By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
ACU has one of the nation’s best offenses, and Saturday they proved why once again.
The No. 12 Wildcats picked up their sixthstraight win after racking up a season-high 707 offensive yards in a 52-28 decision over Angelo State.
ACU’s offensive explosion was the second-best single-game total in school history; the only other time ACU has recorded more than 700 yards was in 1952. The win was also the third time this season ACU has scored more than 50 points. ACU jumped from No. 14 to No. 12 in the American Football Coaches’ Association National Poll.
ACU’s win was crucial in the Wildcats’ hunt for a Lone Star Conference championship and a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs. ACU, now 5-0 in the LSC and 2-0 in the LSC South Division, needs to continue winning to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
“I feel like we’re hitting on all cylinders right now, and that’s especially good going into the West Texas [A&M] game,” said senior linebacker Cody Stutts.
The win kept the Wildcats undefeated in the LSC, extended their overall record to 6-1 and moved ACU up one spot to No. 7 in the Southwest Regional rankings, which puts more emphasis on ACU’s Homecoming matchup with undefeated and nationally
ranked West Texas A&M.
No. 6 West Texas moved to 6-0 with a 62-31 win over Eastern New Mexico, and Saturday’s game will be a battle for an upper hand in the South Division.
“It’s not the Super Bowl. It’s just another game we have to win on our route to an LSC Championship,” Stutts said.
The win in San Angelo was more than just another game for junior running back Bernard Scott.
Scott rushed for 231 yards and three touchdowns on only 18 carries, his best outing of the season. Scott, who was named LSC South Offensive Player of the Week for his performance, scored on runs of 14, 62 and 80 yards, and his work on the ground was the third-best single-game rushing performance in school history.
Head coach Chris Thomsen said he was most proud of Scott for being an all-around back against Angelo State.
“What I’m more proud of him is he’s trying to be a more complete back,” Thomsen said. “We ask our backs to catch, run and block.”
Scott caught six passes for 63 yards, and Thomsen said his blocking was a big reason why junior quarterback Billy Malone threw for 383 yards in the win.
Malone completed 27 of 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns. After Saturday’s game, Malone has thrown at least one touchdown in 19 straight games, and the win was his 10th career 300-yard passing game.
Malone connected with freshman wide receiver Edmund Gates for a 56-yard score and senior wide receiver Jerale Badon for a 52-yard score. Badon, who missed ACU’s game against Northeastern State because of an injury, led the Wildcats with nine catches for 149 yards and a touchdown.
“It was good, just to see our guys come out focused and know that if we take care of business and get to keep going to keep ourselves in the conference race,” Thomsen said.