Six straight: Lions claim Chennault Cup again


Photo Courtesy/ Lion Athletics

Yusef Sterling-Lowe was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Week after recording two interceptions against A&M-Kingsville.

BJ Laudermilk, Sports Editor

The No. 3 A&M-Commerce Lions football team claimed their sixth straight Chennault Cup title last Saturday night with a dominant 38-7 win over the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelinas, moving to 4-0 (2-0 LSC) on the season.

The Lions continued to give their opponents nightmares, as the offense scored on each of their first three drives of the game and held A&M-Kingsville off the scoreboard through the first half. A&M-Commerce would outscore the Javelinas in each quarter, and their defense caused three turnovers, while not giving up a touchdown to Kingsville until early in the third quarter. The Lions defense has given up a lone touchdown in three of their four games thus far this season.

“We were plus two in the turnover battle and when you do that you give yourself a good chance to win,” A&M-Commerce head football coach Colby Carthel said. “We stress that on both sides of the ball and that was a big point of emphasis, so really pleased to come out on the positive side there, we finished up strong and secured a good victory.”

Cornerback Yusef Sterling-Lowe had two interceptions in the game, and as a result was awarded the LSC Defensive Player of the Week. Pierre Leonard also had an interception in the game, as the Lions defense swarmed the Javelinas all night, recording 11 tackles for loss and nine pass breakups.

Offensively, quarterback Luis Perez continued to move up in the Lion record books, going 24-32 for 319 yards and four touchdowns, moving into third place all-time with 44 career touchdown passes. Perez completed passes to nine different Lions in the game, highlighted by Shawn Hooks, who had six catches for 73 yards and a score, and D’Arthur Cowan (four for 69 and two touchdowns). Darrion Landry also grabbed four passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

“I was really pleased with our effort through four quarters, I thought we played really well in the first quarter, but we got a little sluggish right before half offensively,” Carthel said. “We came back, turned the ball over at the start of the third quarter and we gave them some momentum. They scored but we did a good job of getting back in the game, I was pleased with our guys who went out there and put out the fire and put the game away.”

The Lions are on a bye this week, but they have a big test looming next week. A&M-Commerce is now No. 2 in the country, higher than they’ve ever been ranked before, but will be on the road at the No. 12 Midwestern State Mustangs. The Lions and Mustangs have played 22 times, with the Lions holding a slim 12-10 advantage. A&M-Commerce won the first 10 matchups between the two schools, but only have won twice since 2001, and not on the road since 1998. With Midwestern State also coping after the tragic death of their cornerback Robert Grays on Sept. 19, emotions will be high in Wichita Falls, but Carthel knows that preparation will help keep the Lions on the right track.

“We are going to back off a little bit and [the bye week] will give us two weeks to prepare for Midwestern State, which is a game everybody has had circled on their calendar for a long time,” he said. “It will give us two good weeks of prep to get ready for those guys and get our legs back underneath us, and hopefully we will be clicking on all cylinders next weekend.”