MOMENT #6: GRAHAM BURSTS INTO LION RECORD BOOKS ON SENIOR NIGHT
The 2011-12 A&M-Commerce athletic season was filled with a number of impressive performance and memorable highlights achieved by the Lion student-athletes. To close out the athletic season, LionAthletics.com is looking back at the top-15 moments of the year, voted on by athletic administrators, media members and Lion fans. The moments will be revealed on Mondays and Thursdays, leading into the start of the 2012-13 A&M-Commerce athletic season.
COMMERCE, Texas – Our number six moment of the 2011-12 season takes us out to the turf at Memorial Stadium as a Lion all-time great put on quite a show in his final game in an A&M-Commerce uniform. Senior running back Marcus Graham compiled a season-best 152 yards on the ground on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns as the Lions routed Eastern New Mexico 60-28 on Senior Night.
When Graham first set foot on the A&M-Commerce campus, he did so as a walk-on with no promise of ever seeing any playing time. But the workhorse paid his dues, finally stepping onto the field in his redshirt freshman season and playing his first three games at wide receiver.
Graham continued to impress the coaching staff and by the fourth game of 2008 had worked his way into the backfield rotation, becoming the team's starting running back as a sophomore. A two-time All-Lone Star Conference selection, Graham entered his senior season with 1,561 career rushing yards, needing just 377 to move into the all-time top-10 in program history.
With his family and friends watching from the stands, Graham made his final game at Memorial Stadium count. He averaged 9.5 yards per carry against the Greyhounds and finished the night with 1,985 career yards, moving past both Bill Allison and Sam McCord, who fittingly was also in the stands that evening, into eighth-place all-time in A&M-Commerce history.
His first touchdown came in the second quarter, as after reeling off a 50-yard scamper to put the Lions in scoring position, he capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run, putting A&M-Commerce up 36-14. Graham then capped the night with a seven-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter, putting the Lions up 60-28 as it would prove to be the final time he carried the ball at Memorial Stadium.
Graham's performance served as the sparkplug for the Lions' most complete game of the season. Quarterback J.J. Harp completed 24-of-34 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns against his former team, spreading out his passes to eight different receivers.
Fellow seniors Adam Jones, Adorian Arthur and Taylor Fore came up big on Senior Night, combining for 12 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. Even the defense got involved as Danny Mason intercepted a pass in the endzone for a score, Cortney Craig recovered a blocked punt in the endzone for another and A&M-Commerce recorded a safety as the Lions notched 43 first-half points, setting a program record for most points scored in a half.
When the dust settled, A&M-Commerce had racked up 535 yards of total offense and a season-high 60 points, ending a 10-game losing skid and sending the 12 Lion seniors out in style in their final home game.
For his career, Graham closed out his days in a Lion uniform with 1,990 career rushing yards, good enough for eighth on the all-time list and just 10 yards shy of becoming the sixth player in program history to rush for 2,000 yards. He was joined in the Lion record books by Fore, who concluded his stellar career with 125 receptions, sitting, fittingly, fourth all-time in Lion history while his 58 catches in 2011 tied the program's single-season mark previously set by Victor Bennett in 2004.
A&M-Commerce Top-15 Moments Countdown Schedule
Moment #1 - Thursday, August 2
Moment #2 - Monday, July 30
Moment #3 - Thursday, July 26
Moment #4 - Monday, July 23
Moment #5 - Thursday, July 19
Moment #6 - Marcus Graham Bursts into Lion Record Books on Senior Night
Moment #7 - Facing Match Point, Volleyball Rallies to Take Down Incarnate Word 3-2
Moment #8 - Chantry McMahan Finishes Second at LSC Golf Championships
Moment #9 - Men's Cross Country Ties Best Finish in Program History at LSC Championships
Moment #10 - Track and Field Notches A Pair of LSC Individual Champions
Moment #11 - Men's Basketball Wins Final Three Games to Qualify for LSC Tournament
Moment #12 - Football Takes to the Turf at Cowboys Stadium
Moment #13 - Pair of Men's Golfers Capture Individual Tournament Titles
Moment #14 - Women's Track and Field Sets Three School Records
Moment #15 - Women's Basketball Upsets Angelo State 64-61 in Season Finale