In a season where playoffs were nowhere in sight, the Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas still get a chance at postseason play as they accept an invitation to play in the fourth annual Kanza Bowl following a 33-13 victory over Eastern New Mexico on Saturday at Javelina Stadium.
With the win the Javelinas (6-5, 5-3) clinched a bowl berth by picking up their sixth win of the season and fifth straight winning season.
The Javelinas will now have two weeks to get ready for their bowl game against Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) member Emporia State Hornets (9-2, 9-2) on Sunday Nov. 25 in Topeka, Kansas, this will be the first time in the Kanza Bowl for both teams.
“ It’s always good to extend our season, I wish the season could of gone better, but we’re ready for our next game[Kanza Bowl],” said wide receiver Robert Armstrong.
The Javelinas will be looking to carry momentum from the season into the bowl with the Hornets, as they ended their regular season winning four of their last five games.
In the season finale against the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, the Javelinas were able to rely on a strong performance from senior quarterback Nate Poppell who went 14-of-24 for 226 yards and four touchdowns.
Armstrong had another big night for the Hogs and caught three touchdowns on six catches for 144 yards.
Javelinas had no problem in the first half of the game against the Greyhounds as they were able to put up 19 points in the first half thanks in part to three touchdowns from Poppell.
Both teams came out slow to start the second half as neither team was able to score in the third quarter until the Greyhounds put up a touchdown late in the third quarter and made the score 19-13 going into the fourth.
The Hogs would put the game away in the fourth quarter as Poppell connected with Armstrong for an 80-yard touchdown and then followed it up a minute later with Henry Greathouse 16-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to give the Javelinas a 33-13 victory.
“We struggled to get anything going in the third as they [Greyhounds] were able to hold the ball for most of the quarter and we were able respond back with a strong fourth quarter,” said Poppell.
The Hogs will be looking to have another strong offensive output in the Kanza Bowl as Emporia State gives up 371 yards of total offense a game to go along with giving up 26 points.
“I know me and my team will be up to the task and it should be a good game,” said Poppell.
Poppell and the Javelinas will be looking to end their season on a high note as they get ready for their game against the Hornets on Sunday Nov. 25 with kick-off scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Hummer Park in Topeka, KA.