Aggies End Football Season in Thrilling Fashion
KSCB News - November 16, 2015 6:47 am
Aggies Football Ends Season in Thrilling Fashion
Submitted by OPSU Sports Information on 11/15/2015
Stephenville, Texas-The OPSU Aggies football team played Tarleton State at
noon on Saturday in the second round of the Lone Star Conference play-off
format; a rematch of the week seven loss for the Aggies. In a game of two
different halves the Texans were able to erase a 17-point first half deficit
to pull out a 48-47 victory in Stephenville.
In the first quarter the Aggies took a 10-0 lead thanks to a Chris McClendon
seven-yard touchdown run and a 29-yard field goal from Nik Clarkson. The
Aggies outgained the Texans 165 yards to 60 and dominated the time of
possession in the opening quarter.
The Texans were held to a long field goal attempt to open the second quarter
and the Aggie offense then responded with a 12-play, 81-yard touchdown
drive; a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Shane Truelove to Devyn
Williams made the score 17-0. The Aggie defense managed two more stops on to
end the quarter; the final drive ending in OPSU territory with an
interception by senior Xazier Murry. This marked Murry’a third INT of the
season. The Aggies looked to be in control going into halftime.
The second half started with a 39-yard kickoff return by Joseph Stadler
giving the Texans good field position to start the drive. Quarterback Derek
Kiser, who had replaced the injured starter Zed Woerner midway thru the
second quarter, had three big pass completions on the drive which ended with
a one-yard TD plunge by Kiser to put the Texans on the board 17-7. That was
the first of seven straight possessions resulting in Tarleton touchdowns.
OPSU’s offense immediately responded with a seven-play, 46-yard drive that
ended with Clarkson’s second field goal of the day. After the Texan’s second
touchdown of the quarter the Aggies’ responded with their own 72-yard drive
resulting in a touchdown to make the score 27-14. The drive opened and
closed with runs by McClendon; the first being a 32-yard rush and the last a
29-yard split of the Texans’ defense right up the middle to the end zone.
The drive was kept alive in the middle by a creative fake punt, turned
10-yard completion, from punter Jacob Test to Willams for a critical first
down. To end the quarter the Texans created two touchdown drives, and the
Aggies found themselves down for the first time in the game 27-28.
A wild fourth quarter saw both teams trading blows for the full 15 minutes.
Tarleton started the scoring off as Joseph Sadler scored on a one-yard
touchdown run; Sadler led the Texans with 151 yards rushing on the day. The
Aggies answered with an eight-play, 72-yard drive capped by a one-yard
rushing touchdown by McClendon, his third of the day; McClendon also took in
a two-point conversion pass from Truelove to tie the score at 35-35. The
Texans then took the next drive 70 yards and finished with a Kiser to
Le’Nard Myers 14-yard touchdown strike making the score 42-35 with under
three minutes left on the clock.
In the back-and-forth fashion the Aggies fought on the next drive and scored
on a 29-yard rushing touchdown by Truelove pulling the score to 42-41 with
2:18 remaining in the game. Truelove led the Aggie offense in great form
throughout the day, throwing for 322 yards and adding 69 yards rushing with
three total touchdowns. Sensing an opportunity to win the game, the Aggie
offense went for another two-point conversion, but the Texans turned a
McClendon reception down just short of the end zone. Down by one, the Aggies
then attempted an onside kick but failed to recover the ball. Things really
got interesting when Coach Gaskamp and the Aggies’ staff instructed the
defense to let the Texans score on the next play, knowing that it would
still be a one possession game. Tarleton obliged with a Jabari Anderson
16-yard rushing score. After a missed extra point attempt OPSU found
themselves down 48-41 with 2:11 minutes still to play.
The Aggies quickly moved the ball downfield after a 39-yard third-down
conversion rush by McClendon. The drive succeeded with a six-yard receiving
touchdown by Eddie Thomas, and the Aggies were again down by one. Attempting
to avoid overtime, Gaskamp again chose to go for two and the win. However,
the Aggies were again turned down by an excellent defensive effort from the
Texans who, also took in the ensuing onside kick ending the game with a
one-point victory 48-47.
The game was full of offensive fireworks from both teams as the Aggies
outgained the Texans 636-434 total yards. The Aggies were led on the ground
by McClendon with 207 yards on 23 attempts, while Williams’ totaled nine
receptions for 147 yards thru the air. Defensively seniors Tanner Hallford
and Xazier Murry led the team in tackles with 11 and 10 respectively.
OPSU Football ended the year with a 5-5 record going into 2016 as they join
the Lone Star Conference. Aggie Fans will have the opportunity to read
about the 2015 team in a season recap later this week.