Saturday, October 30, 2010

ACU-Angelo State Highlights

Passing: Mitchell Gale, 27 of 41 for 377 yards and 4 TDs
Rushing: Mitchell Gale, 8 for 31 yards; Daryl Richardson, 6 for 16 yards; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 8 for 12 yards; Emery Dudensing, 5 for 9 yards
Receiving: Edmund Gates, 6 for 124 yards and 1 TD; Raymond Radway, 6 for 82 yards and 1 TD; Taylor Gabriel, 3 for 30 yards; Daryl Richardson, 3 for 25 yards; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 3 for 12 yards; Kendrick Johnson, 2 for 48 yards; Emery Dudensing 2 for 11 yards and 2 TDs; Ben Gibbs, 1 for 26 yards; and Austin Kessler, 1 for 19 yards
Defense: Kevin Washington, 13 tackles; James Williams an dEric Edwards, 7 tackles each; , T. Battie, Fred Thompson, 5 tackles and 1 sack; Aston Whiteside, 4 tackles, 1 sack and 1 blocked PAT
Score: ACU 33, Angelo 20
First Downs: ACU 20; Angelo 19
Rushing: ACU 29 for 82 yards; Angelo 21 for -23 yards
Passing: ACU 27 of 41, 0 INT, 4 TDs, 377 yards; Angelo 33 of 49, 0 INT, 2 TDs, 327 yards
Total Yards: ACU 459, Angelo 304
Third Down Conversions: ACU 5 of 13; Angelo 5 of 16
Time of Possession: Angelo 31:22, ACU 28:38
Notes: Through nine games, Mitchell Gale’s passing totals include 2,813 yards, 31 TDs and only 1 interception. His 27 pass completions averaged 14 yards each. Angelo State's dangerous special teams were neutralized; none of Mark Sprague's five punts (45-yard average) were returned, and only 2 of Spencer Covey's 7 kickoffs were returned (3 touchbacks and 2 kicked out of bounds). Two different kickers had field goals for ACU: a 49-yarder to open the game's scoring for Morgan Lineberry and a 22-yarder to close the game's scoring by Ryan Owens. ACU defenders tackled Angelo State ball carriers for losses on 17 plays. All four of ACU's TDs came on quick-strike drives of 1:56, 1:36, 1:49 and 1:07. WR Edmund Gates had his fifth consecutive game with more than 100 receiving yards, and his second straight of exactly 124 yards. He moved past former NFL Giants' star Johnny Perkins and into second place for most receiving yards in an ACU career. Attendance was 6,342. The No. 3-ranked Wildcats may move higher in the American Football Coaches Association national rankings this week, as No. 1-ranked Grand Valley State lost 20-17 to Michigan Tech.

Final: ACU 33, Angelo State 20

Josh Neisander threw a 12-yard TD pass to WR CJ Akins to cut the ACU margin to 30-20 with 11:50 left.

Wildcat PK Ryan Owens booted a 22-yard field goal at the 6:12 mark to increase ACU's lead to 33-20.

End of Q3: ACU 30, Angelo State 13

Angelo State scored when QB Josh Neiswander found WR Dakarai Pecikones over the middle and the sophomore made his way into the end zone for a 26-yard TD with 9:26 left in the third quarter. The PAT was blocked by Wildcat DE Aston Whiteside, leaving ACU on top, 16-13.

ACU responded with its own scoring drive, capped by a 7-yard TD pass from Mitchell Gale to Emery Dudensing with 5:07 left. Morgan Lineberry's PAT made the new score 23-13. Gale's 44-yard pass to WR Raymond Radway on second down and 8 from the ACU 46 was the big play in the drive.

The ensuing Wildcat kickoff sailed out of bounds, giving the Rams the ball on the 40-yard line. ASU marched right back down the field, aided as well by a pass interference call in the end zone. ACU's defense stiffened and then DE Fred Thompson blocked an attempted 44-yard field goal by Angelo State's Jacob Decker with 3:12 remaining.

Five plays later, Gale hit Edmund Gates in the right flat, and the senior WR sprinted 55 yards for a TD. The PAT by Lineberry at 1:58 made the new score 30-13.

End of Q2: ACU 16, Angelo State 7

Thus far, the Big Country-Concho Valley Shootout is more of a standoff. Defenses rule the day.

ACU's two TDs in the game came on the opening and closing drives of this quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, ACU FB Emery Dudensing caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Mitchell Gale. The PAT by Morgan Lineberry was blocked, but the Wildcats had regained the lead, 9-7, with 14:55 left.

