Senior Shaun Rutherford threw for a career-best 300 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Texas State football team to a 41-37 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Bobcat Stadium on Saturday night.
Rutherford opened the game completing his first 11 passes and 13 of 14 passes in the first half as the Bobcats held a 27-17 lead at halftime. Texas State opened the scoring with Will Johnson kicking a 48-yard field goal on Texas State’s first possession.
Then Isaiah Battle opened the Bobcats’ second drive with a 47-yard run to SFA’s 6-yard line to set up a five-yard TD run by Rutherford. Johnson kicked the extra point to give Texas State a 10-0 lead.
After Stephen F. Austin closed to within 10-3 on a 42-yard field goal, Jafus Gaines returned the kickoff 45 yards to give the Bobcats possession on their 45-yard line. Rutherford led the Bobcats on another TD march as he completed all four of his passes in the drive. The final completion was a 16-yard TD pass to tight end Chase Harper.
The Lumberjacks answered when Brady Attaway hit Corde Roberson for a 36-yard touchdown pass and Wiggs added the extra point to cut Texas State’s lead to 17-10 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began as the opening period. Johnson kicked his second field goal when he connected from 52-yards away. The kick was one-yard shy of tying his school record of 53 yards that was set against Tarleton State last year.
The Bobcats extended their lead to 27-10 when Marcus Curry scored on a one-yard run up the middle after Justin Iwuji recovered a fumble following a muffed punt return by Mike Brooks.
SFA closed out the scoring in the first half when Attaway capped off an 80-yard drive with a 10-yard pass to Gus Johnson out of the backfield. Wiggs connected on the extra point to make the score 27-17 at halftime.
Texas State scored on its first two drives of the third quarter. The first TD came after Attaway punted the ball 57-yards down to Texas State’s two-yard line. But, Rutherford set a school record when he hit Battle for a 98-yard touchdown pass. Then, he threw a nine-yard TD pass to Harper to give the Bobcats a 41-17 lead with 8:23 left to play in the third quarter.
However, SFA mounted a comeback as the Lumberjacks scored 21 straight points. The first 14 points came in the third quarter when Johnson ran for a 28-yard TD and Attaway threw a two-yard TD pass to Roberson.
The Lumberjacks added the final touchdown in the game on a six-yard run by Johnson in the fourth quarter to make the final score 41-37. But, Wiggs missed the extra point to give the Bobcats a four-point edge.
Texas State’s defense kept the Lumberjacks out of the end zone the rest of the way to win the game.
The victory improves Texas State’s record to 2-1 this season and the win over SFA marked the first win in the renovated Bobcat Stadium this season. The Bobcats play host to Nevada next Saturday in a non-conference game at 1 p.m.
Fans can purchase tickets to the Nevada game by logging onto the www.TxStateBobcats.com website or by calling the Texas State Athletics Ticket Office at 512-245-2272.
PHOTOS by RON OSWALT