Javs Secure Winning Season
BLACK WATER DRAW, NEW MEXICO – The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team secured their fourth winning season in a row on Saturday with a 23-10 win at Lone Star Conference rival Eastern New Mexico to close out the season.
The Javelinas (6-5, 4-4) used a grinding running attack on offense and strong defense to topple the Greyhounds (2-9, 1-7). With winds upwards of 30 miles per hour throughout the game the Javelina passing attack suffered, but they were able to really upon a ground game that picked up 257 yards on 57 carries.
Javelina junior running back Jonathan Woodson (Missouri City/Marshall HS) as the LSC’s leading rusher, but he went out with an injury early in the third quarter after picking up 88 yards on 19 carries. Junior Randall Toney (Hendersonville, TN/Station Camp HS) took advantage of the opportunity to lead the way with 144 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Woodson and Toney played a key role in the Javelinas possessing the ball for 42:43 of the game.
“Their defense played not to give up the big play and they were putting a hit on somebody on every play,” said Toney. “Coming into the game we were going to pass a little more, but when we saw how windy it was we decided to take advantage of our running game.”
The Hogs were able to take the air out of the ball as they had the ball at least nine minutes in every quarter. “The offensive line to a good job of opening up holes,” said Toney. “We wanted to win for the seniors and were able to do it.”
The Javelina defense played well limiting the Greyhounds to 284 yards of total offense, over a 100 less than their normal output and forced four turnovers. Senior Roderick Benman (Oklahoma City, OK/Rogers HS) got to the quarterback twice during the game to give him 12.0 quarterback sacks on the season and was credited with four quarterback hurries.
“It’s always good when Hog Nation wins a game and to go out with a winning record is nice,” said Benman.
The game began on the right foot for the Javelinas as Justin Young (Monroe, LA/Southeastern Oklahoma) intercepted a pass on the third play of the game. With the offense going into the strong headwind the team elected to keep the ball on the ground. They ran 16 consecutive run plays and eventually had a first-and-goal situation, but were unable to score despite taking 9:25 off the clock.
It would be the Hounds who scored first. Taking over possession late in the first quarter, Wesley Wood drove the team 57 yards in five plays to set up a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line when the second quarter started. Two plays later, Tony Valenzuela scored from a yard out to make it 7-0 with 14:32 left in the second quarter.
The Javelinas evened the score less than four minutes later. A 17-yard pass play to Derek Tesch (Blanco/Blanco HS), a 15-yard run by Woodson and a 19-yard pickup by Toney had the team moving. Freshman Layton Dworaczyk (Blanco/Blanco HS) would score his first career touchdown on a wide receiver jet sweep from four yards out.
The Greyhounds appeared like they would take the lead back on their next drive, but Rockeem Collins (Gonzales/Gonzales HS) forced a fumble at the 4-yard line and recovered it himself to give the ball back to the offense.
The Javs drove 78 yards in 13 plays before being slowed down inside the ENMU 10-yard line. They settled for a 25-yard Matt Stoll (College Station/A&M Consolidated HS) field goal with 51 seconds left in the half and took a 10-7 lead into the break. Stoll improved to 9-for-10 on the season in field goal attempts.
Early in the third quarter, the Javelina special teams would make an imprint upon the game. Chandler Hill (Spring Branch/Smithson Valley HS) tipped a Taylor Cannon punt and the Javelinas recovered at the ENMU 13-yard line. Three plays later, Toney scored his first touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run. Stoll’s extra point was blocked giving the Hogs a 16-7 lead with 6:49 left in the third quarter.
The Javelinas forced another punt on the next drive, but were pinned back at their own 1-yard line. Woodson picked up six yards on the first play and eight more on the second play, but was injured and fumbled the ball giving it to the Greyhounds in great field position.
The Hog defense stood strong and forced Eastern to settle for a 27-yard field goal from Michael Cottingham to make it a 16-10 game with 3:27 left in the third.
The score remained 16-10 as the Javelinas threatened to score on each of their next three drives, but were unable to get over the hump. Finally, the Greyhounds were forced to go for a fourth down conversion deep in their own territory and did not make it. The Javs iced the game with Toney’s 5-yard score with 1:35 left in regulation.
The Javelinas gained 404 yards on offense and ran 87 plays. Daniel Ramirez (Sinton/Sinton HS) went 18-of-30 for 147 yards. Joseph Vela (Harlingen/Rio Hondo HS) led the team with five catches for 36 yards. Woodson entered the game as the national leader in all-purpose yards and piled up 142 despite not playing the final 20 minutes of the game.
The defense was led by Young’s nine tackles while four different players recorded turnovers for the team. Collins finished with seven tackles and Demontrelle Smith (Reddick, FL/The Citadel) picked off his second pass of the year.
The Greyhounds rushed for only 18 yards on 12 carries. Sawyer Cornelius went 10-of-23 for 139 yards and an interception while Wood was 10-of-17 for 127 yards and an interception. Darian Dale led all players with 10 catches for 116 yards.
The Greyhound defense relied upon safety Nick Jones who made an unprecedented 25 tackles in the game. Denton Allmon added 11 tackles while Stephen Smith had two tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.