Gale threw a 9-yard TD pass to WR Raymond Radway with 59 seconds left, and Lineberry's PAT made the score 16-7.

At the half, ACU leads in score (16-7), first downs (12 to 7), total yards (259 to 112), passing yards (222 to 124), rushing yards (37 to -12) and tackles for loss (10 to 2).

Mitchell Gale has completed 18 of 28 passes for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. His leading receiver is Edmund Gates (3 catches for 46 yards), Radway (4 catches for 30 yards and 1 TD) and Taylor Gabriel (3 catches for 30 yards). Gale also is the leading rusher for his team with 21 yards on 7 carries.

End of Q1: Angelo State 7, ACU 3

Morgan Lineberry got the Wildcats off to a 3-0 lead at 8:42 of the first quarter when he kicked a 49-yard field goal on ACU's first drive of the game.

Angelo State scored on a 11-yard run by RB Garrett Tidwell and the PAT put the Rams on top, 7-3 with 1:51 remaining. ASU QB Josh Neiswander became his team's career completions leader on the drive. 

ACU answered back quickly on its next possession, a drive that advanced to the Angelo State 4-yard line when the quarter ended.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACU-ENMU Highlights

Passing: Mitchell Gale, 23 of 41 for 362 yards and 5 TDs; Clark Harrell, 0 of 1 for 0 yards
Rushing: Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 10 for 56 yards; Josh Morgan, 11 for 52 yards; Daryl Richardson, 10 for 50 yards; Charcandrick West, 6 for 34 yards; Mitchell Gale, 2 for 11 yards; Emery Dudensing, 3 for 10 yards and 1 TD; Austin Kessler, 2 for 7 yards; and Kendrick Johnson, 1 for 3 yards
Receiving: Edmund Gates, 7 for 124 yards and 3 TDs; Taylor Gabriel, 5 for 59 yards; Kendrick Johnson, 3 for 66 yards and 2 TDs; Daryl Richardson, 3 for 44 yards; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 2 for 32 yards; Ben Gibbs, 2 for 28 yards; Emery Dudensing 1 for 7 yards; and Justin Andrews, 1 for 2 yards
Defense: Marvin Jones and Kevin Washington, 6 tackles each; Fred Thompson, T. Battie, Darien Williams and L.B. Suggs, 4 tackles each; and Shane Baham, 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception
Score: ACU 53, ENMU 14
First Downs: ACU 29; ENMU 18
Rushing: ACU 47 for 213 yards; ENMU 37 for 141 yards
Passing: ACU 23 of 42, 0 INT, 5 TDs, 362 yards; ENMU 11 of 31, 0 INT, 1 TDs, 126 yards
Total Yards: ACU 575, ENMU 267
Third Down Conversions: ACU 8 of 17; ENMU 3 of 16
Time of Possession: ACU 38:46, ENMU 21:14
Notes: ACU gave up only two more yards of total offense this week (267) than it did in a domination of Incarnate Word (265) last week. ACU averaged 6.5 yards per play; ENMU averaged 3.9. The Wildcats held the ball for nearly all the third quarter (12:37 to ENMU's 2:23), scoring TDs on its two long drives. In the wins this week and last, Edmund Gates has 245 yards in receptions, and five TDs. Through eight games, Mitchell Gale’s passing totals include 2,436 yards, 27 TDs and only 1 interception. Freshman running back Darrel Cantu-Harkless is the Wildcats' leading rusher (417 yards), averaging 6.95 yards per attempt. ACU has outscored its opponents 115-16 in the first quarter, and 96-32 in the second. The Wildcats average scoring 44.75 points per game; its opponents, 16.5.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Final: ACU 53, ENMU 14

The only tally of the fourth quarter came when Shane Baham intercepted a Wood pass at the Greyhound 11 and returned it for an ACU score with 13:05 remaining, with Owens' PAT making the Wildcat lead to 53-14.

ACU's win moved the Wildcats to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the LSC South. ENMU dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the LSC North.

End of Q3: ACU 46, ENMU 7

ACU's first drive of the third quarter – into the strong wind – was finished off 81 yards later when Gale found senior WR Kendrick Johnson on a 21-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone. The PAT failed but the Wildcat lead stretched to 39-0 with 10:07 remaining.

