The Commerce Journal

Sports

November 11, 2013

Lions defeat D-I foe Houston Baptist

HOUSTON — Texas A&M University-Commerce’s memorable 2013 football season notched another milestone for the program on Saturday.

The Lions dominated NCAA Division I FCS opponent Houston Baptist, notching a 55-21 victory over the Huskies at Strake Jesuit Crusader Stadium.

It marks the first victory for the Lions over a current Division I opponent as A&M-Commerce improved to 7-3 on the season.

A&M-Commerce finished the day with 545 yards of total offense, 474 of which came through the air, highlighted by a career day for Harrison Stewart. The junior quarterback completed 23 of his 40 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns, three of which went to junior wide receiver Seth Smith, who hauled in six catches for 115 yards.

Junior receiver Vernon Johnson continued to etch his name in program history, catching 10 passes for 180 yards on the evening. Johnson is now the A&M-Commerce single-season leader in both receiving yards (1,202) and receptions (61), while remaining tied for the single-season receiving touchdown mark with 12 after being held out of the end zone.

Sophomore Hayden Marsh and junior Stacy Howard each pulled in four passes for A&M-Commerce as Marsh racked up 72 yards and Howard finished with 63 as the duo also caught a touchdown pass on the night for the Lions. Junior quarterback Deric Davis finished 6-of-10 for 91 yards and a touchdown as well.

On the ground, freshman Ki-Janaven Garrett led the way for the Lions with 47 rushing yards, followed by 14 from Stewart, 12 from fellow freshman Richard Cooper and 10 from Davis.

Defensively, A&M-Commerce held Houston Baptist to 389 total yards, including 197 on the ground and 192 through the air. Senior Stephen Ford led the way for the Lions with 10 total tackles, including nine solo, while junior Leo Migo had nine stops for A&M-Commerce.

It now sets up a riveting season finale on Saturday, when A&M-Commerce hosts Eastern New Mexico. The Greyhounds have been the talk of the NCAA Division II world, knocking off nationally-ranked LSC powerhouses West Texas A&M and Midwestern State in back-to-back weeks, as a postseason berth could well await the winner. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

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