ACU comes out on top in see-saw battle with Midwestern - Joey Richards, Abilene Reporter News
On the same weekend as the 60th reunion of Abilene Christian’s only perfect season on the football field, Mitchell Gale and the Wildcats kept their own hopes of perfection alive.
Gale’s third touchdown pass of the day, a 10-yarder to Daryl Richardson with 2:04 left in the game, helped No. 5 ACU edge No. 8 Midwestern State in a battle of unbeaten Lone Star Conference teams on Saturday at Shotwell Stadium.
“This was a good game. Man, just hard fought,” Gale said. “That last drive, that was amazing. I think we threw the ball one time. Man, that was just awesome.”
Actually, ACU (6-0, 3-0 LSC) threw four times on the 12-play, 69-yard drive, and Gale completed all four passes for 22 yards. But it was the Wildcats’ running game that sparked the drive. Darrell Cantu-Harkless ran three times for 19 yards and also caught a 5-yard pass, while Richardson ran five times for 32 yards on the final seven plays.
After an illegal substitution penalty backed up ACU five yards to the Midwestern 10-yard line on a second-and-goal play, Gale found Richardson alone at about the 3, and Richardson raced into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
“It was a real good play by Mitchell to find Daryl down there, once we took the penalty and got backed up,” ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. “It was run, run and run and a good pass play at the end. It was good.”
Added Gale: “They had been blitzing us pretty heavy all night. We got down there, they didn’t blitz hardly anybody. They dropped (back into coverage). Daryl got to be where he needed to be. I got him the ball, and he scored.”
Wildcats win battle of unbeatens, 31-28 - J. Scott Russell, Times Record News
Saturday’s Lone Star Conference showdown between No. 8 Midwestern State and No. 5 Abilene Christian had all the makings of an old-fashioned prize fight.
The two teams battled back-and-forth for the entire 60 minutes.
But the Wildcats scored with 2:40 left to take the lead and then held off two MSU possessions in the closing minutes to walk away with a 31-28 homecoming win in front of 13,486 fans.
The loss is the first of the year for the Mustangs, as they drop to 5-1 and 1-1 in the Lone Star Conference South. The Wildcats improve to 6-0 and 3-0.
“I was hoping the team that had the ball last would be the team to win,” MSU head coach Bill Maskill said. “And we had a chance when we got the ball back with 1:08 left. It was a great game and a physical game on both sides of the ball.
“I don’t think ACU beat us, I think we beat ourselves, There were some situations that I didn’t agree with, but sometimes you get the calls and sometimes you don’t. But that isn’t what beat us. We have to make more plays. They made more plays and they won.”
ASU FOOTBALL: Rams drop close one - Nathan Wright, San Angelo Standard Times
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Saturday night’s Lone Star Conference South Division showdown between Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville at San Angelo Stadium went the way most of the contests have gone between the two rivals recently.
For the third time in the last six seasons, it was decided by seven points or less.
Kingsville got a game-winning 62-yard touchdown pass from Nate Poppell to Robert Armstrong with 1:44 left in the contest to break a 21-21 tie and give the No. 10-ranked Javelinas a 28-21 victory.
“When coach called the play in, I looked down at my wristband and started smiling,” Armstrong said. “To have coach believe in me like that, in one of the bigger plays of the game, made me feel real good.
“I had to make a play for my team, and I had to make a touchdown.”
With the win, the Javelinas improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the LSC South. They rebounded from their first loss of the season, a 31-24 setback to No. 5 Abilene Christian last week.
Buffs rout Texans - Dave Henry, Amarillo Globe News
It isn't often West Texas A&M head coach Don Carthel gets drowned out by Journey's Steve Perry during a post-game speech, but the Buffs and their fans were in a celebratory mood Saturday night.
The No. 7 Buffs played perhaps their best all-around game of the season, cruising past Tarleton State, 48-17, in front of 16,218 Centennial Homecoming fans at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
Carthel, who did his best to overcome Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," on the PA - and the crowd singing along - as he addressed his team on the field following the game, said the Buffs may have played their best game.
