69
6 Texas A&M-Kingsville 65
7 Eastern New Mexico 1 55
8 Abilene Christian 45

Women's Basketball: NSU, WTAMU preseason picks
Northeastern State is favored to win the North Division, while West Texas A&M is the top pick in the South Division as the annual Lone Star Conference women’s basketball preseason polls were announced on Thursday.

Both teams won the divisional titles last season as the RiverHawks picked up their fifth North Division title, while the Lady Buffs claimed the South Division for the fifth straight year and the league championship for the third consecutive year.

Click here for the complete 2010-11 LSC Basketball Media Guide
The LSC has 16 teams set for this season with the addition of Incarnate Word and the league races should be as tight as ever. The season begins November 12.

Here’s a closer look at what the voters had to say about LSC women’s basketball in 2010-11:

Northeastern State is the top choice in the Lone Star Conference North Division after winning its fifth divisional title with a 13-1 record in 2009-10.

The RiverHawks posted a school record for wins (28-7) and reached the title game of the LSC Championship and NCAA Division II South Central Regional last year.

NSU collected 17 of the 22 first-place votes and tallied 170 points as the top team in the balloting of LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.

Central Oklahoma finished second with five first-place nods and 151 points, while Southeastern Oklahoma was third with 130 points.

Texas Woman’s was fourth with 116 points, followed by Cameron’s fifth with70, East Central sixth with 68, Texas A&M-Commerce seventh with 45 and Southwestern Oklahoma eighth with 42.

West Texas A&M is favored to win the Lone Star Conference South Division this season, according to the league’s annual women’s basketball preseason polls.

The Lady Buffs return three starters from last season’s team that went 30-4 overall and 10-2 in the LSC South Division, while winning a third straight LSC Championship and advancing to the school’s seventh consecutive NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

WTAMU received 15 of the 23 first-place votes and totaled 175 points as the top pick in the balloting of LSC coaches, sports information directors and various media representatives.

Tarleton State was picked second in the poll, with seven first-place votes for 166 points, while Angelo State was third with one first-place nod and 107 points.

Rounding out the poll in fourth was Abilene Christian with 99 points, Texas A&M-Kingsville fifth with 96, Incarnate Word sixth with 65, Midwestern State seventh with 63 points and Eastern New Mexico eighth with 57.

1 Northeastern State 17 170
2 Central Oklahoma 5 151
3 Southeastern Oklahoma 130
4 Texas Woman’s 116
5 Cameron 70
6 East Central 68
7 Texas A&M-Commerce 45
8 Southwestern Oklahoma 42

1 West Texas A&M 15 175
2 Tarleton State 7 166
3 Angelo State 1 107
4 Abilene Christian 99
5 Texas A&M-Kingsville 96
6 Incarnate Word 65
7 Midwestern State 63
8 Eastern New Mexico 57

LSC Cross Country: ENMU's Noor and Reid earn weekly honors
Click here for championship webpage courtesy of ACU

Mohamed Noor, Eastern New Mexico University, Jr., Lewiston, Maine, Lewiston HS
Despite strong winds, Noor placed 1st in the 8k at the ECU Tiger Chase with a time of 25:49.9.

Nicole Reid, Eastern New Mexico University, Jr., Pueblo, Colo., Pueblo East HS
Reid battled through tough weather conditions to place 1st at the ECU Tiger Chase. Reid won the 5k with a time of 19:44.2.
Click here for the complete release

Kiya Dandena, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, despite stopping to remove a thorn from the inside of his shoe, Dandena still managed to finish second at the ASU Blue and Gold Classic on Tuesday. He crossed the tape in 26:17.68 for the 8K course and led the Javelinas to a close third place finish.
Julius Korir, Cameron University, finished the 8k East Central Tiger Chase in second place with a time of 26:09. His time at East Central was just shy of his personal best at the LSC Championship last season.
Armando Saldivar, East Central University, ran the 8-kilometer ECU Tiger Chase in 26:13.7, good enough for third place on a wet course.
Briana Villarreal, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, led the Javelinas with a seventh place finish at the ASU Blue and Gold Classic on Tuesday. She finished the 5K race in a time of 20:31. 57. It was the first time this year that she has been the team’s top finisher.
Hayley Jennings, East Central University, clocked in at 19:58.0 for second place at the 5-kilometer ECU Tiger Chase. The final one-third of the race was hit by by high winds and a heavy downpour.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Game Previews and Predictions Week 10

