Second half comeback results in Tarleton upset for No. 4 Buffs

Bethany Brooks / Sports Editor

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The No. 21 Tarleton State University Texans took on the No. 4 West Texas A&M University Buffaloes on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Texans had a tough first half, but a halftime pep talk by head football coach Cary Fowler gave the team what they needed to come back and defeat the Buffs.

The Texans had first possession, but quickly turned it over with a fumble by running back Jerome Regal. WTAMU had a quick touchdown not even a minute into the game. The Texans fought back with a field goal from Blake Barnes, which would be the only points for the Texans in the first half of the game.

With two more WTAMU touchdowns, the score at the end of the first quarter was WT 13, TSU 3.

WTAMU scored twice during the second quarter. Quarterback Aaron Doyle threw an interception pass, which caused the Buffs to score their first touchdown of the quarter. The second touchdown of the second quarter for the Buffs would be their last of the game.

The Texans went into the locker room at halftime with the scoreboard reading WTAMU 27, TSU 3.

Head coach Cary Fowler knew he had to say something to his players for the second half to have a different outcome than the first.

“They didn’t make the same mistakes in the second half. They were trying too hard to win the game in the first half. I told them it was all my fault in the first half, don’t blame your brothers or coaches, blame me. The half message was smile, relax, and have fun. I told them the best team will win this game, and we are the best team,” Coach Fowler said.

The first half of the third quarter started out slow with no points added to the score from either team. Then, with 7:57 left in the third, Doyle ran a single yard into the end zone to add the only points from the third quarter. At the end of the third, the score was WTAMU 27, TSU 10.

The fourth quarter is where the Texans’ luck started to turn for the better. An interception by Marc Martinez gave TSU the chance for a touchdown, but a fumble by Quarterback Jake Fenske gave the ball back to the Buffs.

The Texans got the ball back when WTAMU failed to make a field goal. Fenske threw a short, 4-yard pass to Clifton Rhodes III for touchdown number one of the fourth quarter.

Fenske kept up the pace with another successful 63-yard touchdown pass to Le’Nard Meyers, then another pass to him for a two-point conversion.

Meyers and Fenske worked together for one final pass. Fenske tossed a quick, 5-yard pass to Meyers who ran into the end zone to give the Texans yet another touchdown with 44 seconds left in the game.

WTAMU tried hard to get the lead back, but couldn’t do it. The final score for the game was 31 to 27, in favor of TSU. The Texans’ second half shut out earned them a season record of 5-0.

The Texans will travel to Cleveland, MS this Saturday, Oct. 19, to face Delta State at 6 p.m.