No. 14 A&M-Commerce football qualifies for NCAA Division II Playoffs

Tyler McDonough, Senior Sports Reporter

The defending National Champs are headed back to postseason play | Photo by Mikayla Maldonado

By Tyler McDonough | Senior Sports Reporter

The defending Division II National Champions are in familiar territory as the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team is back and, in the playoffs, claiming the sixth seed in Super Region Four, setting up a date at the University of Minnesota-Duluth this Saturday November 17th, following the selection from the NCAA Division II committee late on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions defeated the Angelo State Rams last Saturday, 41-13 to ensure a playoff spot and finish the regular season at 9-2 (7-1 LSC) and finish second in the conference behind Tarleton State who finished second in Super Region Four.

The Lions got off to a quick start against the Rams, scoring on the game’s first drive after Ovie Urevbu scampered for a 35-yard touchdown. The Lions wasted no time to score again after holding ASU to a three and out, as Kane Wilson found Vincent Hobbs on a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0.

A couple of interceptions helped ASU get back into the game. Donavyn Jackson intercepted Wilson returning the ball into TAMUC territory to set up the Rams’ first touchdown, and Gilbert Gildersleeve had a 55-yard pick six to make it 14-13. On the ensuing extra point Deionte Haywood blocked the try to hold the Lions lead at one.

The next two scores for the Lions resulted in Kristov Martinez field goals. Martinez knocked in a 24-yard field goal, and a career-long 52-yard field goal to make the score 20-13 with 7:57 in the second quarter.

Once again, the Lions forced ASU to punt and retained the ball with 26 seconds left in the half. The Lions marched down the field after Wilson found Matt Childers for a 21-yard strike, setting up a 39-yard touchdown pass to Marquis Wimberly just before time expired for the half to extend the lead 27-13.

A couple more touchdowns late in the third quarter put the game away after Urevbu marched into the endzone once more, and Dominique Ramsey returned a 99-yard interception to the house for another touchdown to score the game’s final touchdown to conclude the game at 41-13.

The Lions will have the week to prepare for the third ranked team in Super-Region Four, the University of Minnesota-Duluth who finished the season (11-0) and won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

The rest of the region features No. 1 seed Minnesota State-Mankato (who will be on a bye this weekend), No. 2 Tarleton St vs. No. 7 Azusa Pacific, No. 4 Colorado Mines vs. No. 5 Colorado State-Pueblo.

If A&M-Commerce is able to defeat Minnesota-Duluth, the Lions will be guaranteed a game in the state of Texas for round 2, either at Lone Star Conference foe Tarleton State, or at home versus Azusa Pacific.

On a side note the Lions have won 11-straight road games dating back to last season (*knocks on wood).