"It probably was (our best game)," Carthel said. "We gave up two cheap touchdowns there at the end, and we'd like to have those two plays back, but we can't. That's part of the game. I'd say it was our best game and it was against a quality opponent."
Making the Grade - Amarillo Globe News
A-It is hard to find fault with 597 yards of offense, scoring on 6-of-7 red-zone chances, and scoring on your first possession of the game and on your first possession of the second half. The only blemish? TSU's first TD came on an interception return.
A- Would have been an A if not for yielding a touchdown - TSU's only offensive touchdown - with 20 seconds to play. Most of the second-teamers were in for both teams by that time, though. TSU coach Cary Fowler and QB Nick Stephens remarked how well the Buffs' defense disguised their schemes.
A- Not much to grade here. WT punted only twice for an average of 40 yards. Kicker Sergio Castillo made all six PATs and hit both of his field-goal attempts (21 and 38 yards). Returner Stephen Burton nearly had a long punt return for a touchdown, if not for a block in the back call on the Buffs.
A- This was perhaps WT's best all-around game of the season. The offense set the tone early, and the defense confused the Texans offense.
LSC Football Recap: Oct. 9, 2010
Northeastern State 24, Texas A&M-Commerce 7
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma - Northeastern State rolled up 487 yards of offense and its defense picked off three Texas A&M-Commerce passes in a lop-sided 38-7 Lone Star North win on Saturday at Doc Wadley Stadium.
The RiverHawks improved to 3-3 on the year, 3-2 in LSC action and remained unbeaten in North Division play at 2-0. The Lions fell to 2-4, 2-3 and 1-2.
Using a balanced offense, Northeastern State built a commanding 24-7 lead at intermission then cruised to its largest margin of victory since a 42-7 win against Eastern New Mexico in 2006, and in LSC North play since the 1999 campaign when it shutout former league member Ouachita Baptist 57-0. The RiverHawks had season-highs in total yards, rushes and yards (52-for-241), and passing yards (246).
Ben Randle caught a pair of TD passes from Kenny Davis, Sean Donohue had a 13-yard touchdown reception, and Josh Lewis and Chris Davis had scoring runs of 12 and 5 yards. Drew Patton also booted a 25-yard field goal to put the RiverHawks in front for good at 3-0 midway through the first period.
However, the Northeastern State defense was stingy, allowing the Lions to only 188 yards and defensive back Nate Robinson intercepted two passes. Farkes finished the day for the Lions with a 13-of-25 passing effort for 74 yards.
Lewis narrowly missed eclipsing the century mark in rushing. The senior had 15 carries for 96 yards, while reserved Davis and Steven Hopper added 54 yards each.
Northeastern State will continue LSC North action next week at Southwestern Oklahoma, while A&M-Commerce will host Tarleton State in LSC crossover action.
No. 5 Abilene Christian 31, No. 8 Midwestern State 28
ABILENE, Texas - Abilene Christian Sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns to lead Abilene Christian University to a 31-28 win over Midwestern State in a game matching two unbeaten and nationally ranked NCAA Division II heavyweights.
No. 5 ACU and No. 8 MSU traded scoring blows all afternoon, but the Wildcats took the lead for good when junior running back Darryl Richardson caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Gale with 2:40 left.The touchdown pass capped the win for the Wildcats, who have knocked off three top-10 opponents this season.
The win before an ACU Homecoming crowd of 13,486 in Shotwell Stadium pushed the Wildcats to 6-0 and 5-0 in the Lone Star Conference, and dropped the Mustangs to 5-1 and 4-1 in the LSC. ACU is 3-0 in the LSC South, and MSU is 1-1. The Wildcats will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to San Antonio to take on Incarnate Word in an LSC South Division game.
