Tarleton celebrates homecoming with 80-point explosion

By BRAD KEITH
@TheFlashSports
TheFlash.Today
Junior Collin Strahan set Tarleton's school record for rushing yards by a quarterback for the second time this season in an 80-14 shellacking of Texas A&M-Kingsville at Memorial Stadium Saturday. (Photo by RUSSELL HUFFMAN)
Junior Collin Strahan set Tarleton’s school record for rushing yards by a quarterback for the second time this season in an 80-14 shellacking of Texas A&M-Kingsville at Memorial Stadium Saturday. (Photo by RUSSELL HUFFMAN)

STEPHENVILLE (TheFlash.Today) – Tarleton State celebrated homecoming in style at Memorial Stadium Saturday night, breaking senior-college era single-game records for scoring, touchdowns, first downs, margin of victory and more in an 80-14 thumping of Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Tarleton, which topped 60 points for the first time in five seasons, scored 11 touchdowns, eclipsing the old senior-college era mark of 10 against Prairieview A&M on Nov. 5, 1994. That was the same game the Texans set the old mark of 70 points in a contest.

Tarleton’s prior record for margin of victory as a senior college was 63. The Texans defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State 66-3 on Sept. 26, 2009.

Tarleton also set school records for first downs with 43 and extra points with 11, all by Stephenville product Blake Barnes. The junior kicker scored 14 points, also connecting on a 19-yard field goal.

It’s the most points A&M-Kingsville has ever allowed, topping the 73 surrendered to Midwestern State in 2007. The Javelinas (1-5, 0-4) dropped their fourth straight and are in last place in the Lone Star Conference.

The Texans (2-3, 2-2) broke a three-game losing streak with the runaway victory and evened their LSC mark behind a 644 yard offensive explosion. It’s the second-most total yards in school history behind the 648 gained against Angelo State on Nov. 2, 1996.

Junior Collin Strahan set the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback for the second time this season. He had 136 yards on the ground Saturday, topping his 124 against West Texas A&M in the season opener.

Strahan scored three times on the ground and also passed for 206 yards and two scores. Only four times in school history has a quarterback passed and rushed for more than 100 yards, with two of those performances belonging to Strahan.

Tarleton scored touchdowns on each of its final nine possessions including all seven in the second half.

Quarterback Taylor Mitchell rushed for a 34-yard touchdown on the opening possession of the second half to pull A&M-Kingsville within 31-14, but Tarleton responded with the game’s final 49 points. It’s the longest scoring streak by the Texans since their 2002 season opener when they blanked Southwestern Assemblies of God 62-0.

Granbury junior Tyler Wright hauled in eight receptions for 108 yards, both career highs. Senior Clifton Rhodes III had four receptions, moving him within four of Tarleton’s career record.

The Texans rushed for a robust 386 yards, led, of course, by Strahan. Redshirt freshmen Jabari Anderson and Glenn Roberts each rushed for the first two touchdowns of their Tarleton careers. Anderson needed just eight carries to gain 89 yards, while Roberts covered 64 yards on just seven attempts. Tarleton rushed for 10 or more yards 13 times.

True freshman JaMarquis Durst enjoyed his first scoring reception as a Texan on the first career TD pass by Zed Woerner, who ran the offense in the fourth quarter. Strahan was 20-35 passing, while Woerner was 7-9 for 62 yards.

Shawn Vasquez rushed for 93 yards to lead A&M-Kingsville. Mitchell was just 6-20 passing for 38 yards, and that’s all the Javelinas had through the air. He was picked off once by Charles Moore, who also had six tackles for the Texans.

Alex Anderson had 11 tackles for Tarleton. Anthony Gonzales had seven stops including a sack, while Devin Figures had six and an 18-yard fumble return.

The Javelina defense was paced by four double-digit tacklers – Lamont Hills and Mason Stewart with 12 each and Trevor Pesek and Henry Greathouse with 11 each.

A&M-Kingsville head coach David Calloway curiously inserted freshman quarterback Travis Quintanilla into the game in the fourth quarter, but he never attempted a pass. The decision costs Quintanilla his redshirt. He was a record-setting high school quarterback at state power Refugio and a centerpiece to Calloway’s second recruiting class.

Fowler again moved past the .500 mark, improving to 24-23 in his fifth year at Tarleton. Calloway is now just 3-13 in his second season as head man in Kingsville. Each coach was promoted internally after previously serving as defensive coordinator.

Tarleton has scored more points and won by larger margins, but not since it became a senior college in 1961. John Tarleton Agricultural College, as the school was named at the time, defeated Meridian College 106-0 and the Baylor Ineligibles 98-0 in 1920. JTAC won 81-0 over Clifton in 1925 and 92-0 over Ranger in 1935, but it is believed those games were against high school opponents.

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