STEPHENVILLE, TX- It’s all they can do, but playing spoiler never looked this good as the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas steal a Homecoming victory away from the Tarleton State Texans with a 35-23 win Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The victory was spurred by the Javelinas (4-4, 3-3) 20 point third quarter, keyed by a Jonathan Woodson 93-yard kickoff return and two Brian Ehrlich touchdowns, Ehrlich came in for Nate Poppell who went out with and injury for a second straight game.
“With the blocking like that, I think anybody can do what I did, the offensive line did a good job in their protection,” said Ehrlich.
The offensive line won the battle up front as they were able to open up holes for the running backs and give both Poppell and Ehrlich time in the pocket.
Tarleton was able to strike first and jump out to a 7-0 lead, but the Javelinas would respond as they would be able to do something they haven’t done all season and that is get a first quarter touchdown as Woodson ran down the sideline for a 28-yard touchdown run with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.
With the touchdown Woodson surpassed 5,000 all-purpose career yards.
Stoll would make up for a missed extra point by nailing a 27- yard field goal to give the Hogs a 9-7 lead.
The Texans would score another touchdown to give them a 14-9 lead, but late in the second quarter the Javelinas would respond on a five yard touchdown pass from Poppell to Clyde Lee to give them a slim 15-14 lead.
The Hogs had a chance to increase their lead before half as Mark Savere got his second interception on the game with 37 seconds left in the half but the Hogs would not able to capitalize on the turnover and be content by taking the slim one point lead into halftime.
That would be the closet the Texans would for the rest of the game as Tarleton would miss a field goal on their opening possession of the second half and the Hogs would take advantage as Ehrlich connected with Robert Armstrong for a 26-yard touchdown pass giving the Hogs a 22-14 lead.
The Javelinas would continue to pile it on as they were able to follow up a Texan punt with a 51-yard touchdown pass from Ehrlich to Shane Prater to give the Javelinas a 14 point lead with the score 28-14.
Tarleton would respond with a touchdown of their own on the following possession and cut the lead to lead to seven.
But Woodson would put the dagger in the game with running back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, giving him his first ever kickoff return for touchdown in his collegiate career.
That would be it for the Texans as would only be able to get two points on safety in fourth quarter as the Javelinas would go on to pick up the 35-23 win.
“I’m glad the way the guys [Javelinas] battled on the road, good environment to play in and we just have to continue to work and see if we can put our best product out each week,” said Head Coach Bo Atterberry.
Even though the Hogs were outgained in the game 439 to 365 they did not turn over the ball and also won the possession battle 32:27 to 27:33 .
Poppell and Ehrlich went for a combined three touchdown passes on 15-of-27 passing for 182 yards Anthony Johnson finished with a career-high 135 yards on 21 carries, Jeremy Aguilar had 10 with a forced fumble and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Steve Harris had a sack and an interception to go along with a Robert Williams solo sack.
Angel Millan was also able to to tie a school record with a 87-yard punt int he game.
The Javelinas will be back at home next Saturday Oct. 27 for their Homecoming game as they face Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State with kickoff at 7p.m.