ENMU scored when QB Wesley Wood hit WR Carl Bouldin on a 33-yard scoring pass. A successful PAT by PK Taylor Cannon cut the ACU lead to 39-7 with 8:29 left.

Gale tossed his fifth TD of the game, finding Edmund Gates in the end zone with a 9-yard pass with 1:09 left. Owens' fourth PAT of the afternoon made the score 46-7.

ACU junior RB Josh Morgan fumbled on the Wildcat 15 with 14:51 left in the third quarter, and ENMU safety Curtis Jackson returned the miscue for a Greyhound TD. The PAT was good, and ACU's lead was cut to 46-14.

End of Q2: ACU 33, ENMU 0

ACU's scoring string ended on its first drive of the second quarter, directed into the 35-mph west breeze here in Greyhound Stadium. Maybe that wind thing is a factor.  :-)

Wildcat defensive back Brent Schroeder recovered a Greyhound fumble at the ACU 35 with 5:40 left.

How can the wind blow this hard and there not be a hurricane in the ZIP code?

Regardless, the Greyhounds had its advantage for the entire second quarter, and could not score on ACU, while the Wildcats figured out how to do that when Gale found Edmund Gates with a 26-yard TD pass with 35 seconds left. Owens' PAT failed, but ACU's lead had grown to 33-0.

At the half, ACU led in score (33-0), total offense (352 yards to 190), passing (291 yards to 87), first downs (16 to 11), third-down conversions (5 of 10 to 1 of 10) and time of possession (17:14 to 12:46).

Gale is 16 of 31 for 296 yards, 0 INTs and 3 TDs. Edmund Gates (89 yards and 2 TDs) and Taylor Gabriel (44 yards) have four catches each, while Daryl Richardson has 3 catches for 44 yards. Charcandrick West is ACU's leading rusher with 19 yards on 3 carries. The Wildcats have rushed the ball 17 times for 61 yards and 1 TD. DT Marvin Jones and LB Kevin Washington lead the defense with six tackles each. 

End of Q1: ACU 27, ENMU 0

With PK Morgan Lineberry back home in Abilene resting a back injury, Ryan Owens, a sophomore from Colleyville, booted a 52-yard field goal on ACU's first drive of the afternoon with 9:50 left in the first quarter. The Wildcats lead 3-0.

Freshman RB Daryl Cantu-Harkless bailed his team out of a 3rd-and-10 hole with a 34-yard catch and run on ACU's second drive. Six plays later, senior FB Emery Dudensing bulled in from 2 yards out for a TD with 5:14 left. Owens' PAT made the score 10-0.

ACU's third possession yielded another score: a pass from sophomore QB Mitchell Gale to senior WR Edmund Gates, who outraced the defense down the sideline for a 50-yard TD play at the 3:46 mark. Owens’ PAT made the score 17-0.

Owens put the Wildcats on the scoreboard again with 1:17 left when he kicked a 35-yard field goal, upping the lead to 20-0, and finishing off ACU's fourth drive of the day.

Drive No. 5 was quick (one play) and a beauty. Senior WR Kendrick Johnson caught a pass from Gale in the left flat and jitterbugged 45 yards for another TD with one second left in the quarter. Another Owens PAT upped the lead to 27-0.

ACU made good use of the opening quarter and the 25-40 mph wind at its back. We'll see how much of an advantage the Wild West wind in Blackwater Draw helps the Greyhounds for the next 15 minutes.

Gale was 11 of 19 for 207 yards and 2 TDs in the quarter.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Throughts From Regional Volleyball

Regional rankings for volleyball and soccer were released this week as ACU stands in great position in both.

For the volleyball team the regional rankings have been sort-of a sore subject after being left out of the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons despite having a worthy resume. Kellen Mock and her Wildcats finished last season 29-6 and with wins over teams like Pittsburg State and Dallas Baptist who got the automatic invite from the Heartland Conference knocking out ACU.

But so much for last season, this year the Wildcats are on a tear, currently in the midst of a seven game winning streak. They are closing in on their season long 12-game win streak from earlier in the season which included wins over Mesa State, Northwest Missouri State, Nebraska-Omaha, and then No. 11 Emporia State.

The wins over the three MIAA teams may prove big come the end of the season as they hold the strong region records. Currently the four teams ahead of ACU are all teams from the MIAA including top ranked Central Missouri, Truman, Emporia State, and Washburn.

About the regional rankings: The top eight teams earn a bid to the NCAAs which is generally hosted by the top seed. National power West Texas A&M has taken the lone bid from the Lone Star Conference the past two seasons.