Latest LSC Scoop Regional Rankings

1. Central Missouri 8-0 (1) - .789
2. Abilene Chrisitan 8-0 (2) - .776
3. Northwest Missouri 6-1 (3) - .726
4. Texas A&M-Kingsville 7-1 (4) - .708
5. West Texas A&M 6-2 (9) - .648
6. Midwestern State 6-2 (6) - .631
7. Humboldt State 4-1 (5) - .616
8. Northeastern State (13) - .599
9. Central Washington 5-2 (10) - .595
10. Missouri Western 5-3 (7) - .588
11. Washburn 4-4 (8) - .558

Other LSC teams
18. Angelo State 3-4 (24) - .467
22. Southeastern Oklahoma 3-5 (19) - .437
23. East Central 3-5 (26) - .431
24. Tarleton State 2-5 (21) - .404
25. Incarnate Word 2-5 (23) - .403
26. Southwestern Oklahoma 2-6 (27) - .384
27. Eastern New Mexico 2-5 (25) - .373
29. Central Oklahoma 2-6 (29) - .339
30. Texas A&M-Commerce 2-6 (30) - .332

We slighty altered our calculations for this week, giving equal weight to a team's W/L% and their SOS (Opp W/L + OOW W/L divided by 2).

Playoff Handicapping (upcoming games)
Teams that can likely afford a loss
Central Missouri - 99% - (Missouri Southern, and NWMSU) playing for top seed
Abilene Christian - 99% - (Angelo State, West Texas A&M, Southwestern Oklahoma) have been slowly closing gap with UCM
Northwest Missouri - 98% - (Fort Hays, Central Missouri, Pitt State) Beating UCM would give them a first round bye
Texas A&M-Kingsville - 90% - (Southwestern Oklahoma, Midwestern State, Southeastern Oklahoma) could get in with 2 losses, but not guaranteed

Teams that will be in if they win out
West Texas A&M - 80% - (Incarnate Word, Abilene Christian, East Central) Would a loss to ACU end their playoff hopes?
Washburn - 50% - (Truman State, Emporia State, Missouri Southern) Strong SOS helps offset four losses.

Teams that need to win out and need some help
Central Washington - 35% - (Simon Frasier, Western Oregon) Weak closing schedule requires a lot of help for CWU
Midwestern State - 35% - (Tarleton State, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Northeastern State) New Mexico Highlands opening game really hurts SOS
Northeastern State - 8% - (East Central, Eastern New Mexico, Midwestern State) Riverhawks have very tough season ender, and need several teams in front of them to lose.
Missouri Western - 5% - (Emporia State, Nebraska-Omaha, Fort Hays) Loss to Missouri Southern likely ended realistic playoff shot.
Humboldt State - 1% - (Simon Frasier, Western Oregon, Simon Frasier) Can a one-loss team miss the playoffs? Yes, and HSU will likely prove it.

Taylor Harris - moved into second place on the West Texas A&M charts for passing yards.  Harris has thrown for 8,048 yards and trails Keith Null by 1,721 yards.  He currently ranks fifth on the LSC career passing yards charts.

Josh Neiswander - became the 15th LSC player to surpass the 7,000 mark for passing yards.  He trails Ned Cox by 704 yards and 6 TDs for tops in Angelo State history.

Ryan Lincoln - A week late, but Lincoln became the all-time leader in Javelina history for receptions.  Lincoln passed Glenn Starks, and now has 193 receptions in his career.

Last Week's Games
East Central 20, Southeastern Oklahoma 19
There have been some very surprising games in the LSC North this year and this one certain fits the bill.  The Savage Storm lose a heartbreaker, despite Baylen Laury rushing for 222 yards and 2 TDs, and ECU's offense scoring just one TD.  The Tiger defense picked off four SOSU passes, returning two for TDs, including Dontae Smith's 36 yarder with 13:17 to play, giving ECU the lead for good.

