Magic number moves to one for the Lions


Photo Credit | Bri Jolley

Tyler Guice prepares to catch a touchdown pass from Miklo Smalls

Tyler McDonough, Senior Sports Reporter

By: Tyler McDonough | Sr. Sports Reporter

The No. 23 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team cruised to a 44-13 Lone Star Conference victory over the University of Texas-Permian Basin Falcons on Saturday for Senior Day at Memorial Stadium. 

The Lions started quickly and drove down the field in short spurts, along with three conversions on third down, but were stopped from scoring when a Jake Viquez field goal was blocked by the Falcons. The defense took no time to respond to the blocked field goal, as Kader Kohou intercepted a Clayton Roberts pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown to put A&M-Commerce up 7-0. 

On the Falcons third possession of the game, JQ Smith got a piece of Sergio Landeros punt to give the Lions great field position. A pass interference penalty put the Lions inside the Falcons five-yard line. A&M-Commerce quarterback Miklo Smalls proceeded to find Tyler Guice for a 3-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 14-0 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter. 

Jake Viquez tacked on a field goal from 38-yards to give the Lions a 17-0 lead going into halftime. Viquez also knocked down two more field goals from 47 and 48 yards to give A&M-Commerce a 23-0 lead, after Jalon Edwards-Cooper intercepted Roberts once in the first half and once in the second half.

Down 23-0 in the third quarter, the Falcons were finally able to get on the board when Roberts found Jeremiah Cooley on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 5:10 left in the third. Smalls responded quickly for A&M-Commerce as he found Matt Childers on the first play of the drive for 78 yards to extend the lead to 30-7. 

With a big cushion the Lions pounded the ball down field with Jemal Williams and Childers. A 35-yard pass downfield to Childers and a 35-yard run from Williams set up his 19-yard scamper to the endzone to make it a 37-7 game with 1:07 left in the third. 

UTPB scored early in the fourth quarter to cut into the lead, but the extra point was muffed and L.A. Dawson made a big tackle to conserve the lead at 37-13. The Lions fumbled on the next possession, but did not take long to get it back, as Kohou picked up his second interception of the game at the goal line to halt the Falcons from scoring. 

All A&M-Commerce needed to do now was run the clock out, and they did just that. A long drive chewed up clock and Williams found the endzone again on a 13-yard rush to put him over the 100-yard mark for the game. 

The Lions held UTPB from scoring again and prevailed with a 44-13 win. 

With the win the Lions improve to 8-2 overall and 6-1 in Lone Star Conference play. UTPB falls to 3-7 overall and 1-6 in LSC play.

Next Matchup

A&M-Commerce will travel to San Angelo this week for a date with the Angelo State Rams. The game will be a face off to see which team gets the nod as the second team from the Lone Star Conference to qualify for the playoffs. Angelo State recently fell to no. 7 in the Regional Rankings after falling to Eastern New Mexico this past week, and A&M-Commerce remains at no. 6 in the most recent rankings.