LIONS RETURN TO ACTION HOSTING TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE SATURDAY
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. A&M-Kingsville Javelinas
Saturday, September 29 • 6 p.m.
Memorial Stadium • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (0-3, 0-1 LSC); A&M-Kingsville (2-2, 1-2 LSC)
A&M-Commerce returns to action on the turf at Memorial Stadium, hosting long-time rival Texas A&M-Kingsville at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 29. The game against the Javelinas marks the 18th installment of the Chennault Cup, the annual trophy game staged between the Lions and Javelinas.
Lions on the Web
A&M-Commerce fans unable to make it to Memorial Stadium this Saturday for the showdown against Texas A&M-Kingsville can still keep up to date with every Lion play. Live streaming video of the game, powered by Stretch Internet, will be available at LionAthletics.com for a $7.95 charge, which will feature the same video feed that is shown on the Memorial Stadium videoboard. KETR 88.9 FM will carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood and Brock Callaway on the call and will also be streamed live at KETR.org. Live stats will be available at LionAthletics.com with Twitter updates @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Javelinas
2012: 2-2 overall, 1-2 Lone Star Conference (T-6th), 0-1 road
Last Three Games: L vs. Midwestern State (45-28), L vs. West Texas A&M (40-10), W at Abilene Christian (16-13)
Head Coach: Bo Atterberry (Southeastern Oklahoma State, 1988). Sixth season at A&M-Kingsville (37-24, .607)
Key Offensive Players:
• #6 Nate Poppell (Sr., QB): 67-of-112 (59.8%) for 719 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT
• #3 Jonathan Woodson (Sr., RB): 53 carries for 155 yards (2.9 avg.), 2 TD, long of 41
• #37 Randall Toney (Sr., RB): 42 carries for 141 yards (3.4 avg.), long of 17
• #2 Sherman Batiste (Sr., WR): 27 catches for 411 yards (15.2 avg.), 3 TD, long of 52
• #8 Robert Armstrong (Jr., WR): 25 catches for 188 yards (7.5 avg.), 3 TD, long of 22
Key Defensive Players:
• #30 Jeremy Aguilar (Sr., LB): 36 tackles (17 solo), 3.5 TFL, 2 FF, 2 FR, 1 INT (33 yards)
• #28 Steve Harris (Sr., DB): 22 tackles (11 solo), 1.0 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 INT (51 yards)
• #5 Anthony Forker (So., DB): 20 tackles (12 solo), 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sack, 1 PBU
• #94 Marquis Singleton (Sr., DE): 18 tackles (9 solo), 3.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 PBU
• #34 Cornelius Shackleford (Jr., LB): 16 tackles (11 solo), 5.5 TFL, 1.0 sack, 2 PBU
Key Special Teams Players:
• #18 Matt Stoll (Jr., K): 7-11 FGs (63.6% • long of 38), 8-10 PATs (80.0%)
• #13 Angel Millan (Jr., P): 25 punts for 1,000 yards (40.0 avg.), long of 56, 5 50+, 8 I20
• #3 Jonathan Woodson (Sr., RB): 8 kick returns for 168 yards (21.0 avg.), long of 37
• #12 Joseph Vela (Sr., WR): 9 punt returns for 88 yards (9.8 avg.), long of 25
Javelina Synopsis: Texas A&M-Kingsville made a strong statement to start the 2012 season, routing Central Washington 35-7 before taking down ninth-ranked Abilene Christian 16-13 in Abilene. But the Javelinas have stumbled the last two weeks, falling to West Texas A&M 40-10 at Cowboys Stadium in the Lone Star Football Festival before dropping a 45-28 decision at home to Midwestern State Saturday evening.
The rivalry between A&M-Commerce and A&M-Kingsville is one of the longest standing in the Lone Star Conference dating back to 1930, with the teams having met each year since 1954. Saturday marks the 60th meeting between the two schools with the Javelinas holding a 36-22-1 advantage in the all-time series, including having won the last four and seven of the last eight against the Lions. A&M-Commerce is 14-16-1 against A&M-Kingsville at Memorial Stadium, with their last victory coming in a 24-7 decision in 2007 in Commerce.
