The Texas State football team put up a worthy effort for three quarters, but No. 2 Sam Houston State scored 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 36-14 victory at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.
The Bearkats jumped out to a 17-point lead in the game before Texas State climbed back into contention. Sam Houston State scored its 10 points in the first quarter. Tim Flanders opened the scoring with his first of two touchdown runs on a 32-yard gallop on the Bearkats’ second play from scrimmage. Craig Alaniz kicked the extra point to give Sam Houston State a 7-0 lead with 13:10 left in the first quarter. Alaniz added the 35-yard field goal for the final points in the first period.
The Bearkats extended their lead to 17-0 on the third play in the second quarter when Brian Bell hit Tora Williams with a 28-yard touchdown pass and Alaniz kicked the extra point.
Texas State scored its first points in the game on its final drive in the second quarter when Tyler Arndt completed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Darius Bolden and Will Johnson added the extra point to pull the Bobcats back to within 17-7 at halftime.
The Bobcats climbed back into contention on their first drive in the second half when Arndt completed a 15-yard pass to Isaiah Battle for a touchdown and Johnson added the extra point to make the score 17-14 with 10:09 left to play in the third quarter.
The Bearkats extended their lead to 20-14 on their next possession when Alaniz kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4:42 left in the quarter.
Sam Houston had the ball in scoring position on its next two possessions following a fumble by Marcus Curry, but couldn’t take advantage as Texas State’s defense force a punt on the first time and Jamie Clavell-Head intercepted Bell’s pass on the line and returned it to Texas State’s 30-yard line.
After not converting on Texas State’s first two turnovers, the Bearkats were able to cash in the third time after Tyler Arndt fumbled a snap on the Bobcats’ ensuing possession following Clavell-Head’s interception.
Sam Houston State quarterback Brian Bell hit Flanders for a 20-yard pass down to Texas State’s two-yard line to set up a second-touchdown run by Flanders from two yards away to give Sam Houston State a 26-14 lead. The Bearkats attempted to score two points, but Bell’s pass was incomplete.
The touchdown by Flanders set a new Southland Conference record for most points and touchdowns in a season with 132 points and 22 touchdowns this season. It also tied Sam Houston State’s and the SLC’s record for most rushing touchdowns in a season with 20.
Down 26-14 in the fourth quarter, the Bobcats made one last comeback attempt, moving the ball down to Sam Houston State’s 30-yard line, but Johnson’s 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Preston Sanders and Robert Shaw returned the ball 15 yards. In addition, Texas State’s Colby Goodwin was called for a personal foul.
Sam Houston took over at Texas State’s 48-yard line and drove down the field for another touchdown as Ryan Wilson ran for a 13-yard TD and Alaniz added the extra point to put the game away at 33-14.
Alaniz scored the final points in the game with a 20-yard field goal with 47 seconds left to play.
Texas State finishes the season at 6-6, while Sam Houston State improved to 11-0 for the first time in school history. The Bearkats also end their regular season as one of three NCAA Division I undefeated teams.Email | Print