The No. 23-ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion football team saw its perfect Lone Star Conference record slip away last Saturday as they could not best the No. 4-ranked Tarleton State Texans, falling by a score of 35-21 in Stephenville.
Texans’ quarterback Ben Holmes finished the game having completed 14 of 21 passes for 255 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had 33 rushing yards on five attempts. Zimari Manning caught all three of Holmes’ touchdown passes, finishing with seven catches for 131 yards. Daniel McCants led the team in rushing with 93 yards on 23 carries, while Khalil Banks ran the ball 19 times and picked up 78 yards and a score.
Miklo Smalls finished an efficient 29-of-39 for the Lions for 288 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was also the team’s leading rusher, picking up 44 yards on 12 attempts. A&M-Commerce was held to just 64 total rushing yards on 24 carries. Dominique Ramsey had another good game as a kick returner, being kept out of the endzone but still featuring kick returns of 55 and 30 yards, as well as a 17-yard punt return. A&M-Commerce made five trips to the red zone but only scored on three of them, while the Texans scored on all three of their red zone attempts.
The all-time series between these two teams creeps closer to being even as A&M-Commerce holds a slim 15-14 advantage. The Texans have won the previous three matchups after losing the previous six.
The loss drops the Lions to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in LSC play, while Tarleton improves to 7-0 and 5-0 in the LSC.
A&M-Commerce returns home to face Western New Mexico on homecoming weekend this Saturday.
The Mustangs have had a tough going since joining the Lone Star Conference in 2016. In 28 total LSC games, WNMU is 7-28, including an 0-8 mark in a winless campaign last season.
The Mustangs enter this contest with a 1-6 overall record.
Junior quarterback CJ Fowler has started all seven games, completing 53-percent of his passes for 1,847 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The team’s rushing attack has been paltry this season, gaining only a total of 807 yards in 7 games. DeAndre Williams is the lead back, with 350 yards and three touchdowns on 62 attempts, while Vincent Brown leads the team with six rushing touchdowns on 53 carries.
Defensively, WNMU is allowing 40.1 points per game, which is tied for 151st among 166 Division II teams.
All-time, the Lions are 3-0 against the Mustangs, winning by an average margin of victory of 37 points.
The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions will face the Western New Mexico Mustangs on Homecoming day at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.