This may be the longest month for Head Coach Bo Atterberry and the rest of the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas.
The Javelinas (2-4, 1-3) will host the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals (2-4, 1-3) with four straight losses, as they were edged by the North Alabama Lions by a 21-16 margin.
Hoggie running back Anthony Johnson’s 17 yard touchdown with 12:45 left in the third quarter put the Hogs right on the heels of taking the lead, as they only trailed 14-13.
The momentum stayed with the Hogs late in the third quarter, but Lion safety Caleb Massey jumped the route, leading to a 93 yard pick six that put the Lions back up with a score of 21-13.
“They were blitzing and we had a run call. We saw the blitz and tried to get out of it and get into a hot throw. The defender…jumped the route and made a great play,” said Javelina quarterback Nate Poppell.
The four game skid, which last happened under Richard Cundiff in 2006, leaves the Javelinas with a record of 2-4. Prior to this game, the Hogs had dropped three straight conference games.
The Javelinas are in a bad position since their 2-0 start, but they still look to leave a statement as this season winds down.
“We realize that we put ourselves in a pretty tough hole, but we’re still going to compete and come out to practice,” Poppell said.
The Hogs had bad luck in the redzone, as penalties and turnovers prevented them from taking the lead against the Lions.
“I believe we came out pretty good. We got put in certain situations we just have to execute better,” said Javelina running back Jonathon Woodson.
Poppell, who started after missing two games due to injury, had 287 passing yards, completing 28-of-47 passes. He also threw two picks, including Massey’s pick six.
Poppell completed 4-of-5 passes on the Javelina’s only touchdown drive, which ended in Johnson’s 17 yard touchdown, who finished his night with 50 yards on 13 carries.
Javelina running backs Randall Toney and Jonathon Woodson combined for 14 carries and 58 yards.
Through the air, Hoggie wide receiver Christian Taylor had 4 catches and 70 yards to aid Robert Armstrong and Patrick LeFluer, who combined for 120 yards on 12 catches.
On the defensive end, Marquis Singleton led the way as he turned in 10 tackles, 1 sack, and two tackles for loss.
Jeremy Aguilar contributed with eight tackles, including one for a loss. Rockeem Collins added 2 tackles and one sack.
The Cardinals are coming into Javelina Stadium next Saturday at 7 p.m. fresh off a win against Texas A&M-Commerce, a team that the Hogs failed to put away a few weeks ago.
“We still got a lot to play for. Mainly brotherhood,” Poppell said.
The Hogs will get that chance to play for brotherhood when the Cardinals come for a visit next Saturday.