Thursday, October 21, 2010

LSC Roundup 10-21

Commissioner chosen for new conference - Greenwich Time
SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — A newly formed NCAA Division II conference that includes schools in Arkansas and Oklahoma now has a commissioner.

West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference associate commissioner Will Prewitt has been chosen to lead the new league.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Harding University President David Burks, who was chairman of the search committee for the as-yet unnamed conference.

The new league will include Harding, Arkansas-Monticello, Arkansas Tech, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas in Arkansas. From Oklahoma, East Central, Southeastern Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma are joining the league.

Prewitt is on the NCAA Football Rules Committee and served four years on the NCAA Division II Championships Committee as the liaison for football and men's golf.

Stakes higher this week for Grundy, Mustangs - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Midwestern State senior P.J. Grundy had one of the best games of his career last week against Angelo State as he made a career-high seven tackles from his cornerback spot.

But the 5-foot-9, 170- pounder from Plano East will need another big game this Saturday as the No. 13 Mustangs face a West Texas A&M squad still smarting from its loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville last weekend.

The No. 15 Buffs are No. 1 in the conference in total offense and passing offense; quarterback Taylor Harris is the No. 1 passer averaging 378 yards per game and 18 TDs for the season; and the team has three Top-10 receivers.

“It’s a big game and they’ve got something to prove after they lost last week,” Grundy said. “Every time MSU and WT get together it’s a big-time game. Two years ago at West Texas was just a great atmosphere — probably the closest thing to D-I I’ll ever experience. It’s a hostile environment, and we have to bring our A-plus game. We have to make more and better plays than they do.

“West Texas receivers are real physical and they’re going to be in attack mode. It’s exciting taking on the challenge of playing a heavy-pass offense. If you have any pride about you, you show up ready for the challenge. Everybody in the secondary is looking forward to it. It’ll be a good measuring stick, and it can propel us into the last three games.”

ASU FOOTBALL: Rams aim to deny UIW its 1st victory over LSC South team - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
The University of the Incarnate Word was supposed to be the “easy win” in the Lone Star Conference this season. The Cardinals are in just their second year as a football program and their first season in the LSC.

However, UIW quickly put those thoughts to rest, serving notice in the third week of the season that it wasn’t the pushover everyone thought it would be. After opening the season with back-to-back losses to Langston University and Southeastern Oklahoma, the Cardinals stunned Central Oklahoma in a 42-41 overtime victory. Following the game, UIW head coach Mike Santiago declared that his team could play in the best Division II conference in the country.

“I don’t know how many we can win, but we can play with them,” Santiago said.

After a loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville the following week, the Cardinals almost got their first victory over a ranked opponent. At Midwestern State, UIW led for most of the game until the Mustangs were able to tie the game late and send it to overtime. In the extra period, the Mustangs scored first and were able to stop the Cardinals on their drive for a 38-31 victory.

Two weeks ago, UIW picked up its second LSC win of the season with a 27-13 victory over East Central. Both of the Cardinals’ wins have come against North Division teams, but they are conference victories nonetheless.

“It is pretty obvious that they are an inexperienced program,” ASU head coach Dale Carr said. “Their coaches are making sure they don’t beat themselves first. I think that is a smart approach. They have won two games by doing that.”

Tarleton State down from last year - George Vondracek, Corpus Christi Caller Times
There has been very little middle ground for Tarleton State in Cory Fowler's first season as coach. The Texans have experienced both ends of the success spectrum, only more on the negative side.

Entering their Saturday homecoming game against seventh-ranked and fellow Lone Star Conference South Division team Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Texans are 2-5. They have posted come-from-behind wins twice, including last weekend's 34-31 win at Texas A&M-Commerce and have been in five of their seven games. But a barrage of penalties, turnovers and injuries are steering Tarleton to its first losing season since 1999.

"I think Tarleton looks to be much better than 2-5 on film, I'll say that," Javelinas coach Bo Atterberry said.