Northeastern State 39, Central Oklahoma 28
Through three quarters, this was a great back and forth battle with neither team leading by more than one score.  But the Riverhawk defense shut down UCO's offense in the fourth quarter, allowing just one first down, and 25 yards total on 15 plays.  Kenny Davis had an effective day, throwing for 264 yards and 2 TD passes to Trey McVey, and Josh Lewis rushed for 100 yards and 2 TDs.

Southwestern Oklahoma 24, Texas A&M-Commerce 10
The oddest game of the week.  Orginally scheduled for Saturday, severe weather postponed the game until Sunday, and on Sunday there was a three hour delay at the 12:06 mark of the fourth quarter.  The Bulldogs were cruising along, leading 17-3 prior to the delay, with TAMC mounting little resistance.  After the delay, the momentum switched to the Lions, as they returned a fumble 30 yards for a TD to pull within one score.  On their next possession, they appeared to tie the game on a 35 TD pass, but a holding penalty negated the play, and ended the Lions threat.

Abilene Christian 53, Eastern New Mexico 14
The Wildcats continued their march through the LSC, dominating Eastern New Mexico in Blackwater Draw. ACU scored on their first five possessions, leading 27-0 after the first quarter, eventually building their lead to 39-0 with 10:07 left in the third quarter.  The high winds did not seem to affect Mitchell Gale, as he threw for 362 yards and 5 TDs, three of which went to Edmund Gates.  Wes Woods did not fare as well - he could only complete 11 of 31 passes for 126 yards, and the Greyhounds gained more yards on the ground (141) than through the air (126).

Texas A&M-Kingsville 13, Tarleton State 10
Nothing comes easy for these Javelinas.  The Texans and Javelinas battled it out in a defensive game, but a missed field goal by Tarleton, and another late fourth quarter scoring drive by the TAMK were the difference.  Nate Poppell threw for 222 yards with no TDs or Ints, while Nick Stephens was just 16-30 for 130 yards wit 1 TD and an Int.  Jonathan Woodson is emerging as an offensive leader for the Javelinas, as he had 162 all purpose yards a week after posting 243 against West Texas A&M.

Angelo State 61, Incarnate Word 17
It looks like Angelo State was tired of losing close games, and made sure that this one wasn't close.  The offense was nearly unstoppable - one punt, one fumble and the end of the game were the only three possessions that didn't result in scores for the Rams.  The offense totaled 650 yards - 471 passing, 179 rushing.  The defense allowed just 270 yards, with 72 coming on the Cardinal's final drive with under 6 minutes to play.

West Texas A&M 42, Midwestern State 29
It took the Buffalo offense four drives to get the kinks out, but when they did, the put the pedal down, scoring 35 straight points over a 27 minute stretch of the game.  The Mustangs tried to get back into the game, scoring two quick TDs late in the third quarter, but WT put the game away with a Tommy Hampton 3 yd TD run with 10:25 to play.  Two late MSU TDs made the score closer than the game felt.  The Buffalo defense held the Mustangs offense to 101 yards below their season average, and forced 5 turnovers, including 4 interceptions.

This Week's Games
#14 West Texas A&M at Incarnate Word

This one could get ugly if last week was any indication.  Angelo State has a good offense, but they are not the same caliber as WT, so UIW's defense has to be concerned.  The Cardinal defense has held just one team to less than 28 points this year, and is last in the LSC in both points and yards allowed.  Taylor Harris continues his march up the WT and LSC passing charts, and the Buffaloes get ready for ACU next week.  WT 49-17

Angelo State at #3 Abilene Christian
Abilene Christian continues their impressive march through the regular season.  The Wildcats offense has scored at least 31 points in every game this year, and are averaging 515 yards per game over the last 6 weeks.  The defense has been almost as impressive, allowing just 16.5 points and 283 yards per game, good for second in the LSC.  To top it off, ACU has scored 4 defensive TDs.  The Rams took out their frustrations on Incarnate Word last week, exploding for 650 yards and 61 points.  It doesn't erase the prior four weeks, but had to give them a big shot of confidence coming into this week's game.  If they left any bullets in the chamber, this could be an exciting game.  More likely, however is that the Wildcats continue to march toward next week's showdown undefeated.  The Wildcats pull away late, ACU 38-24.

