By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
ACU leads the Lone Star Conference in total defense, sacks and forced fumbles. But in the Wildcats’ game against Northeastern Oklahoma State, it was their offense that took center stage, posting 612 total yards and six touchdowns in ACU’s 45-20 win.
“We’ve been waiting on a game like that; it was just a matter of time before we had one of those games,” said offensive coordinator Ken Collums.
The nationally ranked ACU Wildcats went 5-0 for the first time since 1969 and moved up in the American Football Coaches Association Poll to No.23 after defeating NE Oklahoma in Talequah, Okla., on Saturday.
“Our success is a credit to our assistants and players for their strong commitment,” said head coach Chris Thomsen.
Quarterback Billy Malone saw the fruition of his “strong commitment” Saturday, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Malone went 23 for 31, had one rushing touchdown and connected with both fullback Chris Conklin for a 50-yard touchdown pass and wide receiver Jarale Badon for an 18-yard touchdown. Badon, who leads the LSC in receptions-per-game and is 15th in the nation for receiving yards-per-game, recorded his first touchdown of the season and led the Wildcats with six catches for 89 yards.
“[Badon] is the hardest worker I’ve been around,” Collums said. “He is the kind of football player you could go to for third and long or fourth and one and expect him to make the play.”
ACU’s rushing led the Wildcat offensive attack Saturday with four touchdowns and 304 total yards. Running back Chancy Campbell rushed for the most yards on the ground with 163 yards and running back Taber Minner followed close behind with 114 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. The Wildcats other two rushing touchdowns came from Malone, who ran in the Wildcats first touchdown, and running back Sneezy Beltran muscled through the line for a one-yard touchdown and the Wildcats final score of the game.
Thomsen attributed the Wildcats offensive success against the NE Oklahoma Redmen to the Offensive line’s hard work throughout the game. Thomsen said reason the Wildcats were able to gain yards in the air and on the ground was because of the opportunities the Wildcat line created.
“The line started to gel more and opened up holes for me and Taber,” Campbell said.
The Wildcats will continue their season at their Homecoming game against the 2-3 Angelo State Rams Oct. 14 at Shotwell Stadium at 2 p.m.