Lions Make Valiant Effort, Fall 38-24 to Sam Houston State
After a valiant comeback attempt, a late interception spelled defeat for the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team as they fell 24-38 to FCS opponent Sam Houston State on Halloween night in Huntsville.
In the first meeting between the teams since 1985, the Lions (7-2, 6-0 Lone Star Conference) came into the game riding a six-game winning streak after having captured their second straight LSC Championship the previous week. The Bearkats (6-2, 5-1 Southland Conference) were on a 5-game winning streak of their own, and flexed their muscles early in the game, scoring their first touchdown less than three minutes into the game. A&M-Commerce struggled to answer, and were down as much as 3-21 in the second quarter.
The Lions offense showed signs of life after a 55-yard touchdown pass from Harrison Stewart to Darby Smith in the second. A&M-Commerce could not ride their momentum, however, as the scoring halted until a Sam Houston field goal ended the half with the Lions down 10-24.
A&M-Commerce got the blue and gold fans in attendance out of their seats after Lance Evans caught a short pass and proceeded to run for 76-yards until he was run out of bounds. The long play set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Macon which brought the Lions within a score of tying the game. The A&M-Commerce defense started to figure out the Bearkat offense, and got a key stop on the next drive. Stewart began to find a rhythm as he completed a 40-yarder to Richard Cooper, followed by a 39-yard bomb to Lance Evans to tie the game at 24.
The momentum was short lived, as Sam Houston scored less than three minutes later, and scored once more in the fourth quarter to put the game at 24-38.
Any hopes of a Lions comeback were squashed when a Stewart pass was intercepted by Adri Contreras, and the Bearkats were able to run out the clock to secure the victory. The interceptions was Stewart’s first since week two.
Stewart went 23 for 47 and threw for a Career-high 432 yards to go with three touchdowns and the one interception. Evans was his favorite target, connecting on five passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. Cooper and Theo Wofford were stifled by Sam Houston defenders, combining for just 40 yards on the night.
Charles Woods led the defense with 13 total tackles, with a whopping 12 of them being solo tackles. Woods also forced one of two fumbles that the Lions recovered on the night, with the other being forced by Steven Baker. Reigning LSC Defensive Player of the Week Cole Pitts had 12 tackles and a sack.
With the regular season finished, A&M-Commerce now returns to Memorial Stadium with home field advantage throughout the LSC Playoffs. With the number one seed in hand, the Lions will play the number four seed on November 7, at 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. A&M-Commerce’s opponent is currently still at large, as Angelo State, West Texas, and Eastern New Mexico finished their season tied for third place. The seeding will be determined by a coin flip which will take place on Sunday.