Texas A&M-Commerce at Central Oklahoma
An inept offense on one side versus a porous defense on the other.  The Lions are second from last in both scoring and yardage on offense, while UCO is also second from the bottom in those defensive categories.  The Bronchos can move the ball and score, but that is TAMC's relative strength as well.  The Bronchos' two wins have come at Wantland Stadium, while TAMC is winless on the road and outscored by an average margin of  9-34.  Probably a closer margin than that, but we'll stick with UCO 35-24.

#5 Texas A&M-Kingsville at Southwestern Oklahoma
The Bulldogs come into this week's game playing some of their best football of the season.  Over the past four weeks, they have a 2-2 record, scoring 90 points and giving up 82 (compared to 30 points for and 173 against in the first four weeks).  The Javelinas meanwhile have played four tough games, dropping their only game to ACU, and edging out Angelo State, WTAM and Tarleton State.  This week's game should be a little easier for them.  Look for the Javelina defense to continue setting the tone, putting the offense in good field position and the offense to convert a little better.  TAMK 38-10.

Tarleton State at #22 Midwestern State
The young Texans seem to be improving.  Over their past four games, they are 2-2, knocking off Angelo State and Texas A&M-Commerce with late comebacks, and nearly doing the same to Texas A&M-Kingsville.  Nick Stephens has shown the ability to play at his best late in the game with a chance to win.  The Mustangs, ranked #8 just three weeks ago, are now fighting for their playoff lives, having dropped games to ACU and WT over the past three weeks.  Zack Eskridge threw four interceptions last week, and now has 6 on the season, equal to last year's total.  Look for the Mustangs to bolt out of the gates quickly, and not give Stephens a chance to pull this one out of the hat - MSU 42-17.

Northeastern State at East Central - Game of the Week
Who woulda thunk? Who woulda thunk?

Prior to the season, no one would have honestly predicted this game as the most important matchup in the LSC North for 2010. But that's what we have, as the Tigers (3-1 LSC North) host the Riverhawks (4-0 LSC North) Saturday. With a win, Northeastern State can claim the North title outright, while an East Central victory puts them in position to share the crown, depending on the November 6 games.

The Tigers are in this position by winning their last two games by a combined four points.  They aren't dominating anyone (outscored by an average of 18-26, outgained by 261-400), but their defense leads the LSC in turnovers forced.  Two of the teams three TDs against ENMU came right after turnovers two weeks ago, and last week, they returned two Ints for TDs.  The offense is led by QB Tyler Vanderzee, who has thrown for 1,569 yards and 9 TDs.  Zack Patteson is the leading receiver (36-506, 2 TD), but Chris Espinoza has emerged as well (10-112, 3 TDs).  Charles Opeseyitan is the leading rusher (309 yds 2 TDs) and cracked the 100 yard mark last week.  Dontae Smith leads the defense with 5 interceptions and is one of four defenders to have TD from an interception.  Norris Wrenn is the leading tackler and has 3 Ints of his own.  Armonty Bryant has 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for losses to lead the team.

The Riverhawks have won their last three games, and their only D2 losses are to ACU and WTAM.  Both the offense and defense are middle of the pack statistically.  They are scoring 25.4 points per game (8th), while gaining 324 yards (9th).  The defense allows 28 points (7th) and 379 yards (6th) per contest.  They are third in the LSC in turnover margin at +6.  At QB, Kenny Davis is completing just 47.8% of his passes, but he has a 13-2 TD-to-Int ratio.  Easily his favorite target has been Trey McVey (38-611, 9 TDs).  Josh Lewis is the leading rusher with 472 yds and 3 TDs, and a 5.2 yd per carry average.  Jon Evans is the leading tackler with 57, while Travis Boswell has the most sacks (5.5) and tackles for losses (9.5).  Nate Robinson is the leader in the secondary, with 4 interceptions and 9 pass breakups.

This game is likely to go to the team that minimizes their mistakes, while capitalizing on their opponents.  As we mentioned above, NSU is +6 in turnover margin, while ECU is +5.  NSU has just 9 turnovers this year, while ECU has 18.  The Riverhawks have also been much more effective in the red zone, converting 87% of the opportunities into points, while ECU is last in the LSC at just 56%.  NSU has also committed fewer penalties (61 yds per game, vs. 75 for ECU).  Everything looks for NSU to wrap up the LSC North with this one - NSU 31-21.

