The vibes were immaculate underneath the full moon at Bobcat Stadium Saturday night as Texas State dominated Sun Belt powerhouse, Appalachian State, 36-24. This was the Bobcat’s first-ever win against the Mountaineers after losing the first six games in matchup history.
The maroon and gold chose a good time to put on a show as they were cheered on by 25,613 Bobcats faithful. This was the seventh-largest crowd in Bobcat Stadium history and the largest ever for a Sun Belt Conference game for Texas State.
“Like it just shows that we have a product that people are excited to watch and there’s a lot of pride in this university and our goal is to keep building, keep bringing the consistency to the games,” Head Coach Jake Spavital said. “It was fun to kind of sit back and see a lot of people out there and you actually hear them on those critical moments on their downs, they got pretty loud in times.”
After an early interception, Layne Hatcher got settled in the pocket as he threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, propelling the Bobcats to a 24-3 lead heading into half. His leading receiver on the day was no other than Ashtyn Hawkins who ended the game with six receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. Charles Brown and Lincoln Pare with the other two offensive Bobcats who found the endzone Saturday night.
“Going into the locker room, we tried to tell each other to keep the foot on the gas. The game was not over, with every half we actually say the score is still 0-0,” Hawkins said. “I felt like as a team offensively and defensively at the start of the second half and we didn’t back down. We kept foot on the gas. I felt like we kept making plays, executing plays as well. So, I did feel like we complementary football as a team.”
Overall, the Texas State offense played a consistent game from start to finish, but the star of the show was the defense. Appalachian States’ usually explosive offense was suppressed all game as the Bobcat defense forced three turnover-on-downs, three punts and one fumble. However, the play of the night came early in the third quarter on the Mountaineers opening drive out of halftime. After driving down the field, Appalachian State was looking to score and start a possible comeback. Texas State defensive back Tory Spears, however, had different plans. On a fourth down attempt, Spears jumped the pass for his first career interception and took it all the way for a touchdown on a 95-yard pick-six.
“The play before, I kind of misread my key and gave up a little bit much. I was trying to lock in a little more that play with zone, hot pressure, read the quarterback, and gave hard shoulders. Caught it, and when I cut it up the only thought in my head was, ‘Don’t get caught, don’t get caught,’” Spears said. “Because I got tired around the 40. Like you said, my first one, and the adrenaline is still kicking. I still can’t believe this, I really don’t. Bless God and thank God.”
After the highlight play, all Texas State needed to do was run out the clock. The Mountaineers were able to find the end-zone a couple more times including a touchdown pass as the clock hit zero.
“I thought it was just a great win overall for our program. It’s all about the kids and always about the program and everybody in here,” Spavital said. “There’s a lot of work that has gone into this. I just think that’s a momentum kind of game for us to understand what we’re capable of doing. If we play together, play clean football, play football the right way.”
The Bobcats improve to 3-3 and 1-1 in conference which marks the best start to a season since 2014. Texas State will enjoy the big win but is already preparing for next Saturday, where they will travel to Alabama to take on the Troy Trojans. The Trojans lead the all-time series 7-0, with their last meeting ending 31-28. The maroon and gold will look to replicate the magic of Saturday night as they continue their quest for a bowl game.
By Chris Johnson Sports Reporter The San Marcos Rattlers (2-3) started off district play at home against Schertz-Clemens (3-2) Friday evening. After a disappointing homecoming loss, the Rattlers were looking to bounce back and start things off on the right foot winning the game 28-24. The Rattlers were able to put all the pieces together and claw their way back after a great defensive performance in the second half moving […]
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