KINGSVILLE, Texas – The first meeting in 42 years between McMurry University and Texas A&M University-Kingsville was an unpleasant reunion for McM in a 52-32 loss at Javelina Field. The Javelinas improved to 2-0, while the War Hawks fell to 0-3.
TAMUK took a 12-6-1 advantage in the series between the schools. The Javelinas also won their fourth-consecutive game against McMurry.
But not even Paul Revere - with one lantern - could have properly warned McMurry of what was coming on the ground from TAMUK in this game.
For the evening, TAMUK rushed for 529 yards on the ground and had five rushing scores. Overall, the Javelinas finished with 577 total yards of offense.
In the first quarter, the Javelinas had rolled up 200 rushing yards on 19 carries. That translated into a 28-0 advantage after the opening period. TAMUK scored on runs of 8, 1 and 4 yards, along with a 20-yard interception return for TD.
The second quarter wasn’t much better as Kingsville added another 133 ground yards (for 333 rushing yards by halftime) and added an 89-yard TD scamper by Greg Pitre.
The War Hawks scored their lone first half score at 2:39 of the second quarter after Greg Adams’ second interception of the game gave his team possession at the TAMUK 49. Seven plays later, freshman Gabe Rodriguez connect with junior wide receiver Greg Livingston for with a 6-yard pass for the touchdown, cutting the deficit to the 35-7 halftime score.
Rodriguez’s pass to Livingston was McM’s first TD through the air this season.
McMurry’s squad showed its resilience in the second half, battling back from the big deficit.
In the third quarter, Rodriguez – who came on in relief of starter Brady Lambert (6-14-28 yards) – engineered two scoring drives as McM out-scored the Javelinas 12-7 in the period. The first series was an eight-play, 53-yard drive that was capped on a one-yard Chris Simpson run off right guard. The PAT failed and it was 35-13 at the 5:13 juncture of the third.
After TAMUK responded with its own touchdown drive on the ensuing series (the capper a 46-yard TD run by Pitre), McMurry found the end zone once more in the segment. Beginning at its own 17, it took eight plays to drive the distance, with Rodriguez connecting with Corey Lopez on a nifty 19-yard scoring aerial to make it 42-19 through the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Rodriguez tossed his third and fourth touchdowns of the game. With 13:37 left to play, Rodriguez tossed an eight-yard strike to Simpson.
Then, following a field goal and TD drive by the hosts, Rodriguez again connected with Lopez. This time the 18-yard pass, with just 17 seconds left to play, made it the 52-32 final score.
On the night, Rodriguez was a healthy 29-of-52 passing for 278 yards, along with the four TDs in his longest stint of the season.
Junior Jeret Smith was the main benefactor of Rodriguez’s aerials. Smith had eight catches for 94 yard. Livingston had seven catches for 50 yards and one TD. Clinton McCoy and David McHufgh each had six catches, for 59 and 26 yards, respectively.
Defensively, Jonathan Blair led the team with 11 tackles. For the third-straight week, Desmond Guy had double-digit tackle totals, notching 10 stops in the loss.