LSC Roundup 10-28

Progress slow for Javelinas' next opponent - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
After hearing the same spiel more than a dozen times during the course of two seasons as Southwestern (Okla.) State’s football coach, Dan Cocannouer has the message. Resurrecting the Bulldogs’ program isn’t an instantaneous proposition.

That is little solace, however, for the former longtime successful Oklahoma high school coach.

“I’m very impatient. I’m very frustrated because, heck, I want to win now,” said Cocannouer, in his second season at his alma mater. “Right now we’re still about two or three guys on both sides of the football of being where we need to be. I feel like we’ve played some very close ballgames this year. In two or three of the games if we do what we’re supposed to, we could’ve won those ballgames. We’re not far from being where we want to be.”

Fowler wants to win, but not just because it's Midwestern
Sports Editor

Tarleton head football coach Cary Fowler would be the first to tell you every game is a big game.

But even he admits there is a little something different about his Texans' game this weekend.
Tarleton State (2-6 overall, 2-5 LSC, 1-3 South) visits Midwestern State (6-2, 5-2, 2-2) in a Lone Star Conference South Division game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Wichita Falls' Memorial Stadium.  Fowler spent seven years as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Midwestern State from 2001-07. He held both roles at Tarleton in 2008 and 2009 before being named head coach in March.

But Fowler insists a trip to Wichita Falls is in no way like going home.

"I'm at home in Stephenville. This is my home," Fowler said emphatically. "When I left Midwestern it was a complete separation. I haven't had a lot of contact with anybody at Midwestern at all except for Coach (Brian) Natkin, the offensive line coach. We're great friends."

Still, Fowler has plenty of friends who will be at the game wishing him well.

"There will be 150 people there who are Fowler friends from Wichita Falls," he said. "I have a lot of contact, daily contact, with my friends there. Both my daughters were born there. My wife and I spent seven very good years of our lives there."

It's homecoming week at Midwestern, and Fowler expects to see droves of players he both recruited and coached during his time at Midwestern.

But that's not why he wants to win Saturday.

"It's not about me, and it's not about winning in front of old friends or beating the guys I used to work with," he said. "It's all about what it would mean for our program to get a win. To come as far as we came a week ago and getting so close to knocking off a top 10 team, a win in a game like this would be the ultimate confident boost for our program."

Midwestern is ranked No. 22 in the latest coaches' poll, falling nine spots from No. 13 after falling to No. 17 West Texas A&M, 42-29, on the road last week. It was the Mustangs' second loss, leaving them in playoff mode the rest of the season.

"They have everything to play for up there. It's a playoff atmosphere every game now for Midwestern," Fowler said. "I look forward to our kids being in this type of game late in the year and striving to match that intensity level.

"I haven't seen the intensity level - for a full 60 minutes - that I like to see as a coach," Fowler continued. "Reaching that intensity is the next step for our young program."

Fowler doesn't want to come close - like the Texans did in last week's 13-10 loss to No. 5 Texas A&M-Kingsville - he wants a win.

"I'm not in this business for moral wins and looking good," he said. "I'm in it for wins and losses, and I want to win."

Doing it at MSU - on homecoming weekend, nonetheless - would just be icing on the cake.

ASU FOOTBALL: Back on track - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
If the Angelo State University football team needed a boost to its confidence following four straight losses — all by 14 points or less and three to nationally-ranked teams — it got it Saturday night.

The Rams had their best offensive performance of the season in a 61-17 rout of Incarnate Word at San Angelo Stadium.

ASU had 25 first downs, 650 yards of offense and scored 61 points — and all but six points on a punt return for a touchdown were scored by the offensive unit.

The win won’t help the team make the playoffs — the Rams were 0-4 in the Lone Star Conference South Division going into the game — but with three games left on the schedule, it gave them back their confidence and some momentum.

Both are something they need heading into this week’s Big Country-Concho Valley Shootout against Abilene Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.

