ABILENE–A fake punt by McMurry led to a 39 yard touchdown pass from Matt McHugh to Jeret Smith to give the War Hawks a 20-14 lead with nine seconds to go till halftime, a lead the War Hawks would not relinquish, as they cruised to a 27-21 victory over Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
McMurry defeated the Javelinas for the first time since 1966 and improved their overall record to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in the Lone Star Conference.
The Javelinas, on the other hand saw their overall record fall to 1-3 on the year with a 0-2 LSC record.
Head Coach David Calloway said despite his team playing hard in the comeback attempt, the team has to do a better job executing in all phases of the game.
“I thought we played hard, we didn’t execute down the stretch,” he said. “Offensively we can’t turn the ball over, we got to get it fixed, and right now it’s on repeat the last two weeks.”
The game started off with both teams struggling on the offensive end, until McMurry got on the scoreboard first with a 41 yard pass from McHugh connected with wide receiver Charles Agugua for a touchdown making the score 6-0 in favor of the War Hawks after the extra point was blocked with 6:12 left in the first quarter.
The Javelinas answered right back on their next drive with a Shawn Vasquez nine yard run capping off an eight play 75 yard touchdown drive making the score 7-6 in favor of the Javelinas with 3:01 in the first.
Both teams traded scores before halftime when starting quarterback Alex Rios snuck in the end zone from one yard out, putting the score at 14-13 Javelinas.
After an Alex Rios interception midway through the third, Calloway decided to pull Rios in favor of redshirt freshman Sebastian Taylor with 5:49 left in the third quarter.
Rios finished the game 9-18 with two interceptions for 109 yards and one rushing touchdown.
After a War Hawk touchdown from running back Paxton Grayer made the score 27-14 the Javelinas found their offensive rhythm. Taylor engineered a 10 play, 75 yard drive capped off with a 19 yard pass to receiver Jordan Thomas bringing the Hogs to within six points, 27-21.
The Javelinas mounted one last offensive effort starting on their own five yard line with 3:11 remaining in the game. It was fourth and 17 from the Javelinas own 30 yard line when Taylor scrambled and found receiver Patrick LaFleur open for the first down.
The very next play with the ball on the 48 yard line of McMurray, Taylor threw an interception that sealed the Javelinas fate and ensured a McMurry victory with a minute and three seconds left in the game.
Calloway said the mistakes have to be addressed this coming week of practice for the Javelinas as they now prepare for Eastern New Mexico.
“First order of business is to get home and make the corrections from this game, go out Tuesday and have a good practice and look no further than that right now.” He said.
The Javelinas offense finished with 404 total yard, 227 of those yards on the ground with 177 yards in the air.
The defense allowed 383 total yard, 170 on the ground and 213 through the air.
Greg Pitre led the running attack for the Javelinas with 16 attempts for 113 yards.
Patrick LaFleur led the receiving core with four receptions for 62 yards.
Safety Trevor Peek led the defense in tackles with nine, Mason Stewart was second on the team with 7. Braedon Robinson had five tackles with three and a half tackles for a loss.
The Javelinas return home next weekend when they host the 2013 co-champions of the LSC, the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.