NACOGDOCHES – Texas State quarterback Shaun Rutherford threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Bobcats to a 35-26 victory at Stephen F. Austin on Saturday night at Homer Bryce Stadium.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Bobcats in their series against the Lumberjacks, and the seventh win in the last eight games against SFA.
Rutherford’s four touchdown passes were the first touchdown passes for a Bobcat quarterback this season and the most TD’s thrown by a Texas State quarterback since Tyler Arndt threw for four touchdowns against Nicholls in 2010.
He finished the game completing 10 of 17 passes for 241 yards and he ran for 82 yards. Marcus Curry led Texas State with 128 yards on 23 carries, while Isaiah Battle was the leading receiver with five catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Battle’s two touchdowns were 50-yard and 27-yard receptions. Rutherford’s longest pass in the game was a 71-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chase Harper. Harper’s catch was the longest reception by a Bobcat since Bradley George hit Alvaro Garcia for a 71-yard strike against Angelo State in 2009.
Rutherford’s first touchdown pass was a 23-yard TD strike to tight end Kyle Doll that erased a 3-0 deficit in the first quarter and gave Texas State a 7-3 lead.
Those seven points came after Texas State held the Lumberjacks on downs when Stephen F. Austin failed to convert a fake punt on its 26-yard line.
After the Lumberjacks answered with a one-yard touchdown run by Fred Ford to give the Lumberjacks a 10-7 lead, Rutherford led Texas State on its second touchdown drive of the game. First, He completed a 17-yard pass to Andy Erickson for 18 yards before running for another 17 yards to midfield. Then, Rutherford threw a 50-yard pass for a touchdown to Isaiah Battle. Will Johnson added the extra point to give the Bobcats a 14-10 lead with 9:07 left in the first half.
The Bobcats added another touchdown in the final 32 seconds of the first half when Erickson returned a punt for 52 yards to Stephen F. Austin’s 27 yard line. Then on the next play, Rutherford hit Battle for another 27-yard touchdown with six seconds left in the opening half. Johnson added the extra point as the Bobcats took a 21-10 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Texas State extended its lead when Rutherford hit Harper for a 71-yard touchdown pass to give the Bobcats a 28-10 lead after Johnson’s extra point.
But the Lumberjacks came storming back with 16 unanswered points to get back into contention. First, Graly Crawford returned a kickoff for 100-yards and after Jordan Wiggs kicked a 22-yard field goal, Josh Aubrey intercepted Rutherford’s pass and returned it 49 yards for the touchdown with 4:22 left to play.
The Lumberjacks went for a two-point conversion to tie the score, but Brady Attaway’s pass to Crawford sailed wide.
With Texas State leading 28-26, the Bobcats answered with a 72-yard touchdown drive that was capped when Rutherford ran for a 22-yard TD. Johnson added the extra point to make the final score 35-26.
The victory was Texas State’s second straight victory this season and improves its overall record to 2-2 heading into next Saturday’s home game against Nicholls that kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at Bobcat Stadium. The Bobcats and Colonels will play in their annual “Battle for the Paddle” game at Bobcat Stadium. Texas State will be looking to avenge last year’s 47-45 loss in quadruple overtime after winning two straight games against the Colonels.Email | Print