NCAA DII Recap: A&M Commerce flexes muscles in convincing win over UTPB; Angelo State's OT loss

Courtesy of Texas A&M Commerce

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No. 3 Tarleton Texans (10-0, 7-0)

Last Week: Tarleton had no trouble on the road last Saturday as they earned a 58-3 victory over William Jewell. Quarterback Ben Holmes completed 18-of-29 passes for 318 yards with four touchdowns and an interception while Daniel McCants had another huge game with 225 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Zimari Manning added to his NCAA lead for receiving touchdowns with two more touchdown catches on six receptions with 109 yards. B.J. Jefferson had another good day for the Texans defense with seven tackles, five solo, three tackles for loss, one sack and intercepted the first pass of his career.

The Verdict: The Texans had a successful business trip last Saturday and will need another successful business trip to end the regular season. A win on the road this week secures a second consecutive outright Lone Star Conference title for the Texans and will secure at least two playoff home games.

This Week: Tarleton travels to play Western New Mexico at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.


No. 23 Texas A&M-Commerce Lions (7-2, 6-1)

Last Week: Texas A&M-Commerce dominated from the start last Saturday as they won 44-13 at home over UT Permian Basin. Quarterback Miklo Smalls completed 21-of-33 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Jemal Williams led the Lions rushing attack with 103 yards and two touchdowns while Matt Childers was the leading receiver with 136 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Jalon Edwards-Cooper and Kader Kohou each intercepted two passes while Kohou returned one interception 28 yards for a touchdown.

The Verdict: The Lions had another solid performance and continue to take care of business as they seek another playoff berth. However, the challenge is large this week for TAMUC as they must travel to play an angry team that is desperate for a win to keep playoff hopes alive.

This Week: TAMUC travels to play Angelo State on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.


Angelo State Rams (8-2, 5-2)

Last Week: ASU was unable to hold onto a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter as the Rams lost 20-17 in overtime on the road to Eastern New Mexico last Saturday. The Rams offense struggled all game as quarterback Payne Sullins completed 13-of-26 passes for 208 yards. Daven Manning added 57 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 16 carries for ASU. Defensive end Dagen Dunham led the defense with 14 tackles and one-half tackle for loss while linebacker Hunter Kyle added 13 tackles, seven solo.

The Verdict: This is a tough loss for the Rams as they await to see where they stand in the Super Region Four rankings with only one week remaining. One thing is certain for ASU if they are to have any chance of earning a spot in the playoffs, they must win this week at home.

This Week: ASU plays No. 23 Texas A&M-Commerce at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The game will be broadcast on Nexstar.


West Texas A&M Buffaloes (7-3, 4-3)

Last Week: Tobias Harris returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to lead WT to a comeback 35-31 win on the road over Texas A&M-Kingsville. Quarterback Nick Gerber completed 13-of-23 passes for 149 yards and an interception and added 110 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Logan Vallo contributed 111 yards on 15 carries for the Buffs. LaDarian Hudson had nine tackles, five solo, and one-half tackle for loss while Frank Honang added eight tackles, four solo, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

The Verdict: The Buffs have improved each season under head coach Hunter Hughes and the improvement has continued this year. WT will try to finish the season on a positive note this week as they try to end a two-game losing streak to one of their rivals.

This Week: The Buffs will host Midwestern State at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.


Midwestern State Mustangs (5-5, 3-4)

Last Week: MSU-Texas scored a touchdown in each quarter last Saturday to earn a 28-13 win at home over Western New Mexico. Quarterback Triston Williams completed 10-of-24 passes for 203 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Lazarus Fisher and Quinton Childs each scored a rushing touchdown while Michael Berry and Kylan Harrison each added a receiving touchdown for the Mustangs. Defensive back Marcus Wilkerson led the defense with nine tackles, seven solo, and recovered a fumble.

The Verdict: The Mustangs rebounded nicely from a tough two-game losing streak. This week’s game is huge for the MSU program as they travel to play one of their biggest rivals and need a victory to secure a 20th consecutive winning season.

This Week: MSU-Texas travels to play West Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.


UT Permian Basin Falcons (3-7, 1-6)

Last Week: UTPB had a tough time against a good team last week as they lost 44-13 on the road to No. 24 Texas A&M-Commerce. Quarterback Clayton Roberts struggled as he completed 12-of-31 passes for 142 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Davion Sutton gained 44 yards rushing and a touchdown on 20 carries while Jeremiah Cooley added 54 yards and a touchdown on three catches. Defensive back Donta Stuart had another great game with 13 tackles, eight solo, and broke up a pass while linebacker Chris Hoad added 12 tackles, eight solo, one tackle for loss and recovered a fumble.

The Verdict: The Falcons have shown improvement once again this season, but they are not at the level of the top teams in the conference yet. Head coach Justin Carrigan is doing a great job of building a talented corps of players and UTPB has a chance to end the season on a positive note this week.

This Week: UTPB will host Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday night at 6 p.m.


Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas (2-7, 1-5)

Last Week: A punt returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was the final nail for TAMUK last Saturday as they suffered a heart-breaking 35-31 loss at home to West Texas A&M. Quarterback Koy Detmer had another solid game completing 31-of-44 passes for 315 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Ryan Martinez was the leading receiver with seven catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Tre’Michael Tutt had another incredible performance with 16 tackles, six solo, and 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Verdict: The Javelinas have played really well over their last three games and nearly earned a huge win over a solid team last week. TAMUK hits the road this week with the opportunity to earn another win and end the season with confidence heading into an important offseason.

This Week: TAMUK travels to play UT Permian Basin at 6 p.m. Saturday night.

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