Gale completed 27 of 39 passes in a head-to-head battle with MSU quarterback Zack Eskridge, who was 26 of 42 also for 263 yards and one TD. ACU senior wide receiver Edmund Gates caught eight passes for 104 yards and a score, while freshman Darrell Cantu-Harkless ran 17 times for 117 yards, including a 69-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Southeastern Oklahoma 42, Southwestern Oklahoma 35 (2OT)
DURANT, Oklahoma – Southwestern Oklahoma State scored 18-straight points to end the fourth quarter, including a 47 yard game-tying field goal as regulation expired to force over time, but Southeastern was able to hold off the charge in the end, winning 42-35 in double overtime on Saturday afternoon in Durant, Okla.
The Storm held a 28-10 lead with 10:03 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs reeled off 25-straight points including the first score of the overtime session.
SE answered that final score with a four-yard, Logan Turner to Robbie Morris TD toss on fourth-and-goal.
The Storm scored on the second play of the second overtime session when Turner found Ryan Shelley for 17 yards, and held on its following defensive effort to preserve the win.
Southeastern improves to 2-4 on the year and 1-2 in Lone Star Conference North Division play, while Southwestern Oklahoma State falls to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in divisional play.
The teams were nearly even in offensive production, with SWOSU holding a slight, 349-to-345 edge in total yardage.
SE held the advantage rushing on the feet of Jamaal Evans who turned in 131 yards on 30 carries with a TD, and added another score on a 14 yard reception.
Turner finished the contest 17-of-29 for 212 yards and five touchdowns, including two to Shelley who caught five passes for 80 yards on the afternoon.
Dustin Stenta fell just short of the 300-yard mark, totaling 291 yards on 29-of-60 passing with a pair of scores.
The Storm will be back in action on Oct. 16 when it travels to take on Central Oklahoma, while the Bulldogs will be back home to host Northeastern State.
No. 10 Texas A&M-Kingsville 28, Angelo State 21
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS – Texas A&M-Kingsville junior quarterback Nate Poppell (Spring/Spring HS) faced a tough Angelo State pass rush all night long, but was able to take a hit and deliver a 62-yard bomb to Robert Armstrong (Cuero/Cuero HS) with 1:44 remaining to give the team a 28-21 victory at San Angelo Stadium on Saturday night.
Poppell’s pass to Armstrong came after a nail-biting fourth quarter in which momentum see-sawed back and forth. The Javelinas (5-1, 2-1) opened the quarter with the ball, but were forced to punt.
The Rams (2-3, 0-3) quickly got to the Hoggie 27-yard line, but were stopped on fourth-and-1 when Kendrick Matthews (Houston/Marshall HS) batted down a Josh Neiswander pass.
The Hogs responded with a nice drive, but were stopped at the ASU 44-yard line. Neiswander hit Dakarai Pecikonis on a 56-yard pass to open the drive for the Rams. They would attempt a potential go-ahead field goal from 38 yards, but Tressor Baptiste (New York, NY/Curtis HS) came up with a block to keep the score at 21-21 with under four minutes to play.
On the game-winning drive, the Hoggies relied upon running back Connell Davis (Portland/Gregory-Portland HS) who picked up 19 yards on three carries which set up the third-and-7 pass from Poppell to Armstrong for the game winning score.
The Rams were able to drive to the Javelina 32-yard line, but the Hogs stood strong and held them on fourth down with less than one minute to play to insure the victory.
The Javelinas opened the game firing away on all cylinders. A 48-yard pass from Poppell to Delashaun Dean (Fairfield, CA/Fairfield HS) was the big play of the drive. Poppell called his own number scoring from eight yards out just 1:59 into the contest. One unfortunate event occurred on the drive and that was an injury to Dean that knocked him out of the rest of the game.
The Hoggies forced a punt on the first Rams possession and Arron Fisher (Orlando, FL/West Orange HS) returned it 85 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back due to a block in the back. It was just about the final positive offensive play of the first half for the team.
The second quarter belonged to the Rams as they put together a pair of touchdown drives. The first took advantage of a short field as they went 40 yards in nine plays. Tristan Carter bulled his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line to tie the game at 7-7 with 12:26 left in the half.
