TEXANS, LIGHTNING PROVE TOO MUCH AS LIONS FALL 43-10
Tarleton State 43, A&M-Commerce 10
Location: Memorial Stadium • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-5, 1-3 LSC); Tarleton State (3-3, 3-2 LSC)
Up Next: at Angelo State • Saturday, October 20 • 4 p.m. • San Angelo
COMMERCE, Texas – A combination of an aggressive Tarleton State offense, a struggling A&M-Commerce defense and a nearly two-hour weather delay proved to be too much to overcome as the Lions drop a 43-10 decision to the Texans at Memorial Stadium Saturday evening.
The loss drops A&M-Commerce to 1-5 on the year and 1-3 in Lone Star Conference play, while the Texans improve to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in LSC action. The Texans also retained possession of the Presidents' Cup trophy as Tarleton State is 3-0 against the Lions since the trophy game was instituted in 2010.
A&M-Commerce managed just 205 total yards on the evening, compared to 424 for Tarleton State, as the Lions struggled to find their groove, especially in the running game where A&M-Commerce tallied just 20 yards on 25 carries on the night, with 185 yards coming in the air.
Deric Davis completed 13-of-29 passes for 116 yards and two interceptions through the first three and a half quarters. Kevin Vye engineered the final drive of the evening for the Lions and stepped in nicely, completing seven of his 10 attempts for 69 yards.
Tyler Rawlings and Garrett Smith provided the usual one-two punch among the wide receivers as the duo each reeled in four catches for 50 yards. Salim Zongo had a career night, catching three passes for 37 yards as well.
On the ground, Wayne Chapman led the way with 16 yards on four carries, followed by Marcus French's eight yards on three carries. Vye also rushed for five yards on three attempts, including an 11-yard scramble late in the fourth quarter.
But the highlight on the night for A&M-Commerce was its defense and special teams, led by linebacker Danny Mason, who led all players with 15 tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a pair of quarterback hurries. Tristian Davis added eight tackles while J.T. Bates notched seven, including five solo.
Pablo Vasquez notched the highlight of the night for A&M-Commerce, recording his first career interception and returning it 43 yards for the Lions' lone touchdown midway through the second quarter.
On the Lions' special teams, Jacob O'Neil was one-for-two on field goal attempts, connecting on a career-long 42-yarder in the second quarter to put the Lions on the board. Punter Cameron Frosch continued to be A&M-Commerce's unsung hero in 2012, punting eight times while averaging 44.9 yards per kick, including a long of 58 yards.
Seeking its 11th win over the Lions in its last 12 meetings, Tarleton State jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the opening quarter, thanks to an 18-yard field goal by Blake Barnes and a 34-yard touchdown strike from Aaron Doyle to Clifton Rhodes III as time expired.
In the Lions' first possession of the second quarter, A&M-Commerce drove down the field, then with a strong wind at his back, O'Neil drilled the career-best 42-yard field goal, pulling the Lions to within seven at 10-3.
On the ensuing Tarleton State possession, Vasquez made a great break on the ball, snagging the Doyle pass at the 43 and scampered down the near sideline. Doyle and Vasquez collided at the goal line, but Vasquez was able to make contact with the pylon, tying the game at 10-10 with 9:21 remaining in the half.
After a 15-yard touchdown run put the Texans up 17-10, Barnes took over, connection on all five of his field goal attempts through the first three quarters as Tarleton State built a 26-10 advantage late into the third quarter.
Mother Nature then asserted her authority as a strong thunderstorm complete with heavy rains and constant lightning sent the game into a one hour and 45-minute rain delay. Unfortunately the delay didn't do much to help the Lion cause as Baker nailed a 38-yard field goal on the first play following extending the lead to 29-10 after three quarters.
Zach Henshaw would add a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to push the Tarleton State margin to 43-10. On the evening, Doyle completed 22 of 42 passes for one touchdown and the lone interception while Henshaw notched 119 yards on 18 carries and three scores to lead the Texans. Tarleton State also had a 100-yard receiver on the night with Jeken Frye hauling in eight catches for 103 yards.
A&M-Commerce looks to end the skid next Saturday, but will have to do it on the road as the Lions visit San Angelo Stadium, squaring off against Angelo State on Saturday, October 20. Kickoff against the Rams is set for 4 p.m. with live video and statistics available through LionAthletics.com.