Plainview, Texas—For the third consecutive week, the Aggies (2-4) were on the road as they traveled to Plainview, Texas to play the Wayland Baptist University Pioneers (0-4). After dropping three straight, the Aggies atoned for the losses with a dominating performance against Wayland.
The opening quarter was the most competitive as WBU came out gunning. Their opening drive took only 56 seconds as quarterback J. Houghtaling found Brendan Pegg for a 54 yard touchdown pass and catch to put the Pioneers ahead early. The Aggies, however, would respond on their opening drive beginning with a 46 yard bomb to receiver John Patt (4 catches 76 yards) to put the Aggies inside the Pioneers' 10 yard line. Quarterback Caleb Holbrook then found Chris McClendon on a flare pass for a six yard touchdown to knot the game at 7 apiece. WBU would again come back to score and add two more on a two-point conversion play to go up 15-7. The Aggies again responded late in the opening quarter with a 5-play 67 yard drive as Justin Fogle found the end zone on a two yard run to make the score 15-14 Wayland.
The end of second quarter proved to be a momentum booster for the Aggies when they got things going late. After a 20 yard field goal by Carlos Nieto with just over eight minutes remaining in the quarter, the score remained 17-15 Aggies up until a nine yard touchdown run from Kendall Roberson with 2:39 left in the half gave WBU a 21-17 lead. The extra point attempt was blocked by cornerback Dekerrian Cooper and the momentum continued to build from there. Following the ensuing kickoff, the Aggies fast paced offense sped down the field covering 77 yards in just over a minute as Holbrook again found McClendon for a 21 yard touchdown pass and catch to make the score 24-21 Aggies.
The Aggies would regain possession on the kick off as place kicker Gabriel Ortega booted a kick that WBU could not handle and safety John Libby recovered the loose football at the Pioneers' 39 yard line. In just 19 seconds, the offense would again find itself in the end zone as Holbrook found Jemine St. Louis for a 21 yard touchdown pass and reception. The Aggies headed to halftime with a 31-21 lead.
The 2nd half was all OPSU as they used the 3rd quarter to pull away on the scoreboard. They opened with another aerial assault as Holbrook again connected with St. Louis (4 catches 57 yards) for a 19 yard touchdown completion with less than a minute gone off the clock. Next up for the Aggies was receiver Andrew Hernandez (6 catches-86 yards) who showed off great athleticism as he constantly beat the Pioneers' secondary on the next drive, and eventually scored on a 12 yard reception from Holbrook. The Aggies padded the lead as the score was now 45-21, but they were far from done. The Darkside defense then got it going as linebacker Junior Vimoto intercepted a pass inside the Pioneers' 20 yard line. Caleb Holbrook found the end zone as he carried the ball this time from 17 yards out to make the score 52-21.
After the Aggies' defense forced a second consecutive 3-and-out, the offense again raced down the field and scored on a 34 yard field goal from Nieto to add three to their lead. And just for insurance, running back Rod Moore carried and scored from one yard out to make the score 62-21. The Darkside defense sealed the game as they came away with a forced fumble and recovery with under two minutes remaining in the game.
For the offense, Caleb Holbrook provided an exceptional amount of offense as he completed 32-51 passes for 441 yards 5 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. Leading the running game was McClendon who rushed for 93 yards on 14 attempts. Also providing production were tight end Spencer Grijalva (7 catches 79 yards) Ricky Backstrom (5 catches 45 yards) and Jamal White (2 catches 52 yards). Leading the Darkside defense was linebacker Andrew Dougherty who finished with 6 tackles with two being for losses. Also contributing were Dominique Guest (5 tackles) Keidrick Brewster (5 tackles 2 forced fumbles) and Glenn Bonner (5 tackles 2 QB sacks). The defense pitched a shutout in the second half as they held WBU to only 111 yards forcing three punts, two turnovers on downs, an interception and a fumble on the Pioneers' seven second half possessions.
Coach Gaskamp had this to say after the game:
"Obviously I am pleased with the victory but like most coaches feel like we could have played better. I was not happy at all with the way we started the game, especially defensively, but we settled down and played well over the rest of the game. When your offense controls the tempo of the game like ours did today, you will always have a great chance. Hopefully we will be able to get some of our injured players back this week and continue to improve in all three phases for our Homecoming contest versus Texas College."
The Aggies will be home this week for this years' homecoming game against Texas College; game time is set for a 1pm kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 12.