Later in the half, a Dekkar Williams interception at the ASU 17-yard line turned into a Ram score. They drove 83 yards on nine plays as they picked up chunks of yards on the ground and through the air. Neiswander hit V’Keon Lacey on a 20-yard scoring strike to give ASU a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
Each team opened the third quarter by going three-and-out. On their second possession, the Rams appeared to be moving the ball when Lacey had the ball stripped out of his hands by Josh Luck (Chandler, AZ/Hamilton HS) who then returned it 62 yards for a touchdown on a long, winding return through a field of defenders.
The Javelina joy was short lived as Pecikonis returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to give the lead back to the Rams with 8:22 left in the third quarter.
The Hoggies responded with a 10-play, 76-yard drive to tie the game with 4:09 left in the quarter. Poppell completed a 40-yard pass to Damian Couthren (Bastrop/Bastrop HS) and found him on another 10-yard pass when the team faced a third-and-10 situation. Poppell would connect with Ryan Lincoln (Bastrop/Bastrop HS) on an 8-yard scoring strike to tie the game at 21-21 leading to the exciting fourth quarter.
Poppell finished the game 16-for-26 for 250 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the passing game. He added another score on the ground. Sherman Batiste (Fort Bend/Marshall HS) was his favorite target with five catches for 33 yards. Armstrong added four catches for a career high 100 yards. Couthren finished with four catches for 69 yards.
The running game struggled throughout most of the game, but Davis did some heavy lifting in the fourth quarter to finish with 70 yards on 24 carries.
The Rams were led by Neiswander’s 238 yards on 21-of-41 passing and one touchdown. Pecikones led all players with six catches for 104 yards. Carter led the team with 46 yards rushing on 14 carries. The team gained 90 yards on the ground, the most given up by the Javelinas this year.
Baptiste led the Javelina defense with eight tackles, a half tackle for loss, a pass break-up and the big blocked field goal. Luck, Marcus Sanders (Houston/Westfield HS) and Michael Talamantez (Laredo/United HS) each finished with seven tackles. Derrick Thomas (San Antonio/Jay HS) added six tackles and a game high three break-ups.
The Rams defense boasted a pair of players with 10 tackles apiece, Brandon Mayse and Devin McDonald. McDonald also added a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Austin Benson had nine stops and 1.5 tackles for loss. The Rams had four sacks overall.
The Javelinas had four more first downs than the Rams and maintained a 6:20 advantage in time of possession. The Hogs converted 8-of-17 third downs and held the Rams to only 4-for-15.
The Javelinas return home next week to take on seventh-ranked West Texas A&M in the Kleberg Bank Homecoming Game. Senior wide receiver Ryan Lincoln will try to become the school’s all-time leader in receptions. He needs two more to overtake Glenn Starks (1974-77) who had 177 catches. This was the fourth straight win for the Hoggies over Angelo State.
Incarnate Word 27, East Central 13
ADA, Oklahoma – Incarnate Word overcame a 13-6 deficit with 21 fourth-quarter points as the Cardinals knocked off host East Central University 27-13 in a Lone Star Conference crossover football clash Saturday night, spoiling the Tigers’ homecoming festivities at Norris Field.
UIW’s Trent Rios ran for 112 yards on 25 carries and scored three short touchdowns off runs of 2, 1 and 1 yards.
The Cardinals, who improved to 2-4, also received a 7-yard scoring pass from Eric Massoni to Donald Gies to put the visitors ahead for good, 20-13, with 8:27 remaining.
ECU, which fell to 1-5, took a 6-0 first-quarter lead on a pair of field goals by Matt Berrey from 26 and 36 yards out.
But UIW sent it to a 6-6 deadlock at halftime after Rios scored off a 2-yard run with 6:14 to go before the break. The PAT was blocked by the Tigers’ Armonty Bryant.
The Tigers took a 13-6 advantage with 5:57 to go in the third off Charles Opeseyitan’s 1-yard plunge, followed by Berrey’s PAT.
