Willie Jones III breaks away from the New Mexico defense.

Bobcats May Have Resurrected Their Hopes After Homecoming Win

By Mark Brown
Sports Reporter
ktswsports@txstate.edu
Twitter: @KTSWSports

Finally after seven long, dreadful weeks the Bobcats have secured their second win of the season. The Bobcats overpowered the New Mexico State Aggies in a 27-20 slug fest. The team has now upgraded to a 2-6 record unlike the previous 1-6. Key players who made this vision a reality include returning starter Willie Jones III (WJ3), Robert Brown Jr., Clifton Lewis Jr., and a few others.

In the first quarter the Bobcats immediately leaped ahead on the scoreboard regarding WJ3’s blazing 19-yard run to the end zone. Special thanks to Hutch White’s outstanding 45-yard punt return, which granted great field positioning for the Bobcat offense. Many fans were unaware of WJ3 regaining the starting quarterback role due to a short notice of Tyler Vitt’s minor shoulder injury. The good news is he will most likely return to practice this Monday according to head coach Everett Withers at the post game conference. Either way, both quarterbacks harness a special talent that many defenders can’t seem to shake: the ability to move the ball under great pressure. Not only did WJ3 shine in the first quarter, but so did veteran running back Anthony D. Taylor after his three-yard “walk” in the end zone. This move allowed the Bobcats to topple the Aggies 13-0. NMSU managed to score zero points in quarter one.

By the second quarter the Aggies flipped the switch swiftly when fellow kicker Parker Davidson nailed a 21-yard field goal, adding three points to a desperate scoreboard. At this point the Aggies were trailing 13-3 but they still had much breathing room to catch up. The Bobcats started to slow down on offense by not being able to make any big plays. The Aggies utilized this flaw by adding another touchdown to their week eight resume. Aggie star running back Jason Huntley bulldozed a five-yard touchdown run to close the ten point gap to just three at 13-10. By then the Bobcats could not retaliate in their next drive when they were forced to punt the ball once more. With six minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Aggie kicker Parker Davidson tied the score 13-13 after adding another 25 yard field goal. Shortly before half, WJ3 connected an 18-yard touchdown pass to the hands of true freshmen Javen Banks. The Wichita Falls native recorded his first touchdown catch in his early campaign thus far. This allowed the Bobcats to gain the upper hand, taking the lead 20-13.

Bobcat offense players during the homecoming game.
The Bobcat offense is loaded with firepower. Photo by Justin Manor.

Early in the third quarter the Bobcats made major adjustments after WJ3 launched a spectacular 39 yard touchdown pass to the talented receiver Jeremiah Haydel. This caused the Bobcats to run away from with the score 27-13. After this no teams were able to score within the next ten minutes of quarter three. The Aggies eradicated both the 10-minute gap along with the fourteen point deficit after defensive end Shane Jackson returned a 34-yard fumble recovery to the end zone. WJ3 got hammered by an Aggie defender forcing a fumble which allowed Jackson to take it all the way. The score was now updated with the Bobcats only leading by seven at 27-20.

The scoreboard came to a standstill during the fourth quarter since neither team was able to score. This small portion of the game was dedicated defensively. A huge shoutout goes to Bobcat cornerback Anthony J. Taylor for intercepting Josh Adkins’ pass in the end zone toward the end of quarter four. The Allen native averted a possible overtime game if he had not been there to make the play. Shortly after this big play the Bobcats were able to eliminate their six-game losing streak by securing the 27-20 win over the Aggies. Withers was satisfied by the Bobcats’ overall performance especially since former Bobcat greats were in attendance during this homecoming game.

Bobcat linebacker Nikolas Daniels led the team in tackles with a total of 6 and 1 tackle for a loss. Defensive lineman Ishmael Davis was the runner up with 4 solo tackles and an impressive amount of 1.5 sacks. Linebacker Clifton Lewis Jr. recorded his first career interception. Cornerback Anthony J. Taylor had 4 tackles along with an impressive interception of his own. QB WJ3 was 18 for 9 with 113 total passing yards and 2 TDs. He was also the leading rusher on 19 carries for 128 yards and 1 TD. Running back Robert Brown Jr. churned 100 yards on 17 carries. Anthony D. Taylor had 7 carries for 27 yards and 1 rushing TD. WR Jeremiah Haydel had 2 receptions for 58 yards and 1 TD. Freshman WR Javen Banks recorded 2 receptions for 30 yards and 1 TD.

Texas State will head to Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday to take on the Georgia State Panthers at 1 p.m. Tune into Texas State’s own KTSW 89.9 FM for game coverage.

Featured photo by Justin Manor.

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