Photo Courtesy of Cooper Ross, Tarleton Athletic Communications
Tarleton State University Sports are in full swing. Tarleton Football has kicked off its long-anticipated season for the spring. Additionally, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis have finally kicked off their Division 1 careers after COVID-19 caused a delay in the start of many sports.
Tarleton Football kicked off their first Division 1 game on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. versus McNeese State University. This was an eventful game for both teams and a great start to Tarleton’s Division 1 debut.
In the first quarter with 9 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock, Jacob Abel for McNeese scored a 21-yard field goal, gifting McNeese with three points and Tarleton zero. Minutes later with 5 minutes and 26 seconds on the clock, Josh Matthews for McNeese received a 13-yard pass from quarterback, Cody Orgeron, scoring a touchdown. Abel kicked a 15-yard field goal bringing the score to 10 for McNeese and Tarleton zero. Adrian Guzman, the kicker for Tarleton, kicked a 38-yard field goal, putting points on the board for the Texans.
During the second quarter, the Texans held McNeese’s offense and Tarleton running back Ryheem Skinner was able to make the 4-yard run into the end zone scoring a touchdown for Tarleton. Christian Hernandez kicked for the extra point bringing the score to an even 10-10.
In the third quarter, the Texans came back strong. They were able to prevent McNeese from scoring and were able to score two touchdowns. Tariq Bitson, wide receiver, caught a 13-yard pass from quarterback, Steven Duncan, and kicker Hernandez kicked for the extra point, making the score 10-17, with Tarleton in the lead.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Tarleton scored another touchdown with running back Braelon Bridges and kicker Hernandez, making the score 10-24.
In the fourth quarter McNeese tied the game up at the end. McNeese quarterback, Orgeron, made a five-yard run, scoring a touchdown and kicker Abel kicked for the extra point, raising the score for McNeese to 17.
Following McNeese, Tarleton scored a touchdown, Bridges scored with a one-yard run and kicker Hernandez kicked for the extra point, making the score 17-31.
Mason Pierce for McNeese scored after a 26-yard pass from quarterback Orgeron, and Abel kicked for the extra point, raising the score to 24 for McNeese, making them just one touchdown behind Tarleton.
At the end of the fourth quarter, Trevor Begue scored after a 12-yard pass from Orgeron, tying the game 31-31 and going into double overtime. McNeese kicker Abel scored a 21-yard field goal making the score 34-31.
Tarleton kicker Guzman kicked a 37-yard field goal, tying the score 34-34.
In the second overtime, Guzman kicked another 45-yard field goal, making the score 34-37 but it wasn’t enough, McNeese quarterback Orgeron scored a touchdown after a 19-yard run, leaving the score 40-37 with McNeese winning.
“More than anything, we have to be able to learn from this,” Coach Todd Whitten said.
The Texans did just that the following weekend in El Paso, TX, against NMSU.
Tarleton kicked off the game with three touchdowns and a safety and only allowed New Mexico to score one touchdown. Quarterback, Burston scored after a 70-yard run and kicker, Hernandez kicked for the extra point, making the score 7-0, Tarleton. Quickly after, wide receiver, Gabe Douglas, received an 86-yard pass from Burston, scoring another touchdown for Tarleton State. Hernandez kicked for the extra point, making the score 14-0, Tarleton. Juwuan Price for NMSU scored a touchdown from a 95-yard kickoff return making the score 14-7, with the extra point from kicker Ethan Albertson. Tarleton State then received two points from a safety, bringing the score to 16-7, Tarleton.
Following that safety, Burston scored another touchdown for Tarleton after a 21-yard run. Hernandez kicked for the extra point, making the score 23-7, Tarleton. In the second quarter, Douglas scored another touchdown for Tarleton, and Guzman kicked a 35-yard field goal to bring the score to 33-7, Tarleton, at the end of the first half.
After halftime, Tarleton scored the first touchdown of the second half. Running back, Deangelo Rosemond, scored after a 4-yard run. Hernandez then brought the score to 40-7 for Tarleton. Albertson for NMSU scored a 27-yard field goal bringing the score to 40-10.
In the last quarter of the game, Guzman scored a 34-yard field goal bringing the score to 43-10. At the end of the fourth quarter, Robert Downs III for NMSU scored after a 27-yard pass from Jonah Johnson. Kicker Albertson was able to score the extra point, bringing the final score to 43-17 allowing Tarleton to win.
“It’s huge! I’m so proud of our guys,” Coach Whitten said.
Tarleton Football made history on Feb. 21 with its first Division 1 win.
“I couldn’t be [more proud] of [Cameron Burston]. I’m as proud of him as any quarterback I’ve ever coached,” Coach Whitten said.
Burston certainly made an impression after this game. Burston was named FCS National offensive player of the week, after receiving 79 rushing yards, 252 passing yards and four touchdowns. Douglas also received an honorable mention with seven catches, 190 yards, and two touchdowns.
On Feb. 27 the Texans played against Dixie State at home and lost 14-26. Tarleton’s first score of the game was a rushing touchdown for 1-yard made by senior running back, Skinner with 4 minutes and 5 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter. Their next score came in the third quarter with exactly 9 minutes left on the clock and was a kick return for a 93-yard touchdown made by sophomore Defensive Back, Kaylon Horton.
Dixie St. made a total of four sacks against Tarleton for 22 yards gained while Tarleton only made one sack for five yards. Be sure to come support your Texans at their next home game on March 6, at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium for their game against Mississippi College. Remember social distancing guidelines will still be enforced.