“There is no doubt that after you lose four straight, you have some frustration built up,” ASU quarterback Josh Neiswander said. “It was good to come out and see the offense, defense and special teams put a game together where everybody did well. That was something we had been missing all season, and we finally found it.”

Gilley loves being on guard for MSU - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Although most players are set at a position by the time they get to college, many of them have spent at least some time playing a position on the other side of the ball.

But Hank Gilley had only played on the defensive line for St. Joseph High School in Victoria.

That didn’t make a difference in his first two seasons at Midwestern State, but it did as a redshirt sophomore when he moved to the offensive line.

The transition was a little tough, but the 6-4, 315-pound senior overcame it and is now comfortable as the starting left guard for the Mustangs.

“I came here as a defensive lineman but I got hurt a few times and things weren’t going well — I couldn’t lose the weight they wanted me to,” Gilley said. “So I moved to the offensive line and it was a whole new world for me. I had never played offense before in high school and it was difficult for me learning all the plays, the calls and the different reads. But coach (Brian) Natkin was a big help.”

WT racks up points until fourth quarter - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
It's hard to find weaknesses with an offense that ranks third in the nation in total offense (523.75 yards per game), second in the nation in passing offense (410.25 yards per game) and sixth in the nation in scoring (41.75 points per game).

Let's go ahead and nit-pick, though.

West Texas A&M is outscoring its opponents by a healthy margin this season, 334-188.

However, in the fourth quarter, the Buffs are getting beat, 71-49.

When your record is 6-2 - with your two losses coming by a combined seven points - that stat isn't a reason to panic, but it is interesting.

The Buffs are aware of how their offense scores in spurts - running off three or four unanswered scores - and then slows down.

"I can tell you that there has been two games where that has been a major concern - (Texas A&M) Kingsville and Angelo (State)," said WT offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt. "A lot of times we're way ahead in the fourth quarter and we're not trying to score. We're milking the clock and not pushing the ball down the field."

Lone Star Conference rankings 10/28/2010 - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Oklahoma state college football power poll & predictions: Northeastern State ... - Scott Munn, The Oklahoman

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LSC Roundup 10-27

NCAA Division II football rankings finally to be released next week - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
After a longer-than-normal wait, the NCAA Division II regional rankings will finally be released next week.

And Super Region 4 — which consists of the Lone Star Conference, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference — shouldn’t have that many surprises.

The rankings, which determine playoff teams for D-II football, came out in early October in previous years. But they were pushed back until the first week in November to avoid all the fluctuations that occurred on a weekly basis — many of which were hard for the average fan to understand.

There still will be some fluctuations this year — even releasing the rankings this late — but they shouldn’t be as bad as last year, when Midwestern State went from unranked to sixth with one win or when top-ranked Grand Valley State fell from No. 1 to No. 9 in Super Region 3 with one loss.

I haven’t gone through all the strength of schedules, opponents’ strength of schedules and all the other criteria that make up the “numbers” the committees use to rank the teams, but suffice to say the six LSC and MIAA teams that are ranked this week — Abilene Christian (8-0), Texas A&M-Kingsville (7-1), West Texas A&M (6-2), Midwestern State (6-2), Northwest Missouri (6-1) and Central Missouri (8-1) — will all be in the rankings if they win this week.

Defensive coordinator hard to impress - Bob Forrest, Ada Evening News
Justin Deason isn’t easy to impress.

East Central University’s second-year defensive coordinator began the year as the leader of one of the biggest mysteries on a team that itself was one big question mark after failing to win a game in 2009; he enters Week 9 of the season, though, as the driving force behind a defensive unit that has evolved from the most generous in the Lone Star Conference after two weeks into the league’s most opportunistic heading into Saturday’s home showdown with Northeastern for the LSC North lead.

During its climb from 14th (and last) in the league in total defense — after surrendering more than 500 yards per game in losses to Fort Hays State and Texas A&M-Kingsville to start the season — to No. 9 following last week’s 20-19 victory at Southeastern, the ECU defense has become relevant again for the first time in five seasons.

A football family - Ben Johnson, Tahlequah Daily Press
Trey McVay loves catching touchdown passes and celebrating victories with his Northeastern State teammates. But there’s one aspect of his life that trumps both of those — fatherhood.

