Javelinas Hold Off #22 Wildcats
ELLENSBURG, WASHINGTON – The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team opened its season on Friday with a hard fought victory at #22 Central Washington, 21-10 at Tomlinson Stadium. (box score)
The Javelinas (1-0) jumped out to an early 14-0 lead only to see the Wildcats (0-1) storm back to make it 14-10 heading into halftime. The game remained that way until the fourth quarter when junior Jeremy Aguilar (Los Angeles, CA/Pasadena CC) intercepted a pass with 10:13 left. The Hogs then drove eight plays and 46 yards to score a clinching touchdown when sophomore Robert Armstrong (Cuero/Cuero HS) dove across the line from four yards out with 6:10 to play.
The #7 Javelinas stopped the Wildcats on fourth down on the ensuing possession. They ran out the clock after Angel Millan (Edinburg/Economedes HS) faked a punt and ran 30 yards on fourth down with under two minutes to play.
The Javelina defense played an outstanding game and was call upon time after time to make big plays. In the first quarter, the Wildcats forced a fumble deep in Hoggie territory, but the Hogs stood strong and CWU was unable to convert on a fourth down attempt.
Later in the first quarter, it was the Javelina defense forcing a turnover as Marquis Singleton (Decatur, IL/Texas Southern) recovered a fumble at the CWU 41-yard line. Six plays later the Javelinas scored on a 4-yard run by junior Jonathan Woodson (Missouri City/Marshall HS) with 3:20 left in the quarter.
The Javs forced a punt and got the ball back at their own 14-yard line late in the first quarter and senior quarterback Daniel Ramirez (Sinton/Sinton HS) guided the team on an 8-play, 86-yard scoring drive. Ramirez rushed twice for 16 yards at the beginning of the drive and then completed four straight passes culminating in a 15-yard touchdown pass to Armstrong with 12:51 left in the second quarter.
The rest of the second quarter went to the Wildcats. After being punched in the mouth by the Hogs, the Wildcats drove 74 yards in 12 plays to cut the lead in half. First they picked up good yardage on the ground and then Ryan Robertson connected with Armahd Lewis on a 31-yard reception to the 3-yard line. Three plays later, Robertson found Anthony Spain open in the end zone.
Late in the second quarter, the Javelinas appeared to be driving for a score when Dominique Gaisey stepped in front of a Nate Poppell (Spring/Spring HS) pass and returned it 52 yards. The Wildcats moved the ball inside the red zone, but were forced to attempt a field goal that Sean Davis booted from 34 yards out to make it 14-10 heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Javelina defense stiffened and allowed the Wildcats only eight yards rushing. The Wildcats were forced to go to the air and the closest they came to scoring came on their first drive of the half, but Davis’ 44-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
The teams traded punts for most of the half until Aguilar’s interception set up the Javelinas for their final score. On the final scoring drive, Woodson carried the ball three times for 17 yards and Armstrong carried it three times for 16 yards.
The Javelinas finished the game with 21 first downs, 178 yards rushing and 176 yards passing. Woodson led the team with 90 yards rushing on 25 carries and a touchdown. Poppell went 7-for-16 for 47 yards and an interception while Ramirez was 8-of-13 for 129 yards, an interception and a touchdown. Arron Fisher (Orlando, FL/Col. of Canyons) had three catches for 43 yards while Christian Taylor (Houston/U. of Mary) led the team with 50 yards receiving.
The Wildcats had 11 first downs, gained 61 yards rushing and 152 yards passing. Louis Davis led the team with 57 yards rushing on 13 carries while Levi Taylor added 18 yards on five carries. Robertson went 16-for-35 for 152 yards, an interception and a touchdown. Justin Helwege was his leading receiver with eight catches for 82 yards.
On defense, Aguilar led the Javelinas with seven tackles and his interception.. Trevor Pesek (Inez/Industrial HS) added five solo tackles and six total. Singleton added six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, a half sack, a pass break up and a fumble recovery.
The Central Washington defense was led by Gaisie and Deionte Gordon who each had nine tackles. Gordon had a half tackle for loss and broke up two passes. They registered three sacks as a team and had nine total tackles for loss.
The Javelinas are back in action on September 10 at 7 p.m. at home against Minot State. It is a part of the New York Life Hall of Fame and Reunion weekend.