The Chennault Cup
For the 16th time, A&M-Commerce and A&M-Kingsville will face each other not just for their position in the Lone Star Conference standings, but also for the Chennault Cup. Named after the late Lt. General Claire Chennault, a Commerce native, the Lions' trophy series began in 1990 against West Alabama, then shifted to A&M-Kingsville during the 1992 season. The Javelinas hold a 14-2 advantage in the series with 2001 being the last time the Cup resided in Commerce. General Chennault was noted for forming the famous "Flying Tigers" fighter squadron in the 1930's and was the commander of the 14th Air Force during World War II.
Davis' Touchdown Featured on SportsCenter's Top Plays
While the outcome of the game against Midwestern State at Cowboys Stadium wasn't what the Lions had hoped for, A&M-Commerce did make a splash on the national scene. In the third quarter, quarterback Deric Davis seemed to be stopped after a minimal gain, but rolled over the Mustang defender and landed on his feet, scampering 60 yards for a Lion touchdown. The play made national news, featured as the number 10 play on ESPN SportsCenter's Top Plays on September 13th.
Ohm's First Touchdown a Tough One to Top
A player's first career touchdown is always memorable one, but for redshirt freshman receiver Blake Ohm, his first touchdown catch will be a tough one to beat. Late in the third quarter, Ohm hauled in an 11-yard pass from Deric Davis near the back of the endzone at Cowboys Stadium, making an tough catch and keeping his feet inbounds to give the Lions their second touchdown of the evening. The catch was seen across the nation as CBS Sports Network covered the game live. Ohm, who redshirted the 2011 season has a pair of receptions on the year while splitting time through the first three games of the year at both receiver and as the holder on the A&M-Commerce kicking team.
Lions Still Struggling to Find Their Groove
A&M-Commerce's offense is still struggling to find its rhythm as eight new starters try to build that chemistry. The Lions haven't led in a game at any point yet this season, extending their streak to 240 minutes, dating back to last year's 49-0 season finale defeat at West Texas A&M. The last time A&M-Commerce was ahead on the scoreboard was at the conclusion of the Eastern New Mexico game on November 5, 2011 when the Lions defeated the Greyhounds 60-28. Part of the Lions' struggles this season has been their inability to score in the early going as A&M-Commerce has managed just three first half points in 2012.
Can't Mess With Texas
Heading into this week's game against Texas A&M-Kingsville, A&M-Commerce is hoping to bring a dubious streak to a halt as the Lions have not won a game against an opponent from the state of Texas since defeating Angelo State on September 6, 2008 - a span of over four years and 16-straight defeats. A&M-Commerce head coach Guy Morriss has yet to taste victory against a team from the Lone Star state as all of the Lions' victories under Morriss have come against opponents from Oklahoma, Iowa and New Mexico.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Leaders
Through the first four weeks of the 2012 season, A&M-Commerce ranks among the Lone Star Conference leaders in a number of categories. As a team, the Lions lead the LSC in both passing defense (159.3 ypg) and kickoff coverage (43.5 avg.) while sitting second in punting average (40.0 avg.). Individually, 11 Lions rank among the league leaders in 11 categories, highlighted by Byron Brooks ranking second in kick return average (22.1 avg.) and Danny Mason sitting second in tackles per game (10.7).
Handful of Lions Still Rank Among National Leaders
A number of Lions find themselves among the national leaders in a handful of categories. Defensively, Danny Mason sits 28th in tackles per game (10.67), followed closely by Joel Wren who is tied for 78th (9.00). Among the A&M-Commerce special teams unit, punter Cameron Frosch is tied for 27th in punting average (40.00) while Byron Brooks' 22.11 kickoff return average ranks the freshman 76th nationally.
A&M-Commerce makes a return trip to the Alamo City next Saturday, facing off against Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. on October 6th. It marks the final meeting between the Lions and Cardinals before Incarnate Word makes the jump to Division I in 2013. A&M-Commerce's next home game will be Saturday, October 13th when the Lions host Tarleton State at Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.
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