“It’s nothing like I’ve ever felt,” said McVay, NSU’s leading receiver and proud father of Sir-Prince McVay. “It’s way more exciting than football could ever be — or anything in life.”

McVay, a Muskogee native and Fort Gibson graduate, and his wife Kami became parents on Aug. 6 when Sir-Prince was born. Now, Trey has the responsibility of balancing football time with family time.

Something that’s not easily accomplished.

“It’s pretty hard,” he said. “I’m gone most of the time with practice, [watching] film, homework and school. But it’s about staying focused, mainly. You just have to put your priorities in order and do what is more important.”

Kami, a stay-at-home mom, admits it’s tough having a busy husband. But she’s also understanding.

“It’s definitely hard,” said Kami, who tied the knot with Trey when the two got married on May 29. “But like he said, he has his priorities straight. He always tries to keep us first, and makes sure he has time for us.”

Weekend Adventure in Commerce - SWO Sports Information
We won a big game down in Commerce, TX this past weekend and it was big for our players, but let me give you a few details that they went through to achieve this victory. We left Weatherford at noon on Friday, Oct. 22. It had rained all morning and there was a chance of rain all weekend. We drove two charter buses and arrived in Gainesville, TX to have our walk-through and mainly to get them off the bus and get their legs stretched.

We then drove to Sherman, TX to eat at the Golden Corral for dinner. Golden Corral is the next best thing to sliced bread when you talk about a meal for a football team! Arrived in Greenville, TX, a town about 15 minutes south of Commerce, and checked the players into their hotel room. We had a defensive meeting at 9:00, then the offense had a meeting at 9:30. Team meeting was at 10:00, had room check at 10:30, made sure they were in their rooms and collected cell phones so they can stay focused.

Next day wake up call at 8:30, group meetings at 9:00, load buses at 9:45, drive for pre-game meal at 10:00. Ate at Shumardii’s in Greenville. They did us good, treated us great and the players stayed very focused on the game. Loaded buses and drove to Commerce at 10:45. I like to get to places early so we don’t have to hurry around. Very relaxed atmosphere, captains had a players’ meeting in the middle of field and then we started getting dressed and taped for the game.

We went out to warm-up at 12:40 with the first wave of players, the next wave came out at 12:55 and the last wave came at 1:05. Had a great pre warm-up, lots of energy and enthusiasm from the players. We left the field at 1:30 to go to the locker room and Commerce left about five minutes after we did.

Then… the lightning alarm goes off and now the wait begins. We felt like we would be OK if we could get onto the field in about 45 minutes after the alarm.

The rain came, and we had to get our players into the dressing room. As the rain started getting harder, the ceiling in the dressing room started to look like Niagara Falls and in the middle of the room was the Colorado River flowing out the door!

We had been in the locker room for nearly two hours and still no break in the weather. It had been several hours since we last ate and people were starting to get hungry. We went and got some Snickers from the store to hold them over.

Finally around 5:30 pm, we started getting some information about what we are going to do. The main thing I told the Commerce people is we wanted to play today. It was their Homecoming and they had a big Athletic Alumni banquet so it was obvious that they didn’t want to play it that night. So the decision was made at 6:00 to reschedule the game for tomorrow.

So, now the “Travel Man”, Coach Hada started his magic. First what about the busses for tomorrow? They said they were ‘good and no problem.’ Hotel rooms? They said ‘come on back.’ Meals? Dominos will deliver and did. Now the nerves really get going, pre-game meal for a Sunday morning? Shumardii’s, big check and better deal!

Now we load up on the buses, some players are still wet in their uniforms and head back to the Greenville hotel. We arrived and got the players in their rooms, with a pizza and Gatorade. Then this is where it starts to feel like the movie Groundhog Day.

Had our defensive meeting at 7:30, the offensive meetings at 8:30 and the team meeting at 9:30. Main thing we tell them was they have to work harder now to keep focus. I can tell you that they looked it for sure. Amazing, how we coaches can keep trying to motivate our players. Sometimes it is for one night or one day but now we are doing it for two days. Had room check and cell phone check at 10:30 and hoping the players stay focused as I went to sleep.

