No. 2 Lions' wild comeback effort falls short in 47-42 loss at No. 10 Midwestern State – LINK
WICHITA FALLS – Despite a valiant fourth quarter comeback effort, the No. 2-ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce football team was knocked off by No. 10 Midwestern State University on Saturday night, 47-42.
The Lions fall to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Lone Star Conference with the loss, while Midwestern State is now 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the LSC.
A&M-Commerce returns home on Saturday, October 14, for the annual Homecoming game, hosting Western New Mexico University for a 4 p.m. kickoff.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Luis Perez had career highs, completing 42-of-54 passes for 431 yards and four touchdowns. He was intercepted twice.
- Both teams went over 500 yards of total offense, with the Mustangs earning 539 yards of offense and the Lions earning 509 yards.
- The Lions had 28 first downs in the game, with the Mustangs earning 25 first downs.
- Vincent Hobbs had 104 yards receiving on seven catches. Buck Wilson had two touchdown receptions, while D'Arthur Cowan and Marquis Wimberly each had a scoring catch. Perez completed passes to eight different receivers.
- E.J. Thompson and Darrius Webb each had rushing touchdowns.
- Alex Shillow had 10 tackles to lead the Lion defense. Brucks Saathoff had nine tackles, and Michael Onuoha had seven tackles with two tackles for loss.
- The Mustangs won the turnover battle three to none, scoring 14 points off of those turnovers.
- Kristov Martinez tied the A&M-Commerce all-time PATs scored mark, adding four to his total for 134 in his career.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither team was able to get their offense rolling early, as each team punted after their first three drives. The Mustangs got on the board first, capping a six-play, 78-yard drive on a 22-yard touchdown from quarterback Layton Rabb to Xavier Land. Travon Blanchard blocked the PAT, leaving the score at 6-0.
MSU capitalized on its next two drives, scoring touchdowns after a Lion punt and an interception, pushing the Mustang lead to 20-0 with 6:50 left in the second quarter.
The Lions put their first points on the board with 3:01 left in the first half. Thompson punched the ball into the endzone from 1 yard out to finish off a 7-play, 45-yard drive. A 55-yard kickoff return by Webb set up the scoring drive that ended with the Lions down 20-7.
MSU quickly volleyed back with a long scoring run to go up 27-7. The Lions responded with a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took only 1:17 off the clock. A 28-yard completion by Perez to Hobbs kickstarted the drive, which ended in Wilson's first touchdown catch of the night from 20 yards out. The Lions trailed 27-14 at the half.
Both teams went three-and-out in their opening drives of the second half. The Lions were driving downfield on their second possession of the half, when Midwestern's Marcus Wilkerson stripped the Lion ballcarrier and returned the ball 48 yards for a touchdown to put MSU up 34-14. After a Lion punt, the Mustangs put together a 10-play, 81-yard drive ending in a touchdown to put the score at 40-14 with 4:26 left in the third.
The ensuing A&M-Commerce drive saw six plays – all of which were complete passes by Perez. The sixth pass was a 26-yard scoring strike to Wilson, narrowing the deficit to 40-21. However, Midwestern needed only two plays to go back up by four scores, with a 56-yard touchdown pass making it a 47-21 ballgame.
That score would carry into the fourth quarter. On the third play of the fourth quarter, Perez found Wimberly wide open in the endzone for a 10-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 47-28 with 13:46 to play.
Martinez beautifully executed the ensuing onside kick, recovering his own boot at the A&M-Commerce 49-yardline. A deep pass late in the drive was intercepted at the A&M-Commerce 3-yardline, but the Lion defense pinned the Mustangs deep in their own territory to punt. A 13-yard punt return by Shawn Hooks set the Lions up with a short field at the MSU 25.
On second-and-goal, Perez completed a 3-yard scoring pass to Cowan. The Lions elected to go for two points, and a Perez completion to Hobbs cut the lead to 47-36 with 7:41 to go, ensuring an exciting finish.
Midwestern State was able to recover the next onside kick attempt, but the Lion defense stopped the Mustangs in no-man's-land. On fourth-and-1, Onuoha tackled the ballcarrier for a 4-yard loss to give the Lions the ball at their own 28 and 5:52 on the clock.
Perez completed three consecutive passes, with the third pass a beautiful 35-yard completion down the sideline to Hobbs. Webb then carried the ball 15 yards up the middle to paydirt. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Lions drew within 47-42 with 4:33 to play.
The Mustangs set off with the express purpose of the clock expiring without the Lions regaining possession. After three first downs, the Lions buckled down and had the Mustangs facing third-and-1 with no Lion timeouts remaining. Vincent Johnson eked the ball past the first down marker, allowing MSU to kneel out the clock.
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