Ten thousand, four hundred and eighteen fans filled Jim Wacker field to see their Texas State Bobcats try to get lightning to strike twice. A win over #3 McNeese State last week, coupled with a win over the #13 Central Arkansas Bears this week, would certainly do wonders for the Bobcats’ drive for the Football Bowl Subdivision. In the end, it was the Central Arkansas Bears getting the win 31-24, but Texas State continued to give notice that the Bobcats’ football program is for real.
This homecoming game began well as Texas State made a couple of first downs before being forced to punt from their 48. Central Arkansas responded with a 12 play, 81 yard drive, capped off by a 5 yard touchdown run by Leonard Ceaser. With 3:43 remaining the in the first quarter, the Bears led 7-0. The Bobcats responded with a Bradley George passing medley, mixed with a solid running attack, that saw move the ball early, but eventually, grind to a halt on a missed fourth down conversion attempt on the 32 bringing the first quarter to an end.
Central Arkansas wasted no time in putting points on the board in the second quarter, going 68 yards in 5 plays and capping the scoring drive with a 31 yard reception by Willie Landers. With 12:30 left in the half, Central Arkansas’ extended their lead to 14-0.
Texas State responded with another solid drive of 75 yards. Freshman WR, Mishak Rivas out of Weslaco, Texas made an amazing run after the catch, to bring the Bobcats down to the Central Arkansas 7 yard line. From there, Stan Swinggi scampered off the left side for the 13 yard touchdown. With 9:44 remaining in the half, the Bobcats cut the lead to 7 (Central Arkansas 14 – Texas State 7.)
The two squads swapped three-and-out drives until the Bears responded with a 70 yard trek largely on the running of Brent Grimes. Grimes completed the effort with a dive across the goal line making the Central Arkansas lead 21-7. The drive covered 10 plays and took over 5 minutes off the clock.
With 47 seconds remaining the half, Texas State attempted to score before the break. After not seeing a wide open Mishak Rivas on two straight plays, and scrambling for a big gain, Bradley George found Rivas for a pass just outside the 30. A personal foul out of bounds brought the Bobcats to the 18 yard line. A quick pass to Cameron Luke over the middle put the Bobcats back on the board with just 10 seconds remaining in the half. The 18 yard reception by Luke put him 1 shy of the Southland Conference career TD reception record of 12. Central Arkansas took over the ball leading 21-14, but seemed content to head into halftime with the 7 point lead.
The second half start strong for the ‘Cats with a strong defensive showing ending the Bears opening drive thanks largely to a Nathan Brown sack by DL Travis Houston. Texas State took over the ball on their own 16 and again, had little trouble moving it against the highly-rated Central Arkansas team. It was a series of penalties that stripped all the momentum away and the ball went over to the Bears at their 43.
Central Arkansas again moved the ball down the field for what looked to be a sure score, but the Bobcats defense tightened up inside the five. After stopping the running game on two plays, a sack, courtesy of Sophomore Marcus Clark, forced the Bears to attempt what became their first missed field goal.
Texas State marched down the field on a drive that included a spectacular tipped ball, pulled down by Freshman Darren Dillard. The drive ended with a 35 yard field goal by Andrew Ireland with just over 14 minutes remaining in the game. (Central Arkansas 21 – Texas State 17)
On the following drive by the Bears, Trent Grimes broke his career high rushing total (previously 116 yards) in leading the ground assault on the Texas State endzone. Again, the Bobcats defense stiffened up and again, Central Arkansas was forced to attempt a field goal – again, they missed it.
Texas State took the field with under 8 minutes remaining, but a fumble gave the ball to the Bears inside the ‘Cats twenty yard line. Central Arkansas punched it in three plays later with a pass to FB Nick Cowger, extending the score to 28-17 with 6:29 to go.
Texas State did not give up, but could not muster the same intensity they had shown in earlier drives. They were stopped and Central Arkansas added another field goal. (Central Arkansas 31 – Texas State 17)
With 1:15 left in the game, the Bobcats still showed no signs up giving up. Starting at their own 48, a quick pass to Mishak Rivas, followed by a spectacular connection from Bradley George to Cameron Luke, had the ‘Cats 3 yards away from scoring. A quick pass to Darren Dillard with 52 seconds left, made the score Central Arkansas 31, Texas State 24. Andrew Ireland’s attempted onside kick was caught in the air by Central Arkansas’ Anthony Gambles and a quick kneel-down later, saw the win go to the Bears.
by Chris Doelle
Newstreamz San Marcos
Central Arkansas 7 14 0 10 – 31
Texas State 0 14 0 10 – 24
Nathan Brown (22-18-0) 163Yds 2TD
Bradley George (33-19-0) 250Yds 2TD
Cameron Luke (1-0-0) 0Yds 0TD
Brent Grimes (21-132Yds) 1TD
Leonard Ceasar (15-59Yds) 1TD
Eric Ware (1-21Yds)
Nathan Brown (7-14Yds)
Karrington Bush (9-63Yds)
Bradley George (5-30Yds)
Stan Zwinggi (5-21Yds) 1TD
Alvin Canady (2-12Yds)
Willie Landers (3-41Yds) 1TD
Darrius McNeal (3-14Yds)
Eric Ware (2-35Yds)
Preston Echols (2-21Yds)
Cameron Luke (6-83Yds) 1TD
Mishak Rivas (4-65Yds)
Daren Dillard (4-54Yds) 1TD
Karrington Bush (1-17Yds)
Central Arkansas 31, Texas State 24 Final Stats.pdf
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