Javelias Battle, But Fall To #11 West Texas A&M
The loss dropped the Javelinas to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
West Texas A&M, ranked 11th nationally, improved to 5-0 and 1-0 in league play.
“Our defense gave good effort, but we made too many mistakes and they are all correctable,” said Javelina head coach Bo Atterberry. “They made some good plays, but some of them were due to our mistakes. They are a good ballclub and we played well at times, but at times doesn’t get it.”
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Ryan Lincoln (Bastrop) had his first career 100-yard receiving game by catching seven passes for 100 yards.
True freshman quarterback Kolten Thigpen (Hondo), starting in place of David Garza, who did not start because he violated team rules, threw for a career-high 172 yards passing and accounted for 213 yards of total offense.
“Maybe we shouldn’t tell them who is going to start until we show up,” said Atterberry. “He did a nice job and we have something to build upon and now we got to come together.”
West Texas A&M quarterback Keith Null completed 36 of 52 passes for 390 yards and five touchdowns with Keithon Fleming and Seth Hayden each catching two.
Texas A&M-Kingsville came into the game the least penalized team in the conference, averaging just over 43 yards per game, but were called for a season-high 16 penalties for 140 yards. The Javelinas had been called for only 174 total penalty yards in their first four games combined.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Atterberry. “You can’t hit somebody after the whistle.”
“Penalties is what killed us,” said Lincoln. “We are a young ball club and we are playing hard and we have to convert in the red zone because our defense is playing well. It’s frustrating. If we can eliminate our penalties, we will be a good ballclub.”
Texas A&M-Kingsville finished with 299 yards of total offense with a season-high 114 yards on the ground led by Billy Martin’s (Pittsburgh) 46 yards on 12 carries. Thigpen added 41 yards on seven carries.
West Texas A&M came into the game having outscored their opponents 119 to 21 in the first and third quarters, but the Javelinas shutout the Buffaloes in both quarters.
West Texas A&M had 474 yards of total offense and 393 yards passing, but finished well under their 50 points per game average.
The Buffs had punted just 11 times in their four previous games, but had to kick it seven times Saturday night.
Despite all that, the Hogs just couldn’t convert enough big plays on offense to give them a chance to win.
“We played well in the first and third quarters, but you have to put a whole ballgame together and they put it on us in the second and fourth quarters,” said junior linebacker Mike Martinez (Calallen). “We kept everything in front of us and didn’t give up the big play. We played good, but we could have played better. We have to understand that we are a good ballclub and not get down on each other.”
Down 22-3 at the half, the Javelina offense hurt itself with penalties and couldn’t take advantage of good field position and stout A&M-Kingsville defense.
Three times the Hogs drive inside the Buffaloe 30-yard line in the quarter, but came up with no points after the A&M-Kingsville forced three consecutive Buffaloe punts.
Gilbert Almanza (La Feria) intercepted a Null pass on the first drive of the second half and returned it 23 yards to the Javelina 43-yard line.
The Javelinas drove to the Buffaloe 38-yard line, but a holding penalty, the fourth of the game on A&M-Kingsville effectively ended the drive.
A&M-Kingsville again had good field position on their second drive of the third quarter after a 26-yard punt return by Clavens Charles (Miami, Fla.) gave the Hogs the ball at their own 37-yard line.
On third and five from the 39 yard line, Thigpen completed a 22-yard pass to Lincoln.
Another penalty killed the Javelinas as Thigpen appeared to give the Hogs a first down on the Buff 13-yard line, but A&M-Kingsville was called for a dead-ball, 15-yard personal foul penalty.
On fourth and two from the Buffaloe 20-yard line, Thigpen ran for an apparent touchdown, but the Javelinas were called for another penalty.
Garza came in for the next fourth down play as Thigpen was shaken up, but threw an incomplete pass to end the drive.
After the defense stopped the Buffaloes again, Thigpen hooked up with Lincoln on a 44-yard pass play on the second play of the drive to give the Javelinas a first down on the Buffaloe 27-yard line.
But again the drive stalled after three consecutive incompletions and Scott Schlebach missed a 44-yard field goal wide left.
West Texas A&M came into the game having outscored their opponents 49-8 in the first quarter, but the game remained scoreless at the end of the first period.
West Texas finally got back on the board on a 18-yard scoring pass play from Null to Keithon Flemming to give the Buffs a 29-3 lead with 10:30 left in the game.
Null threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 33 yarder to Hayden with 4:54 left in game to make the final score 36-3.
The Javelinas did their best to keep the high-powered West Texas offense off the field in the first quarter by any means necessary.
The Hogs did it the old fashion way on their first drive, converting a pair of first downs on first downs rushing plays of 10 and 11 yards by Martin.
On the second drive, junior punter Cody Smith converted on a fake punt for the second consecutive week
True freshman quarterback Kolten Thigpen, who started because normal starter David Garza was late for the team bus Friday, converted a pair of key third down plays with completions of 21 yards to tight end Rony Perard and a 16-yard strike to receive Ryan Lincoln.
Unfortunately, a first down pass to Dante Higgins on third and eight to the Buffaloe 32-yard line was called back due to a holding penalty and the drive was halted at the 50-yard line.
Thigpen did it again on third down in the shadow of his own end zone, completing a 14-yard pass to Ryan Richardson on the final play of the first quarter.
The defense did its part as well, forcing the Buffaloes to punt on both their first quarter possessions and held their offense to just 79 total yards.
The Javelina offense controlled the clock in the first quarter, holding the ball for over 10 minutes.
One thing that did hamper the Javelinas in the first quarter was penalties, five for 33 yards.
But West Texas started its third drive of the game and their first of the second quarter on the Hog 43-yard line.
On the first play after a penalty, Null completed a 39-yard pass to Carl Johnson down to the Javelina two yard line.
The Javelina defense stopped the Buffs on three plays, but on fourth down Null completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Kilo Kapanui in the corner of the end zone. Kapanui then converted the two-point conversion on a run to give West Texas an 8-0 lead three and a half minutes into the second quarter.
Garza replaced Thigpen at quarterback to start the second quarter. The Javelinas were unable to pick up a first down, but Gaza was hurt by a dropped pass, something that plagued A&M-Kingsville in the first half.
The Javelina defense seemed to have stopped West Texas midway through the second quarter, but the Buffaloes pulled a fake punt of their own, a 14 yard run by Dale Davis.
Then on third and 10 from the West Texas 42-yard line, the Javelinas were called for pass interference, their xx penalty of the first half.
Null finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Seth Hayden to give the Buffaloes a 15-0 lead with 6:11 left in the first half.
The Buffs offense continued their roll by driving 68 yards in five plays, culminating in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Null to Dale Davis with 1:06 left in the half to give the Buffs a 22-0 lead.
Thigpen came back into the game and led the Javelinas on a five-play, 68-yard drive with Scott Schlebach kicking a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it 22-3.
Thigpen had two big runs on the drive picking up gains of 20 and 19 yards.
The Buffs out-gained the Javelinas 267 to 151 in the first half.