From there it was all Cardinals as they took advantage of an 11-yard Tiger punt and moved just 39 yards in five plays, capped by Rios’ 1-yard score with 12:30 to go in the fourth.
Then an ECU fumble on the ensuing return enabled UIW to set up shop at the ECU 33 as the Cardinals scored in nine plays as Massoni hooked up with Gies on the TD pass.
UIW then put the seal on the game with 3:11 to go on Rios’ 1-yard scoring run.
For the Cardinals, Dominic Hamilton caught five passes for 65 yards and Rios grabbed three passes for 33 yards to go with his 112 rushing yards.
For the Tigers, Domonique Massengill ran for 104 yards on 21 carries with a 58-yard run to set up the first field goal of the game.
ECU quarterback Tyler Vanderzee was 18-of-38 passing for 243 yards and Zack Patteson caught seven of those aerials for 119 yards.
The Cardinals picked off two passes in the game with Dakota Mawyer returning one 65 yards, and Todd Lyons nabbing the other with a pick-off in the end zone to wipe out a Tiger scoring threat.
ECU finished with 337 yards of total offense, compared to UIW’s 259. The Tigers had three turnovers and the Cardinals ended up with two.
Eastern New Mexico 49, Central Oklahoma 31
PORTALES, New Mexico— Senior wide receiver Jessie Poku registered the third three-touchdown day of his career, hauling in nine passes for 94 yards to lead the Eastern New Mexico University football team (3-3; LSC North 2-1) to a 49-31 victory over Central Oklahoma (2-4; LSC North 1-1) in Lone Star Conference North Division action, Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Stadium.
Poku entered the contest with 21 touchdown receptions, tied with Derrick Hunter for the ENMU career record. The Greyhounds 229-yards rushing was their highest total since gaining 357 on the ground at Oklahoma Panhandle on November 10, 2007. That game was the final time Eastern utilized the triple option, before switching to the spread offense in the 2008 opener.
The game featured seven lead changes, one coming on a 58-yard sprint from UCO’s Josh Birmingham in the third quarter, Birmingham leads the LSC in rushing. The Hounds took the lead for good, 35-31, on Poku’s third touchdown of the day, a 10-yard strike from Wesley Wood.
Eastern held a 229-141 yards edge in the ground game, but UCO enjoyed a 310-194 advantage in passing yards. Tillman Stevens intercepted a career-high three passes for 81 return yards, made 10 tackles and broke up two passes. Curtis Jackson made a game-high 13 tackles. Wood hit 20 of his 31 pass attempts, with four touchdowns and one interception. Harris rushed for 81 yards, while Wood and Valenzuela followed with 67 rushing yards apiece. UCO’s Birmingham ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 36 yards, while Daniel Morrell caught seven passes for 114 yards.
The Eastern New Mexico University football team will visit East Central next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. MST. Central Oklahoma hosts Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday at 2 p.m. CST
No. 7 West Texas A&M 48, Tarleton 17
CANYON, Texas – The seventh-ranked West Texas A&M Buffaloes amassed 597 yards in total offense to overwhelm Tarleton State, 48-17, before 16,127 Homecoming fans Saturday night at WT’s Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
WTAMU improves to 5-1 on the year, 5-0 LSC, 2-0 LSC South play, while TSU drops to 1-5, 1-4 LSC, 1-2 LSC South.
The Buffaloes gained 504 yards through the air, with QB Taylor Harris (Sr-3L, Whitesboro, Texas) completing 33-of-49 passes for 419 yards and three touchdowns. WR Stephen Burton (Sr-1L, Lakewood, Calif.) had a season high 144 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions, while Tyson Williams (120 yards) and Kelvin Thompson (70 yards) each caught 11 passes.
Meanwhile, the Buffaloes’ defense held the Tarleton State offense to just 252 yards for the game, while allowing Texan QB Nick Stephens just 148 yards on the evening.
Next week finds the Buffs traveling to Kingsville, Texas, to face 10th-ranked Texas A&M-Kingsville. Kickoff at Javelina Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. CDT.