The Lady Buffs, have been the Wildcats main antagonist, and sit tied with ACU at 16-8 and 8-0 in the LSC. However, WT has lost more than the normal matches including a sweep from junior college Arkansas-Fort Smith, but the Lady Buffs still hold a 74 consecutive match win streak over conference opponents.

With all that, it makes a Nov. 4 match up with the Wildcats and Lady Buffs just as important. A win would almost assuredly seal the LSC Championships in Abilene, a berth in the NCAA Tournament, and snap their 74-match win streak. However, a loss would send the LSC tournament to Canyon and could again put the Wildcats on the bubble.

Before all the excitement ACU still needs to take care of business which includes matches with East Central and Southeastern Oklahoma this weekend. The Wildcats will be on the road next week at Incarnate Word and Texas A&M Kingsville. Hopefully the Wildcats can recover in time for this weekend’s matches after a 3 hour “lay-over” from Odessa where the Wildcats encountered “bus trouble” for the second time on the road this season.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out of My Head Over You

Words don’t do the sight and sound of it justice, but the turnover created Saturday night by ACU linebacker L.B. Suggs when he de-cleated and de-helmeted Incarnate Word tight end Andrew Mocio was memorable. Wildcat fans with a closeup view of the collision near the sideline had to catch their collective breath before cheering the TD it helped create.

With less than a minute left in the first quarter, Mocio caught a pass near the ACU sideline, turned to run and was rudely greeted by Suggs, a sophomore linebacker from Cedar Park, Texas. The impact caused Mocio’s helmet to fly several feet up in the air – farther than the ball, which was picked up by opportunistic linebacker Eric Edwards and returned 25 yards for an ACU touchdown.

This photo by J Michael Short shows Mocio on the ground, sans helmet, and Edwards about to pick up the loose ball and run with it.

“It dazed me a little bit, and then everything went bright,” Mocio told San Antonio Express News reporter Blake Hurtik in its Sunday edition.

Correction: everything went purple.

ACU led 24-0 after the turnover-induced TD, rolled to a 37-7 halftime lead, rested its starters in the third and fourth quarters, and eventually registered a 57-17 win to move to 7-0 on the season.

Mocio walked off the field without assistance, albeit a little dazed-looking after the dramatic hit.

ACU-Incarnate Word Highlights

Passing: Mitchell Gale, 17 of 26 for 379 yards and 5 TDs; Clark Harrell, 5 of 6 for 40 yards
Rushing: Josh Morgan, 6 for 28 yards; Daryl Richardson, 5 for 26 yards; Charcandrick West, 8 for 22 yards; Emery Dudensing, 2 for 20 yards; Taylor Gabriel, 1 for 13 yards; and Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 2 for 7 yards
Receiving: Raymond Radway, 5 for 85 yards and 2 TDs; Chris Fowler, 4 for 56 yards; Edmund Gates, 3 for 121 yards and 2 TDs; Charcandrick West, 3 for 82 yards and 1 TD; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 2 for 31 yards; Taylor Gabriel, 1 for 18 yards; Ben Gibbs, 1 for 9 yards; David Pillen, 1 for 9 yards; Daryl Richardson, 1 for 5 yards; and Kendrick Johnson, 1 for 3 yards
Defense: L.B. Suggs, 9 tackles and 1 forced fumble; Eric Edwards, 7 tackles and 1 fumble return for a TD; and Kevin Washington, 6 tackles
Score: ACU 57, UIW 17
First Downs: ACU 20; UIW 15
Rushing: ACU 28 for 107 yards; UIW 32 for 89 yards
Passing: ACU 22 of 32, 1 INT, 5 TDs, 419 yards; UIW 17 of 31, 0 INT, 2 TDs, 176 yards
Total Yards: ACU 526, UIW 265
Third Down Conversions: ACU 4 of 9; UIW 2 of 14
Time of Possession: ACU 27:43, UIW 32:17
Notes: Seven games into the season, Mitchell Gale was charged with his first interception, although the ball bounced off the hands of an intended receiver and into the hands of UIW player. UIW quarterbacks were only sacked once, but ACU defenders threw UIW ball-carriers for a loss on 11 plays, and broke up four passes. The quick-strike Wildcat offense overwhelmed the Cardinals: only three of ACU's nine scoring drives took more than five plays, and took little time off the clock. Other than Eric Edwards' fumble return for a TD and a 16-play drive, 9-minute march that led to the game's final field goal, ACU's scoring drives consumed, in order, 1:01, 00:42, 2:38, 00:46, 0:26, 1:09 and 2:21.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Final: ACU 54, Incarnate Word 17

The two teams traded field goals early in the fourth quarter: a 26-yarder for ACU's Morgan Lineberry and a 33-yarder by UIW's Thomas Rebold.

