The Wildcats outscored the Mustangs 17-7 in the second half to come from behind and defeat Midwestern State in the first round of playoffs.
“It was an unbelievable game between two teams that were fighting and playing as hard as they could,” Coach Chris Thomsen said. “It was a tremendous game and I was just glad to be a part of it.
ACU started the game with a big play when Dennis Campbell took the opening kick off 97-yards for a touchdown. However, ACU’s offense struggled in the first half only earning three first downs with 60 total yards of offense. The defense started off strong getting to Zack Eskridge early. They would finish the first half with four sacks. Eskridge still found a way to hurt the Wildcats as he rushed for two touchdowns in the second quarter including one for 25 yards. The Wildcats would go into the locker room trailing 14-7.
In the third quarter the Wildcats were able to hold the Mustangs scoreless. ACU struggled offensively early in the quarter, but finally got things going late in the quarter when Mitchell Gale led the Wildcats 81 yards down the field on a drive that was capped off by a 16-yard touchdown pass to Edmund Gates. The Wildcats looked like they were in trouble on the drive after taking two penalties backing them 15 yards. The Wildcats got yards on the first two plays and then converted on a 3rd and 12 to keep the drive going.
ACU’s defense held Midwestern once again and the offense picked up where they left off. They drove the ball 57-yards and scored on a 41-yard catch by Kendrick Johnson. This gave the Wildcats a 21-14 lead with 13:42 left in the game. ACU made another huge sack, stripping Eskridge of the ball on MSU own 18-yard line. ACU was held to a field goal, but this would be all that ACU would need to win the game.
MSU scored with 1:06 left in the game making the score 24-21. MSU attempted an onside kick, but the Wildcats recovered the ball and successfully ran out the clock for the victory.
The Wildcats will advance to play Northwest Missouri State next Saturday at noon. The kick off will be in Maryville Missouri.