The ACU Wildcats moved to a perfect 8-0 on the season with a 53-14 victory over the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds.
Wide receiver Edmund Gates had a record-setting day for the Wildcats before coming out in the third quarter, with seven receptions for 124 yards and three touchdowns. The three touchdowns mark the first time Gates has had at least three receiving scores in a game, and the 124 yards through the air mark the fourth straight game with 100-plus yards for the senior. The seven catches for Gates put him past Johnny Perkins for fourth all-time in career receptions.
Quarterback Mitchell Gale once again guided the offense to a big day, completing 23 of 41 passes for 362 yards and five touchdowns for the second straight game.
“I think the play of Gale was the difference,” said ACU head coach Chris Thomsen.
The Wildcats battled the wind all day long in the blowout.
“I have never been in a wind like this, it was amazing,” Thomsen said.
The Wildcats defense held the high-octane run-and-gun offense of the Greyhounds to just one offensive touchdown in the game.
The Wildcats were without kicker Morgan Lineberry, but replacement Ryan Owens buried a 53-yard field goal to put ACU on the board at 3-0.
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get going again on their next drive. ACU featured Emery Dudensing, who touched the ball a number of times on the drive and capped it with a two-yard score to put ACU up 10-0.
Gates had the first of his three scores of the day on the next drive when Gale found him on the wide receiver screen pass and Gates did the rest. He took it 50-yards to the house, blowing by everyone wearing a Greyhound uniform, to put the Wildcats in control 17-0.
With just 13-seconds left in the first quarter the Wildcats struck again. Mitchell Gale found Kendrick Johnson in the flats and Johnson made everybody miss on his way to the end zone for a 45-yard score. Wildcats were up at the end of one quarter 27-0
“The field position early in the game was really to our advantage,” Thomsen said.
That is how it would stay until late in the second quarter. Mitchell Gale led the Wildcats down the field against the Greyhounds and finished the drive with a 26-yard strike to Edmund Gates, his second on the day, and the Wildcats were up big at 33-0.
ACU would score 20 more points in the game and finish with a final of 53-14.
One thing the Wildcats can take away from this is game is one offensive touchdown allowed. ACU’s defense held a potent offense, that averaged more than 33 points per game coming into the game, to just one offensive touchdown and stifled quarterback Wesley Wood and company.
ACU might have found a solution to some questionable pass defense. A combination of James Williams, David Lamour, and Drew Cuffee. The three defensive backs were a driving force in holding the Lone Star Conference’s leading passer to just 126 yards through the air, the lowest allowed by the Wildcats this season.
Edmund Gates had his fourth straight 100-yard catch, which proves one thing – he’s pretty good. Gates, along with Mitchell Gale, has been the driving force behind the much improved offense this season. Not only is Gates blowing by people as usual, but this season he is running crisp, clean routes that combine with his speed to leave opponents scratching their heads.
ACU’s domination of a LSC North contender continue to show the rest of the conference, the region and the country they are ready to be back on top this season.