Lone Star Conference football recap — Oct. 2

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Submitted by conference SIDs

No. 5 Abilene Christian 31, No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville 24

KINGSVILLE, Texas – In a game that more than lived up to its billing Saturday night, the No. 5 ACU Wildcats rolled out of Javelina Stadium with a 31-24 Lone Star Conference South Division win over No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The win pushes the Wildcats to 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the LSC and 2-0 in the LSC South Division. The Javelinas, meanwhile, fall to 4-1, 3-1 and 1-1. ACU will return to Shotwell Stadium in Abilene next Saturday when it hosts Midwestern State at 2 p.m. in the Wildcats’ annual Homecoming contest.

The Wildcats got another huge night from sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale as for the second straight week he passed for a career-high in yardage, riddling the No. 1 defense in the nation for 417 yards and three touchdowns. ACU posted 440 total yards against the Javelinas, who came into the game having not allowed any of their previous four opponents more than 200 yards of offense.

The Wildcats held a 14-0 lead at halftime scoring more points in one half than the Javelinas had given up in an entire game through the first four weeks and then made it a 21-0 lead with 8:52 left in the third quarter when Gale hit Justin Andrews over the middle from 27 yards out.

But just two plays later, the Javelinas finally got on the board on a 59-yard touchdown run by Connell Davis. That seemed to give the Javelinas some momentum as the team’s traded field goals before Gale hit Ben Gibbs from 10 yards out to make it 31-10 with 11:28 to play

The Javelinas, however, answered with a big kickoff return and then went 51 yards on just five plays to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Nate Poppell to Delashaun Dean to make it 31-17 with 9:10 left in the game.

Four plays later the Javelinas had the football again after they blocked a Mark Sprague, gaining the football at the ACU 29-yard line with 7:20 left in the game. Thirty-four seconds later the Javelinas were in the end zone again as Poppell hit Ryan Lincoln from 12 yards out to cut ACU’s lead to 31-24 with 6:46 to play.

But ACU’s defense was able to make a few plays on the final two drives as Courtney Lane’s pressure on Poppell resulted in an interception by Darien Williams with less than four minutes to play. And on Kingsville’s final drive, Kevin Washington came up with a fumble recovery as the Javelinas were lateraling the ball around in a last-ditch effort to score.

ACU receiver Edmund Gates caught a career-best 11 passes for 135 yards and one score, while Kendrick Johnson caught seven passes a career-best 134 yards.

No. 10 Midwestern State 38, Incarnate Word 31 OT

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Zack Eskridge hit Jared Freeman for a 23-yard strike in overtime to allow No. 10 Midwestern State to escape with a 38-31 win over upset-minded Incarnate Word Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

Incarnate Word bled the clock for more than 17 minutes over two second-half scoring drives to force the contest in an extra session when Paden Lynch and Donald Gies hooked up for their second scoring connection with 1:03 to play.

The Mustangs scrambled down the field, but Jose Martinez failed to connect on potential game winning field goal with 11 seconds to go in regulation.

MSU needed just three plays to find the end zone in the first overtime period then survived a fourth-and-five attempt from Lynch to Dominic Hamilton to seal the victory as the Mustangs improved to 5-0 for the fourth time in school history.

Midwestern State junior receiver, David Little, set a school record with 14 receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown to fall one short of the LSC standard.

Incarnate Word was paced by the one-two punch of Lynch and Trent Rios which allowed the Cardinals to control the ball for more than 39 minutes during regulation play.

Lynch passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 85 yards on 21 carries, while Rios gained 76 on 27 attempts.

Eskridge posted a season-high 317 yards on 27-of-37 passing including three touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled up 409 yards of total offense in 20 minutes of possession time.

Ryan Craven and J.D. Corcoran led the MSU defensive effort with 13 tackles each.

Midwestern State hits the road to battle No. 5 Abilene Christian Saturday at Shotwell Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

Incarnate Word slipped to 1-4 on the season.

Central Oklahoma 31, East Central 28

EDMOND, Oklahoma – East Central missed a 30-yard field goal as time expired as Central Oklahoma held on for a thrilling 31-28 Lone Star Conference North Division victory here Saturday night.

The Bronchos were called for a substitution infraction when Matt Berrey was short on a 45-yard try and the resulting 15-yard penalty gave him another chance, but his 30-yard effort at the horn was wide left.

UCO improved to 2-3 on the year, 2-1 in the overall league standings and 1-0 in the North Division. The Tigers fell to 1-4, 1-3 and 1-1.

The Bronchos overcame 14-0 and 21-7 deficits in earning the win, pulling within 21-17 at halftime on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Sharp to Tim Branch and a 45-yard Chris Robbs field goal on the final play of the half.

UCO surged ahead early in the fourth quarter on Josh Birmingham’s two-yard TD run and went up 31-21 with 7:10 left on Sharp’s 53-yard scoring bomb to Daniel Morrell, but ECU made things interesting down the stretch.

Tyler Vanderzee’s seven-yard TD pass to Cleotha Euwins cut UCO’s lead to 31-28 with 4:17 left and the Tigers got the ball back at their own 12 with 1:20 remaining.

Vanderzee moved ECU down to a first-and-10 at the UCO 27 before three straight incompletions brought on Berrey for the final field goal try.

Sharp was 25-of-43 passing for 268 yards and two TDs as the Bronchos finished with 387 yards.

