After a wild 36-35 win over Angelo State in game one of the Lone Star Conference Playoffs, the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team now looks to finish the job on Saturday against Midwestern State in Commerce.
The no. 11 Lions’ (8-2, 6-0 LSC) hopes looked dim last weekend after an early second half Rams touchdown put A&M-Commerce behind by 18 points. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Richard Cooper was back deep for his first kickoff return of the season. Cooper made the most of his chance to shine by returning the kick 88-yards for a score, the first kick return touchdown of his career.
The score seemed to bolster both the Lions offense and their defense, as A&M-Commerce began to put points on the board, while Angelo State quarterback Kyle Washington was beginning to be stifled by Lion defenders. A&M-Commerce finally went ahead on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Lance Evans on fourth down with 7:21 left to play.
That was plenty of time for the Rams, as they began to drive down the field. The drive stalled in the red zone, and it came down to a fourth and 1 at the two yard line. Washington attempted a quarterback sneak, but could not make it across the line. With the ball back in their hands, the Lions sealed the victory with a 50-yard run by Cooper, which allowed A&M-Commerce to run the clock to zero.
Head Coach Colby Carthel admired the way his team played in the second half to grab the win.
“I told them that no one remembers how you start the game, but how you finish it,” Carthel said. “We were able to go out there and make the plays we needed to win the game.”