Lions win President’s Cup for fifth straight year

Imogené Wofford, Co-Editor

Imogené Wofford
Lion wide receiver Buck Wilson, who had 193 receiving yards with one touchdown, holds the President’s Cup trophy. The upcoming playoff run by the Lions will be Wilson’s last.

By Imogené Wofford | Co-Editor

The A&M-Commerce Lions football team moved up to the number five spot in their Super Region with their fifth straight President’s Cup win against the Tarleton State University Texans, 33-21 in the regular season finale at Tarleton’s Memorial Stadium Nov. 9.

The Lions improved their overall record to 9-1 and 7-1 in the Lone Star Conference, while the Tarleton Texans conclude their regular season with a 6-5 overall record and 4-4 in the Lone Star Conference.

Lions quarterback Luis Perez was on top of his game, going 34-50 for 482 yards and three touchdowns. Perez found seven different receivers in the game, but his favorite target was Buck Wilson, who had seven grabs for 193 yards and a touchdown, the most receiving yards by a Lion in a game under head coach Colby Carthel. The Lions totaled 546 yards of offense in the game to just 272 for the Texans.

The Lions dominated the field early in the game with four scores on their first five drives. Perez connected with wide receiver Wilson for a 61-yard touchdown, putting the Lions on the board first 7-0.

After receiving a Texan punt, the Lions used six plays to drive to the endzone where Perez threw a six-yard pass to wide receiver Darrion Landry, bringing the score up to 14-0.

Towards the end of the first quarter Lions defensive back Dominique Ramsey intercepted the Texans that set up kicker Kristov Martinez up to kick a 24-yard field goal, making it 17-0 Lions.

Heading into the second quarter, the Lions were able to make it deep enough into Texan territory where Martinez added three more points to their lead with a 39-yard field goal. The field goal brought the score to 20-0, and gave Martinez the school’s all-time record for most points in a career.

The Lions made it to halftime with a 23-0 lead after Martinez kicked a 42-yard field goal with 5:58 remaining in the second quarter, but after the break, the Texans brought a change of pace to the action.

Tarleton made their first touchdown of the game when running back Adam Berryman flew up the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown that put them on the board, 23-7 with 11:49 left in the third.

Commerce responded in the fourth with a 35-yard field goal by Martinez to change the score to 26-7, Martinez’s fourth field goal of the game. The Texans answered as quarterback Zed Woerner connected with wide receiver Jeff Thomas for a 26-yard touchdown that changed the score to 26-14, with 10 minutes left.

The Texans’ Woerner found Berryman again and he worked his way through defenders and made his way into the endzone with a 54-yard touchdown to bring Tarleton within five points of the Lions, 26-21 with 4:41 left.

The Lions needed to convert a fourth down late in the game, and Perez threw a pass to wide receiver Marquis Wimberly that gave the Lions a first down and more thanks to a substantial block by Wilson downfield, Wimberly was able to find a route to the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown that sealed the victory for the Lions.

The Lions advanced to the Super Region Four Quarterfinal of the 2017 Division II Football Championship, and will face the fourth seeded Winona State Warriors of Winona, Minn. at Altra Federal Credit Union Stadium at 1 p.m.