Morgan Lineberry booted a 21-yard field goal with 10:10 remaining to up the ACU lead to 17-0.
On the Lions' next drive, J.J. Harp was intercepted by ACU safety Matt Wallace, who returned it 46 yards for a Wildcat TD with 9:21 left. Lineberry's PAT increased ACU's led to 24-0.
Taylor Fore, who intercepted a Wildcat pass in the first quarter, fumbled a Wildcat punt with 5 minutes left in the half. It only took one play for ACU to score again: a 35-yard pass from Mitchell Gale to wide receiver Darian Hogg. Lineberry's PAT hit the goal post, but the new score was 30-0.
The Lions missed a 31-yard field goal when Jacob O'Neil's kick hit the left upright with 2:21 remaining. ACU took over, but turned the ball over on its second play when wide receiver DeMarcus Thompson caught a pass from Gale and fumbled, giving A&M-Commerce good field position at the Wildcat 24.
Harp converted the turnover into 6 points when Harp completed a 20-yard TD pass to wide receiver Tyler Rawlings, and O'Neil's PAT cut the ACU lead to 30-7 with 1:16 left.
The first half was messy: eight turnovers, four by each team. A&M-Commerce led in first downs (10-7) and total plays (53-31), but not in much else. ACU prevailed in total yards (262-164) and on the scorecard (30-7). Gale was 9 of 15 for 118 yards and a TD, overcoming a first quarter in which he had had no passing yards on two attempts. Richardson had 147 yards on eight carries, and two TDs. Each team had three penalties. The Lions converted only one of 13 third-down plays.