Things needed to change following two consecutive losses and the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas rose to the occasion.
AMK got their first conference win after downing the Texas A&M Commerce Lions 39-21, Saturday night at Javelina Stadium.
The Javelina offense was on the move early and often as they amassed more than 500 yards of offense in front of the home crowd.
“We talked about it all week and I think being back at Javelina Stadium helps,” Javelina Head Coach Bo Atterberry said. “We focused in a little bit more and we were able to get off to a better start.”
The Javelinas took a change of tempo early and set the tone five minutes into the game as Nate Poppell found Sherman Batiste early for an 80-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 following a Matt Stoll extra point.
Daniel Ramirez would enter the game in the second quarter after Poppell was talking to the trainer and had concussion issues coming into the game.
Poppell finished with 133 yards on 9-of-11 passing, one interception and 34 yards rushing.
The Lions had 14 of their points came Javelina turnovers beginning with a 100-yard interception return in the first by linebacker Corey Whitfield to give AMC a brief 7-6 lead.
Joseph Vela would get in on the action in the most productive game of his career as he scored two touchdowns including a 20-yard run off a botched hold on a field goal attempt to make it 13-7 in favor of AMK.
Vela would score on a 26-yard passing touchdown from Daniel Ramirez in the third quarter.
The Javelinas would take a 16-6 lead into the half.
The defense returned to their dominating ways as pressure came to quarterback Yogi Gallegos and Ryan Lusby were a combined 18-of-38 for 125 yards and one touchdown, by Lusby late in the game.
Rockeem Collins would take a Lusby interception and take it back 34 yards for a touchdown and a 32-21 lead.
Ramirez would give Robert Armstrong his eighth touchdown of the season with a 42-yard strike late.
Armstrong finished with 175 yards receiving with ten grabs and Ramirez was 16-of-29 for 272 yards and two touchdowns.
AMK had six fumbles and lost three on the night but held the ball for just under 33 minutes and were 3-of-5 on red zone trips scoring two field goals and a touchdown.
“Everybody did their job and we executed as best we could,” Ramirez said.
AMC converted only two first-downs the entire game.
By Mark Molina