ABILENE, Texas – The running back tandem of sophomore Kameron Session and freshman Dee Robinson combined for 255 rushing yards on Saturday, but the War Hawks’ final drive fell short as Southwestern escaped Abilene with a 29-25 win on McMurry’s Homecoming.
McMurry (0-7, 0-6 American Southwest Conference) broke two school records in the game by forcing 10 fumbles and recovering eight of those, but the Pirates (4-3, 3-3) overcame their turnovers with some key defensive stops.
With McMurry going ahead 25-22 following a 42-yard field goal by freshman Pablo Simental, Southwestern scored a touchdown with 12:38 to go to pull ahead.
Trailing 29-25, McMurry got the ball back with 1:59 remaining and drove within striking distance. The War Hawks’ final two desperation passes fell short from 28 yards out, sealing the narrow win for Southwestern.
McMurry not had a 100-yard rusher for the first time this season, but saw two 100-yard rushers in Session and Robinson. Session was the highlight with 27 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Robinson added 20 carries for 125 yards in another productive performance.
Both teams were fairly even in the passing game, as freshman Hagen Garvin went 12-for-27 for 122 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Southwestern threw for 132 yards, but McMurry outrushed the Pirates 254-231.
On the defensive side, sophomore Dakota Russell-David, junior Cahlyl Rossin and freshman Ke’Shaun Jnofinn each recovered two fumbles, while freshmen Westen Halcom and Xavier Gayle each added one recovery. Halcom led the War Hawks with nine tackles, while Rossin added eight.
Session opened the scoring immediately following an opening drive fumble by SU. An option miscue allowed Russell-David to scoop up the football in enemy territory. Session then scored on a 26-yard run for six points and a two-point conversion catch by senior Kevin Hurley Jr. made it 8-0 in the first two minutes.
Hurley Jr. led the receiving corps with three catches and 74 yards, one of which resulted in a 45-yard touchdown. Fellow senior Eriel Dorsey had seven receptions for 35 yards.
Southwestern answered with a 40 yard run on the next drive, but McMurry would again pull ahead on a nine-yard run from Session. Simental’s point after attempt sailed through to make it 15-7 near the end of the first quarter.
McMurry carried a 15-14 lead into the break, running out of time in the red zone to score before halftime. In the third quarter, Garvin found a wide-open Hurley deep to his left. Hurley walked into the end zone to make it 22-14.
SU tied the game on its next drive with a one-yard sneak and a three-yard plunge for the two-point conversion to tie the game.
In the fourth quarter with 14:15 to go, Simental was summoned for a long 42-yard field goal…the longest attempt for McMurry this season. Simental kept McMurry’s perfect field goal streak alive, sending the crowd into a frenzy with a line drive go-ahead kick. McMurry is 6-6 on field goals this season.
The field goal would not hold up, as a 24-yard touchdown pass by Southwestern’s Coleman Kerr to Devin Shaw on the ensuing drive pulled the Pirates back ahead for good.
McMurry will stay in Abilene for next week’s contest as they travel across town to Hardin-Simmons on Nov. 2. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.