ACU, ranked No. 5 in the nation, moved to 7-0 overall with the 54-17 win, and 4-0 in the LSC. The Cardinals, who are competing in only their second season of intercollegiate football, fell to 2-5 and 0-3 in the LSC.

End of Q3: ACU 51, Incarnate Word 14

ACU WR Edmund Gates caught his second TD – the fourth scoring toss on the night from QB Mitchell Gale – on a 41-yard pass play with 11:58 left in the third quarter. Morgan Lineberry's PAT made it 44-7.

UIW scored its second TD of the night when Dominc Hamilton caught a 25-yard pass from UIW QB Thomas Specia with 8:30 left in the quarter.

Raymond Radway caught a pass in the right flat from Gale and showed the crowd his speed – he's a former NCAA Division II track and field sprint champion – by flashing 23 yards for another Wildcat TD with 6:09 left. Lineberry's PAT increased the ACU lead to 51-14.

End of Q2: ACU 37, Incarnate Word 7

Seven games into the 2010 season, ACU QB Mitchell Gale was tagged with his first interception when a pass intended for freshman WR Taylor Gabriel bounced off his hands and into the grasp of a Cardinal defender. UIW capitalized two plays later when Cardinal QB Eric Massoni hit Donald Gies for a 6-yard TD pass with 10:38 left in the second quarter. The PAT brought UIW to within 17, 24-7.

PK Morgan Lineberry missed a 21-yard field goal at the 7:56 mark of the quarter.

Gale redeemed himself with 4:38 left in the second quarter when he hit RB Charcandrick West on a screen pass, and the freshman from Austin sprinted downfield for a 67-yard TD. Lineberry's PAT made the scoreboard read 31-7.

ACU marched quickly down the field on its last drive of the quarter, scoring again when WR Raymond Radway caught a 9-yard pass from Gale, and Lineberry's PAT made the score 37-7.

Besides the score, ACU leads the Cardinals in first downs (8 to 6), passing (248 yards to 86) and total offense (297 yards to 128). UIW has outrushed the Wildcats, 42 yards (on 21 carries) to 13 yards (on 8 carries). Mitchell Gale has completed 13 of 21 passes for 284 yards and 3 TDs. Radway has 3 catches for 57 yards and a 1 TD, and two Wildcats have 80 yards of catches each (Edmund Gates and Charcandrick West on 2 catches each). RB Daryl Richardson has 18 yards on 3 carries. On defense, L.B. Suggs has 7 tackles and Eric Edwards has 6.

UIW has had the ball nearly twice as long as ACU (19:27 to 10:33), but the Wildcats' quick-scoring drives have the visitors dominating the scoreboard.

End of Q1: ACU 24, Incarnate Word 0

ACU started the scoring on its second possession of the game when RB Daryl Richardson ran in from a yard out for a TD, and PK Morgan Lineberry's PAT made the score 7-0 with 10:42 left in the first quarter. The three-play drive was made possible, in part, by a 46-yard pass play from QB Mitchell Gale to WR Edmund Gates that fell one yard short of the end zone.

Gates put ACU on the scoreboard again at 8:27 with a slashing run through the Incarnate Word secondary after catching a pass from Gale. The 33-yard TD pass and Lineberry PAT made the score 14-0. 

Morgan Lineberry kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:45 left in the quarter when ACU's third drive stalled, building the Wildcat lead to 21-0.

L.B. Suggs de-cleated and de-helmeted a Cardinal player nearly two minutes later. The helmet traveled farther than the ball, but alert ACU LB Eric Edwards sorted out the two quickly, and returned the fumble 25 yards for another Wildcat TD. Lineberry's third PAT of the quarter made the score 24-0 with 00:48 left.  

ACU dominated the stat sheet in the first quarter, limiting UIW to 2 first downs and 9 yards of offense (-3 passing and 12 rushing). The Wildcats, meanwhile, picked up 5 first downs and 144 yards of offense in support of its three TDs and a field goal.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Remember the Tailgate! This Saturday!

