The Bobcats came into this game knowing that they haven’t won a road non-conference game since 2001, and when Northern Colorado’s Brandon Smith scored an 80 yard touchdown run on their first play from scrimmage many Bobcat fans were thinking “not again!”
But this Texas State team didn’t give up. They responded with a 10 play- 69 yard drive that was capped off when Clint Toon hit Alvin Canady under tremendous pressure for a 30 yard touchdown.
The defense also performed well early in this contest. They forced five turnovers against the Bears, including two pivotal takeaways early on. On Northern Colorado’s third play after the Canady touchdown, the Bobcats’ Donovan King punches the ball out of Tyrone Wilson’s grasp and Brian Williams falls on it. On the very next play Clint Toon hits Cameron Luke for 18 yards to put the Bobcats within striking distance. Two plays later, former San Marcos Rattler Alvin Canady shakes off a tackler and runs it in from three yards out to give the Bobcats a 7 point lead.
On the Bear’s very next play Texas State’s Joe Bell picks off a Bryan Waggener pass and returns it 26 yard to pay dirt.
The Bobcats held a 21-7 lead but Northern Colorado was not giving up. After the Bear’s Joe Kenney recovers a fumble, Bryan Waggener throws a perfect touchdown pass to Cory Fauver who was blanketed by Kenneth Hampton to bring Northern Colorado within a touchdown.
The Bears tied this contest early in the second quarter when David Woods ran it in from 8 yards out. The game was tied but the Cats never quit.
A few drives later Texas State was sparked by another pivotal turnover. Bryan Waggener’s pass is tipped and Senior Defensive Back Morris Crosby comes down with his first career interception. On the Cats second play, Senior Stan Zwinggi runs it in from 11 yards out to put Texas State back on top. After crucial stops by both defenses, this contest reached halftime with a 28-21 score.
Early in the second half, the Bobcats’ defense comes up huge on first and goal. Junior Defensive Lineman Garrett Hood tips what would have been a Northern Colorado touchdown into the waiting arms of Senior Defensive Back Courtney Smith. That interception thwarted an eleven play 75 yard drive for the Bears. But on Northern Colorado’s next drive, Bryan Waggener throws another of his pin point fade routes this time to Alex Thompson. And the game was tied yet again.
A combination of great starting field position and a balanced offensive attack helped the Bobcats take the lead on their next drive. The eight play drive featured 4 passes totaling 30 yards and 4 runs totaling 24 yards including a 5 yard Alvin Canady touchdown. Canady scores his third touchdown of the day and Texas State has their third lead of the game.
With 12 seconds left in the third quarter, Northern Colorado ties the game for the fourth and final time. Bryan Waggener hits Brandon Smith for a 75 yard touchdown, and we go into the fourth quarter tied at 35.
Defense dominated the fourth quarter as both teams stopped their opposition twice. Bobcat Courtney Smith gets a sack on third down that gave Clint Toon and the offense some life. On 3rd and fifteen, Clint Toon scrambles and hits Mishak Rivas for a 22 yard gain. Toon completed half of his 36 passes and finished this game with 227 yards through the air. Senior Running Back Stan Zwinggi gets the Bobcats into field goal range when he ran for 32 of his 109 yards on the day. And Senior Kicker Andrew Ireland finishes the drive with a 29 yard field goal, his second of the season.
Northern Colorado gave Texas State quite a scare on their last drive. Bear QB Bryan Waggener got the last 30 of his 392 yards passing when he hit Ryan Chesla on 4th and ten to get the Bears down to the 1 yard line. A Texas State defense that gave up 35 point had their backs against their own end zone and was facing defeat. But the Bobcat D came up big when Northern Colorado’s QB fumbles the ball when he tried to dive in for the last second Touchdown. The Bobcats recover the ball and preserve a 3 point victory. Final score from Greeley, Colorado 38-35. Texas State improves their record to 2 and 1. Next Saturday the Bobcats will host Southern Utah, a team that beat the Cats 30-21 in 2006. Be sure to come out to Bobcat Stadium to support the Bobcats as they continue on their road to redemption. Kickoff is at 6 pm Saturday September 27th.
By ERIC WIEDE