After holding a nine point lead with under 10 minutes to play, the no. 11 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team saw their lead vanish in a flash, and fell to no. 10 Midwestern State by a score of 33-37 Saturday night in Commerce.
What started as a highly touted game ended up living up to the hype, as the score was tied or the lead was flipped a total of seven times in the contest. The Lions (8-3, 6-0 Lone Star Conference) struck first on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Harrison Stewart to Lance Evans. The Mustangs (10-1, 5-1 LSC) gained the lead in the second after Chase Thrasher’s punt was blocked and picked up by Herb Whitehurst for a score. A&M-Commerce struck back with 57 seconds remaining in the half to knot the score at 17 all going into the locker room.
The Lions struck twice to begin the third on touchdown passes to Derrick Macon, and led 30-17 in the third. A Midwestern State touchdown run cut the lead to six, and the field was flipped for the final quarter.
A&M-Commerce pulled out a 15-play, 63-yard drive, but stalled in the red zone, settling for a 25-yard field goal by Kristov Martinez to increase the lead to 33-24 with 9:52 remaining. The Lions looked to be able to take a big chunk out of the clock, but a fumble by Richard Cooper was recovered by the Mustangs. Midwestern wasted no time, as they scored on their first play of the drive, cutting the lead to 33-31.
After a knuckleball kick pinned the Lions inside their own five, things went from bad to worse as Stewart’s pass was intercepted by Harold Willis, who easily walked in for a score, putting the Mustangs ahead 33-37 just 15 seconds apart.
A&M-Commerce tried valiantly to come up with a game-winning drive, but were thwarted on fourth down when Stewart’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Tari Jones, which put the game out of reach.