The No. 24-ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion football team broke the stalemate with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 34-20 victory over West Texas A&M on the road in their first visit to the new Buffalo Stadium last Saturday evening.
Now the team will return home for their final regular-season tilt, hosting UT-Permian Basin on Senior Night.
Saturday's game was nationally broadcast on the ESPN3 platform, and was the third Lion football game of the season to be shown to either a regional or national audience.
The win improved A&M-Commerce to 20-14 all-time against West Texas, and is the sixth-consecutive victory over the Buffs for the blue and gold.
Nick Gerber struggled through the air, completing 14 of 31 passes for 131 yards, one score and three interceptions, while also picking up 34 yards on nine rushing attempts. Duke Carter IV had a team-high 89 rushing yards on 20 carries, while Jordan Johnson had 48 yards and a touchdown on nine rushes.
Miklo Smalls finished the game going 18-of-28 through the air for 214 yards and one score for the Lions. He also had 36 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Antonio Lealiiee had 62 yards and a touchdown on nine carries before leaving the game with an injury. Jemal Williams had a punt block touchdown, but also gained a team-high 80 yards on 14 rushing attempts. Chance Cooper had six catches for 63 yards, while Kelan Smith caught four balls for 47 yards and a score.
The win improved the Lions to 6-2 on the year and 5-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
Saturday's Senior Night matchup against the UTPB Falcons will be the fourth time the two teams have face each other. A&M-Commerce has won the previous three matchups.
The Falcons have had a tough go since beginning their football program in 2016. In that span, the team sports a 9-33 overall record, with a 3-26 mark in LSC games. UTPB almost pulled off the biggest upset in program history last season, taking the Lions down to the wire in their matchup in Odessa as A&M-Commerce won 20-17.
The Falcons have tried a few players at quarterback this season. Currently, four players are credited with at least 50 pass attempts. Kameron Mathis has seen the bulk of the workload, completing 54 percent of his throws for 547 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. However, it appears Clayton Roberts is the man of the hour, completing 11 of 20 throws for 182 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in last week's victory over Eastern New Mexico.
UTPB seems to run by committee as well, with four rushers having accumulated more than 200 yards on the ground this season. Davion Sutton leads the team with 350 yards on 76 attempts, but has only scored twice. Gabe Nelson has ran for 294 yards and six touchdowns on 59 carries.
Chris Hoad is the man on defense, credited with 131 tackles while the next-closest Falcon has 58. Hoad also has nine tackles for a loss.
The A&M-Commerce Lions will face the UT-Permian Basin Falcons on Nov. 9 at Memorial Stadium in Commerce. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.