This postcard is being emailed to ACU students, faculty and staff to encourage them to spend fall break in the Alamo City watching the still-undefeated Wildcats take on Incarnate Word this Saturday, Oct. 16.

If you're part of ACU Nation, you're invited, too! Kickoff is at 7 p.m., but get there early for a pregame tailgate party in the south parking lot at 5. A terrific team of alumni in San Antonio have put together an awesome weekend for ACU fans.
  • The La Quinta Inn and Suites North Stone Oak (approx. 10 minutes from the stadium) has discounted rooms if you mention ACU. Call 210-497-0506.
  • Ron Booker ('80) and his family are generously providing and preparing the tailgate food and fixin's free of charge!
  • ACU is teaming up with Incarnate Word to help feed the hungry of San Antonio. Anyone - regardless of which team you're rooting for - bringing three canned goods to the game will receive one general admission game ticket! (Only one ticket will be given for every three canned goods. Families and other groups need to bring three canned goods for each individual entering the game.)
NOTE: While the tailgate party is free, we're asking everyone to RSVP so those preparing the food will know how many are coming. RSVP here to Tunisia Singleton, ACU's University Relations Manager for the Austin/San Antonio area. (Those who RSVP will be served first!)

Map of Incarnate Word campus*
Driving directions

Come on down and cheer on the Wildcats in San Antone!

*Parking space is extremely limited on the UIW campus. It is best to turn off of Hildebrand Ave. onto the Hwy. 281 northbound access road. From there, take an immediate right onto the UIW campus and proceed to the parking garage. There will be UIW personnel available to take you down the hill to the stadium and tailgate area.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ACU-Midwestern State Highlights

Passing: Mitchell Gale, 27 of 39 for 263 yards and 3 TDs
Rushing: Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 17 for 117 yards and 1 TD; Daryl Richardson, 13 for 74 yards; Kendrick Johnson, 2 for 11 yards
Receiving: Edmund Gates, 8 for 104 yards and 1 TD; Kendrick Johnson, 5 for 34 yards and 1 TD; Taylor Gabriel, 4 for 33 yards; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 3 for 47 yards; Daryl Richardson, 3 for 19 yards and 1 TD; Raymond Radway, 2 for 18 yards; Ben Gibbs, 1 for 5 yards; and Emery Dudensing, 1 for 3 yards
Defense: L.B. Suggs, 11 tackles; Kevin Washington, 9 tackles and 1 fumble return; Courtney Lane, 9 tackles; and Drew Cuffee, 8 tackles
Score: ACU 31, Midwestern State 28
First Downs: ACU 26, Midwestern State 24
Rushing: ACU 38 for 198 yards; Midwestern State 32 for 155 yards
Passing: ACU 27 of 39 for 263 yards, 0 INT and 3 TDs; Midwestern State 26 of 42 for 263 yards, 0 INT and 1 TD
Total Yards: ACU 461, Midwestern State 418
Third Down Conversions: ACU 7 of 15, Midwestern State 5 of 13
Time of Possession: ACU 35:27, Midwestern State 24:33
Penalties: ACU 11 for 70 yards, Midwestern State 8 for 50 yards

FInal: ACU 31, Midwestern State 28

ACU RB Darrell Cantu-Harkless set sail on a 69-yard TD run at 11:09 of the fourth quarter, and Morgan Lineberry's PAT put the Wildcats back on top at 24-21.

MSU answered when QB Zack Eskridge found WR David Little on a 35-yard scoring pass. Jose Martinez' PAT gave the Mustangs the lead again at 28-24 with 8:05 left.

ACU would not be denied, however. Gale found RB Daryl Richardson on a 10-yard scoring pass with 2:04 remaining, and another Lineberry PAT made the score 31-28.

The Wildcats endured two MSU offensive possessions in the final two minutes, but stood tall to move to 6-0 on the season, 4-0 in the LSC and 3-0 in the LSC South.

End of Q3: Midwestern State 21, ACU 17

MSU tied the game when RB Lester Bush ran for a 1-yard TD with 4:23 left in the third quarter, and QB Zack Eskridge found WR David Little with a pass on a two-point conversion.

ACU marched back down the field to the MSU 10, where the Mustangs' defense stiffened. PK Morgan Lineberry kicked a 27 -yard field goal to retake the lead at 17-14 with 5:52 remaining.

MSU answered right back with another scoring drive of its own, capped by Keidrick Jackson's 5-yard TD run and a PAT by Jose Martinez gave the Mustangs their first lead, 21-17, with 3:09 remaining in the quarter.