Perhaps. But it is a much different Tarleton squad than the one that battled the Javelinas in a 34-20 loss last season and then beat them 57-56 in a thrilling double-overtime contest to open the NCAA Division II playoffs.

ACU player reunited with father - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Edward Gates has kept up with his son’s college football career through his press clippings and the occasional comment by a relative. Now, after serving 18 years in prison for a murder conviction, Gates finally will get a chance to see his son play.

Early Wednesday, the 45-year-old Gates was reunited with his son, Abilene Christian University receiver Edmund Gates, on a dirt road not too far from the Robertson Unit. Both talked about the experience during a media conference later in the day at ACU’s Teague Center.

“I can’t even come up with the words that can explain how I feel,” the senior Gates said. “I’m so proud. I’m a proud father. I’ve been hearing about how he’s been doing, how good he’s been in football and reading the clippings. I couldn’t really visualize (him) until I seen him face to face. It’s a lot of emotion. I’ve been gone so long, and he was so young when I left. He was just a baby. I’ve very proud of him. I love him so much.”
Another ACU athlete also had reunion with father - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
Lone Star Conference rankings 10/21/2010 - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
State college football power poll - Scott Munn, The Oklahoman

Team to beat - Ben Johnson, Tahlequah Daily Press
It all started back in late July.

Lone Star Conference prognosticators deemed Northeastern State to be the fifth best team in the LSC North, narrowly beating out two teams (Southwestern Oklahoma State and East Central) to avoid to North cellar.

Many believed — even predicted — NSU wouldn’t even come close to sniffing the win column in its first six games — contests against teams either ranked in NCAA Division II’s top 25, right outside of the top 25 or even a Football Championship Subdivision team.

Naysayers had records and statistics to back up their arguments about NSU being a potential conference bottom-feeder:

• The RiverHawks had combined for three wins and 19 losses in NSU coach Kenny Evans’ first two years in Tahlequah.

• NSU had compiled only two measly conference victories (in 18 league games) in two seasons — by a combined winning margin of 17 points.

• The Green and White had been outscored 723 to 423 between 2008 and 2009.

The trials and tribulations during the first couple of years is not lost on Evans.

“The first year was tough,” he said. “Coming in, I didn’t have much time in recruiting to bring in new players. I didn’t get to bring in a new staff.

“So last year was the first year I got to bring in players I wanted for the system I wanted to run.”

Tigers appear ready to put past behind them - Bob Forrest, Ada Evening News
Moral victories have outnumbered actual wins by a wide margin for East Central University football teams in the 17 years since the school claimed the NAIA national title back in 1993.

The Tigers have lost more games than they have won in 12 of the past 16 seasons, and no ECU team has won more than six games during that span. At times, players wearing the Orange and White have turned defeat into an art form, finding unique and — even for ECU — unexpected ways to lose games they should have won.

Saturday afternoon, though, Tim McCarty’s hungry young team gave a sparse but vocal crowd at Norris Field a glimmer of hope that ECU might finally be ready to awaken from its long football nightmare.

The Tigers’ battle with pass-happy Eastern New Mexico was the kind of close, down-to-the-wire game ECU teams have traditionally lost over the past decade and a half. The Tigers trailed 19-14 early in the fourth quarter, and the visiting Greyhounds had already amassed more than 400 yards in offense.

Freshman punter Van Voris weapon for WT - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
Most football players won't say it in such terms, but they'd prefer one of their teammates never set foot on the field - the punter.

The placekicker? He's good, as long as he's kicking - and making - extra points. He can sprinkle in a few field goals here and there, but don't get used to being on the field.

The punter? He can stay on the sideline and watch the game, and his teammates would be fine with it.

That's the life of a punter, who sees the field only when his offense fails.

A kicker might get some glory with a last-second game-winning field goal, but most teams would prefer to be up enough on the scoreboard so that opportunity never happens.

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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