Southwestern Oklahoma 21, Eastern New Mexico 10

WEATHERFORD, Oklahoma – Southwestern Oklahoma State University celebrated its first win of the football season in convincing fashion with a 21-10 victory over visiting Eastern New Mexico University Saturday in Weatherford.

Dwight Pete rushed for 101 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Bulldogs who improved to 1-4 and evened their Lone Star Conference North division record at 1-1.

ENMU, which fell to 2-3 and 0-1 in the LSC North, was led by quarterback Wesley Wood who completed 30-of-61 passes for 289 yards but was intercepted three times.

Pete’s three-yard touchdown run just before half gave the Bulldogs a 14-3 cushion heading into the locker room. The Greyhounds trimmed SWOSU’s margin to 14-10 early in the third period when Wood connected with Chase Kyser on a one-yard pass.

The Bulldogs put the game out of reach later in the third when Pete scored from two yards to put SWOSU back in front 21-10. The score came after an interception return by Jaron Burgess that gave the Bulldogs outstanding field position at the ENMU 36-yard line.

SWOSU finished the day with 430 yards of total offense, 252 of which were on the ground. Quarterback Dustin Stenta completed 16-of-29 passes for SWOSU for 178 yards and added another 81 on the ground on 18 carries.

Texas A&M-Commerce 19, Southeastern Oklahoma 14

Commerce, Texas – A bend but do not break defense of host Texas A&M University-Commerce made two crucial stops on fourth down to withstand a late rally by Southeastern Oklahoma State for a 19-14 victory on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

With the last five meetings decided by an average of 3.8 points and a five-point lead, facing a fourth and six at the Lions’ 13 yard line and :23 left in the game, junior defensive back Marlin Terrell stopped SOSU receiver Brandon DeFrance immediately after a reception to preserve the victory.

A&M-Commerce (2-3, 1-1 LSC North) junior running back Marcus Graham ran the ball 24 times for 110 yards and a touchdown in the win. Senior quarterback Adam Farkes completed 21 of 34 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Danny Mason had a game-high 15 tackles and Terrell added eight stops.

Southeastern Oklahoma (1-4, 0-2 LSC North) quarterback Logan Turner was 16 for 32 and 131 yards and two touchdowns for the Savage Storm. SOSU relied on a two-back attack including Jamaal Evans, who had 28 carries for 125 yards and Baylen Laury, who had 11 carries for 98 yards.

A&M-Commerce got on the board late in the first quarter with its third defensive touchdown of the season when A.J. Billings picked up a fumble and raced 70 yards for the early advantage. The Lions missed the extra point attempt and held a 6-0 advantage.

The Lions relied on the strength of Graham for its next scoring drive, running the ball five times for 53 of his game-high 110 yards. His final carry went 14 yards for a touchdown and put the home team up by a 14-0 margin.

A&M-Commerce added to its lead on the next drive but this time it was through the air. Farkes completed eight of 10 passes with five-different Lions catching a pass during the drive, including

senior Jillian Hayes on a 10-yard touchdown strike. His favorite target was freshman Kenzee Jackson, who had four of his eight receptions during the drive.

The Savage Storm mounted a drive late in the opening half but a Chris People’s field goal sailed wide left.

A&M-Commerce went into halftime with a 19-0 lead, its first lead at the intermission on the season. The two teams played a field possession battle for the remainder of the contest.

On their fourth drive of the second half, following three-straight rushes by Jamaal Evans, Turner found Ryan Shelley for a 15-yard touchdown completion to cut the Lions’ lead to 19-7.

To start the fourth quarter, Eric Walker picked off his second pass of the contest and ran it back 65 yards to the A&M-Commerce 20. Following the same recipe of its earlier scoring drive, following a rush by Evans, Turner and Shelley connected for the second time to cut the Lions lead to 19-14 with 14:24 left in the game.

On the ensuing drive, the Savage Storm held the Lions on a 4th and 2 play with 12:20 to go. SOSU marched down to the Lions 21 before they faced a 4th and 4 play. Stepping up to make the play for the Lions on the sweep was redshirt freshman Joel Wren, who tackled Evans and held

him to just a one-yard gain.

Each team had the ball two more times but the game was not decided until the fourth and six play made by Terrell.

The Lions will next take to the road to face Northeastern State in Tahlequah for a 2 pm kickoff.

Tarleton State 37, Angelo State 34

STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Tarleton State scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to erase a two-touchdown deficit and handed Angelo State its ninth-consecutive loss in the series, 37-34, at Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

The Rams (2-2, 0-2 LSC South) looked like they might top the Texans (1-4, 1-1 LSC South) for the first time in nearly 10 years with a 14-point lead and the ball entering the fourth quarter, but Tarleton State quarterback Nick Stephens engineered three scoring drives in the final five minutes to lift TSU to its first win of the season.

Angelo State had highlights in all three phases of the game with booming punts and long kick returns on special teams, power runs and long pass completions on offense, and forced turnovers and a safety on defense, but in a five-minute span it all evaporated. With ASU leading 34-20 with 5:16 to play in the game, Stephens needed just two plays both passes to Saalim Hakim and 24 seconds to scoot the Texans 66 yards downfield for a score.

Tarleton State evened the tally just three plays later a kickoff to pin the Rams at the four yard line, a fumble by ASU runningback Tristan Carter, and a four-yard scamper by Evan Robertson. Blake Wiest connected on the eventual game winning field goal from 27 yards out with 1:34 to play to complete the rally.