End of Q2: ACU 14, Midwestern State 6

WR Kendrick Johnson opened the scoring when he caught a 16-yard pass from QB Mitchell Gale at 12:22 of the second quarter. Morgan Lineberry's PAT gave ACU a 7-0 lead.

MSU got on the scoreboard with 10:16 remaining when PK Jose Martinez kicked a 41-yard field goal.

ACU increased its lead to 14-3 when Gale found a wide-open WR Edmund Gates in the end zone for an 11-yard TD pass with 1:49 left, and Lineberry kicked his second PAT of the game.

The Mustangs tacked on another score as time expired in the first half when Martinez kicked his second field goal, this time a 31-yarder to cut the ACU lead to 14-6.

After a half of play, ACU also maintained leads over MSU in first downs (162 to 121), total offense (234 to 192), passing (162 t0 121), rushing (72-71) and possession time (18:07 to 11:53). Gale completed 17 of 22 passes for 162 yards and two TDs. RB Daryl Richardson was the Wildcats' leading rusher with 41 yards on 7 carries, and Gates had six catches for 65 yards and a TD.

End of Q1: ACU 0, Midwestern State 0

The first quarter was a defensive affair between two teams that don't need nametags to recognize each other. Today's game is the third between the Wildcats and Mustangs in each team's previous seven games. ACU and Midwestern State played each other in the final regular season game in 2009, then again in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

ACU's first scoring opportunity was a 53-yard field goal attempt by PK Morgan Lineberry that was short and right. It followed a turnover by MSU with 5:01 left in the first quarter: a fumble caused by LB Eric Edwards that was returned 34 yards by DB Caleb Withrow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

ACU-Kingsville Highlights

Passing: Mitchell Gale, 34 of 51, 0 INT, 3 TDs, 417 yards
Rushing: Daryl Richardson, 10 for 23 yards; Darrell Cantu-Harkless, 10 for 18 yards and 1 TD
Receiving: Edmund Gates, 11 for 135 yards and 1 TD; Kendrick Johnson, 7 for 134 yards; Ben Gibbs, 4 for 44 yards and 1 TD; Emery Dudensing, 4 for 20 yards; Justin Andrews, 2 for 39 yards; Raymond Radway, 2 for 28 yards; and Taylor Gabriel, 2 for 17 yards
Defense: Richard Havins, 9 tackles; Darien Williams, 6 tackles and 1 interception; Casey Carr, 6 tackles; Kevin Washington, 6 tackles; Courtney Lane, 5 tackles; Aston Whiteside, 4 tackles and 1 sack; and James Williams, 4 tackles
Score: ACU 31, A&M-Kingsville 24
First Downs: ACU 25; A&M-Kingsville 23
Rushing: ACU 26 for 23 yards; A&M-Kingsville 24 for 107 yards
Passing: ACU 34 of 51, 0 INT, 3 TDs, 417 yards; A&M-Kingsville 24 of 57, 1 INT, 2 TDs, 279 yards
Total Yards: ACU 440, A&M-Kingsville 386
Third Down Conversions: ACU 6 of 17; A&M-Kingsville 7 of 18
Time of Possession: ACU 32:20, A&M-Kingsville 27:40
Notes: WR Edmund Gates tied former NFL player Cleotha Montgomery for eighth place on the ACU career list for TD catches. A&M-Kingsville had not allowed more than 200 yard of total offense in any of its first four games; ACU totaled 440. QB Mitchell Gale set a career best in passing yards for the second consecutive game. Darien Williams’ game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter was his fourth pick of the season.

Final: ACU 31, A&M-Kingsville 24

ACU opened the fourth quarter with another scoring drive, this one 10 plays and covering 77 yards. It ended with Mitchell Gale’s third TD pass of the game, this one a 10-yarder to his roommate, TE Ben Gibbs. Morgan Lineberry’s PAT made the new score 31-10.

As it did in the third quarter, A&M-Kingsville answered right back with a five-play, 51-yard drive punctuated by QB Nate Poppell’s 11-yard TD pass to WR Delashaun Dean. A Christian Brom PAT made the new score 31-17.

The rugged Javelina defense forced ACU into a three-and-out on its subsequent possession, then blocked Mark Sprague’s punt and recovered the ball at the Wildcat 29. Two plays later, A&M-Kingsville was in the end zone again, thanks to Poppell’s 12-yard pass to WR Ryan Lincoln. The PAT cut ACU’s lead to 31-24 with 6:06 left in the game.