Next day, alarm goes off at the same time. I got up and took a shower at the same time. We went out to get a cinnamon roll and sat in the same place. Group meetings at 9:00, loaded busses at 9:45, drive for pre-game meal at 10 (feel like you have already read this?), Ate for the third time Shumardii’s. They did us good again!! They were very impressed with our players, and said most teams that come are pretty rowdy and very loud. Our players ate had small talk and stayed focused on the game. Load busses at 10:45 and drove to Commerce. Everywhere that we drove looked exactly like it did the day before, the road, stores, the ducks by the stadium almost in the same spot and yes they were real!

We got off the busses and the players went through the same routine. Captains meeting again at noon and then we got dressed and taped for the game. First wave of players out on field at 12:40, Second wave at 12:55 and the third at 1:05 and then off the field at 1:30, exactly like the day before.

We came out on to field excited about the chance to finally play. Several players said they always wanted to play on a Sunday and this was my first experience also. The Sunday crowd that stayed around wasn’t what Commerce had expected. I really believe that we had more fans than they did. We were certainly louder which kept the players excited.

We went into the half with score tied up 3 -3. Came out second half and our players stepped it up. At the end of the third the Bulldogs were up 10 -3, Dustin Stenta hit Jordan Davis for a 53 yard pass for a TD. The fourth quarter and with 13 minutes to play Isaac Tucker scored on a 29-yard TD run and now the score was SWOSU, 17-3.

Then……with 12:06 left in the game, you guessed it, the alarm for lightning went off and we had to clear the field, it was 4:28 in the afternoon. And yes, we went back to that great protection area under the stands. So we waited and waited and waited. Then it began to rain, the police had our players get under the stands. Then a sight that our California kids had never seen before, HAIL!!! They could not believe it, Coach Hada sacrificed himself to go and get some of the bigger stones for them to look at.

Then the police told us to get the players in the safety of the dressing room, because now there was a chance of a tornado! You should have seen the eyes of all the non-Oklahoma/Texas kids. So now it is around 6:00 on a Sunday, four-and-a-half hours from home, and we are still waiting. We find out that the game is official because we have finished the third quarter. Now let’s figure something out.

The sky has cleared, but on the field from goal line to goal line, and from hash to hash is covered with hail. Now we are ready to play, but we haven’t got the clearance from the lightning detector. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and you went to the swimming pool and there was lightning. You had to wait 30 minutes before you could get back in. Well this is the same thing, just waiting for it to signal clear.

Now it has been decided by the Referee that its best to go home, but Commerce wants us to finish it out. We find out that they have the sole decision on the matter. I remind them we are along ways from home and our players have school tomorrow.

So now it is 7:00 and still no decision. Then at 7:15 Commerce decides that we will wait until 8:00 and if the alarm doesn’t clear us to play we will call it. I’ll be dang if the sirens go off to say clear to play five minutes later. We have about 10 minutes to warm up now since we had almost a three-hour delay.

Our ball, 12:06 to play and we lead 17-3. Needless to say we felt good about finishing this out, but we fumbled on the second play and they picked it up and scored. SWOSU 17, Commerce 10. Not feeling so good right now. But our players fought hard and they refused to let up. And at 8:11 PM the scoreboard showed no time left and the Bulldogs win 24-10.

My hat is off to all the parents and family members who stayed for the two-day affair. They witnessed something that they may never again, a football game that lasted two days! And also hats off to our radio guys who did the same thing, giving updates to everyone listening. I’m sure they were running out of material to say but they stayed with us all the way.

So now we get to eat the chicken we had ordered the day before and the biscuit I had was made the day before. But a post game meal after a victory always taste good.

We arrived in Weatherford at about 1:30 AM on a Monday morning. What a weekend one that we will always remember!!!

West Texas A&M volleyball ties own NCAA Division II record - Amarillo Globe News
ACU's Carpenter ties UCO golfer for tourney title - Abilene Reporter News
Local sports roundup, 10/27 - San Angelo Standard Times
ACU soccer team cracks top 25 for first time in history - Abilene Reporter News

Lone Star Conference

Angelo State University

Cameron University

Eastern New Mexico University

Texas A&M-Commerce

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Texas Woman's College

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

West Texas A&M University

Western New Mexico