Lions’ football team gains national recognition

With a record setting performance Thursday, Sept. 4, the Texas A&M University – Commerce Lions routed the East Texas Baptist Tigers with a score of 98-20.

The game saw school, conference, and even a national record broken in the first game of the season.

The 78 point victory also saw national recognition for the team, with news of the final result first being tweeted by the official Sportscenter Twitter account, and a segment on the midnight edition of Sportscenter, as well as an extended segment around noon on Friday. On top of that, countless other news outlets were quick to report on the game, as nation attention was drawn towards A&M – Commerce.

A&M – Commerce opened the scoring early after blocking ETBU’s first punt of the game, and RB Joe Bergeron broke multiple tackles on his way to the end zone on just the Lions’ second offensive play. The lions kept up the scoring all night while blanking the Tigers in the second half.

All told, the lions broke or tied 13 records, including setting a new NCAA Division II record with 986 total yards of offense, along with a new conference record for points, and numerous school records including passing yards in a game and yards per carry in a game.

The win was a huge vote of confidence for the team, which sees many players returning to the roster, as well as plenty of new faces.

Head coach Colby Carthel commented on the game by saying “we just kept up a really fast tempo all night and had a ton of explosive plays.”

“I’m very excited about the team we have this season,” Carthel added. “We put in a lot of work and we are ready to have a good year.”

RB Joe Bergeron, who transferred from the University of Texas, rushed for 137 yards and 2 Touchdowns. “It was just great to be out on the field again,” Bergeron said. “The game is a lot of positive momentum for next week.”

The next game ahead will be a challenge for the Lions, as the head to Nacogdoches to face the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin University.

The ‘Jacks come into this game with a 1-1 record, and coming off of a 38-3 win spearheaded by RB Gus Johnson, who had 252 rushing yards and four touchdowns. The Lumberjacks have used three different Quarterbacks in a diversified attack.

Johnson is the biggest threat to the Lions’ defense, as his performance moved him into the number one spot in the SFA record book with 33 career rushing touchdowns, breaking a record that had stood since 1995.

Coach Carthel believes that with a little improvement on defense, the Lions will come out on top. “I think the biggest thing we need to take with us to the next game is better defensive execution,” Carthel said. “There were a few times where we gave up big plays in the first half before our defense settled in. we need to be sharp from start to finish.”

The Lions will face the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 6:00 p.m.