The Javelinas’ first turnover of the game was a huge one: ACU safety Darien Williams intercepted Poppell’s tipped pass at the Wildcat 25-yard line and returned it to midfield, his fourth INT of the season.

ACU couldn’t move the ball, and after a Wildcat punt, A&M-Kingsville was looking at 72 yards of field and only 30 seconds of time left to try to tie (or win) the game. However, ACU's defense stiffened and the Javelinas ran out of time, and this wild game ended.

End of Q3: ACU 24, A&M-Kingsville 10

Another half, another impressive opening drive for the Wildcats, who capped a 10-play, 92-yard drive when QB Mitchell Gale found FB Justin Andrews over the middle, and the sophomore ran untouched into the end zone for a TD. Morgan Lineberry's PAT opened the ACU lead to 21-0 with 8:52 left in the third quarter.

A&M-Kingsville wasted no time (just two plays, actually) getting on the scoreboard, with RB Connell Davis dashing 59 yards around right end for a TD, and with the PAT, cutting ACU's lead to 21-7 just 48 seconds after the Wildcat TD.

The Javelinas failed on a fourth-down fake punt, and the Wildcats took over on the A&M-Kingsville 35-yard line with 6:12 remaining. ACU made the Javs pay for it when Lineberry kicked a 21-yard field goal at the 3:03 mark to stretch its lead to 24-7.

ACU’s first turnover of the game came at 2:01 when Gale fumbled and the Javs recovered at the Wildcat 19. The defense held, however, and A&M-Kingsville had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Christian Brom with 35 seconds left.

That returned ACU’s lead to 14 points, right where it was at the start of the third quarter.

End of Q2: ACU 14, A&M-Kingsville 0

Two ACU drives early and late in the first half were things of beauty, each resulting in a TD.

What happened in between was not so pretty.

QB Mitchell Gale drove the Wildcats 81 yards late in the second quarter, with WR Edmund Gates catching a 26-yard TD pass and Morgan Lineberry's PAT making the ACU lead 14-0 with 1:44 left.

In between, the Javelinas and Wildcats played smash-mouth defense against each other when they weren't watching the officiating crew step off 15 penalties (and 130 yards) against the two teams.

Neither team could move the ball on the ground against each other's nationally ranked defense: ACU had 17 yards rushing and A&M-Kingsville managed 14. But the Wildcats did become the first team to surpass the 200-yard mark in total offense against the Javelinas this year. Mitchell Gale completed 18 of 26 passes for 226 yards and one TD. Two WRs had five catches apiece: Kendrick Johnson (96 yards) and Edmund Gates (70 yards and one score).

ACU RB Darrell Cantu-Harkless has 19 yards of rushing, and has scored the only rushing TD given up by A&M-Kingsville this season.

End of Q1: ACU 7, A&M-Kingsville 0

ACU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, marching crisply down the field. Less than three minutes after taking the opening kickoff, freshman RB Darrell Cantu-Harkless ran untouched up the middle for a 6-yard TD. Morgan Lineberry's PAT made the score 7-0.

After one quarter, the Wildcats led in total yards, 116-54. ACU limited the Javelinas to 5 yards rushing and 49 yards passing. Wildcat QB Mitchell Gale completed 10 of 12 passes for 96 yards, three of them to WR Edmund Gates (for 31 yards).

That Playin’ You Feelin’ Again

They've tangled 45 times through the years, with the Javelinas of Texas A&M-Kingsville holding a 31-13-1 lead in their college football series with Abilene Christian University.

ACU has won the last six straight, a mere espresso break compared to the 21 consecutive victories by the Javs from 1984-2003.

But it's been 33 years since a game between these two teams on the first weekend of October in South Texas has meant as much as this one.

Fifth-ranked ACU and sixth-ranked A&M-Kingsville – both undefeated and tied for first place in the South Division of the born-again (as far as national football reputations go) Lone Star Conference – renew their hard-hitting rivalry tonight at 7 p.m. in Javelina Stadium.

It has the makings of another classic, if the legendary 25-25 tie the two teams played in 1977 has any bearing on the series. Reminisce or learn more about it here.

PICTURED ABOVE: Years before lineman Greg Feasel (70) and quarterback John Mayes (17) ended up in the ACU Sports Hall of Fame, Feasel provided protection for Mayes during the Wildcats' 1977 national championship season.