Tarleton Texans kickoff season opener with a bang

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After a long offseason, the Tarleton State University

The JTAC/ Brittainie Cason
Zimari Manning, wide receiver, goes up to catch a pass from Ben Holmes.

Texans (2-0) took the Doane University Tigers (1-2) by storm on Saturday’s game in the new Lonn Reismen Athletic Center at Memorial Stadium. This was the first season opener the stadium has seen and the 1,000th game in Tarleton history.

This season opener for the Texans contained higher expectations than in previous games. Coming off their most successful season in history, the Texans hold the NCAA Division II top-five ranked team spot in the nation. The energy in the stadium could be felt around campus and fans knew once the Texans stepped on the field, this would be a historical night in Stephenville, Texas.

The Doane Tigers kicked off the game and the Texans started their offensive play with a flag for holding and were pushed back 10 yards. After two incomplete passes and gaining a few yards, the Texans lost possession of the ball to the Tigers. The Texans defensive line held their ground and prevented the Tigers from advancing too far into their plays, granting the Texans possession of the ball. This resulted in multiple first downs for the Texans and an 11-yard touchdown by RB, Khalil Banks. Minutes later K. Banks rushed a 77-yard touchdown after breaking through the Tigers weak defensive line.

Tarleton Quarterback, Ben Holmes, started second quarter with a pass to WR, Zimari Manning, for another Texan touchdown. With a kickoff in the end zone by Texan Kicker, J.R. Fullen, the Texan defense would receive a flag for offside defense but would recover by breaking up a pass intended for Tigers WR forcing them to punt the ball at 4th down. Tarleton rushed the ball until they had a false start and gained a 5-yard penalty, but this minor setback pushed the Texans to a 41-yard touchdown by Z. Manning. During the 2nd quarter, the Texans made another touchdown for 23-yards by WR, J.F. Thomas.

After the half, the Tigers tried to fight back but after their QB was sacked by Texan DT, Jordan Phillips, due to a bad snap. The Texans rushed with the ball all the way to a 5-yard touchdown by RB, Justice Anyanwu. The Tiger offense struggled under pressure due to the strength of the Texan defensive line. Tarleton RB, Tavis Colemen, would rush a 3-yard touchdown to close the 3rd quarter.

Tiger QB, Cameron Quick, fumbled the ball the start of the 4th quarter granting the Texans possession of the ball and resulting in a field goal. All hope for a shutout game went away after the Tigers attempted and made a field goal in the middle of the quarter.

The Texans won the game with an outstanding score of 56-3. To celebrate the new stadium, 1,000th game, and a Tarleton Texan win fans enjoyed a post-game firework show. The Texans accounted for over 600 offensive yards and the Texan defensive line held the Tigers for 84 yards.

This weekend the Texans will start Lone Star Conference play and face their archrival, The West Texas A&M Buffalos, in an exciting highlight to Family Weekend. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. in Stephenville.