By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
For the second consecutive week, the Wildcat defense shut down the opposing team’s offense and set the tone for the Wildcats 19-3 victory.
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, the Javelinas drove deep into ACU territory. Kingsville faced third-and-four, and a 6-3 deficit, when an option toss passed over the head of the intended running back. Sophomore Corey Jordan picked up the fumble and ran 87 yards for a touchdown to score the only touchdown in the Wildcats’ win against the No. 21 Javelinas.
“It felt great. It was even better to look back and see all my teammates running with me,” Jordan said. “I was tired by the time I hit the 50, though.”
Freshman placekicker Matt Adams made field goals of 35, 53, 27 and 28 yards to tie a school record for field goals in a game.
Adams’ 53-yard kick, with a strong wind at his back, came in the first quarter and gave the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
“With that kind of wind at your back, you kick the ball straight, and [the wind] will do the rest,” Adams said.
The Wildcat defense held Kingsville to 185 total yards in the game and only 69 yards of offense in the second half.
The Wildcats played through the first half of the game in a rut. The team converted none of its six third-down tries, and amassed 39 yards from 26 plays. Redshirt quarterback Nick Bird, who made his first collegiate start, completed one 15-yard pass to Robb Spells in the first half. Bird finished the game completing six-of-14 passes for 71 yards.
“We didn’t have any turnovers, that was a big key obviously,” Thomsen said. “But he’s still got a lot of work to do.”
Bird took over the starting role for Saturday’s game from Billy Malone, but Thomsen said practice will determine playing time at quarterback for the Wildcats’ final game, which is Saturday at Midwestern State.
“We’ll see how practice goes,” Thomsen said about his two quarterbacks. “We could play them both, get them both ready.”
Redshirt freshman running back Taber Minner had another big game for the Wildcats, rushing for 137 yards on 27 carries. Senior Rashon Myles, who has been battling an ankle injury, was brought in during the fourth quarter and ran 12 times for 43 yards.
“I thought Rashon would give us a little change of pace,” Thomsen said about bringing in Myles instead of Minner.
Saturday, the Wildcats play the Midwestern State Indians at 1 p.m. in Wichita Falls for the final game of the season. Last week the Indians totaled 668 yards of offense in its 62-27 win over Eastern New Mexico. Midwestern is out of the playoff hunt, but on a hot streak, winning three in a row. The team has a 5-4 overall record and is 2-3 in the division.
“They’ve really got it together, and they’re playing really well,” Thomsen said.
The Indians sophomore quarterback, Daniel Polk, rushed for two touchdowns and 244 yards and threw for 149 yards and two more touchdowns. Thomsen related Polk to a player like Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and said his defense will be challenged by the Indians offense.
“They’re just very, very explosive, so it’ll be interesting.” Thomsen said. “Our defense is up to the challenge.”