The ACU Wildcats became the first ever winners of the State Farm Big Country-Concho Valley Shootout Saturday with a 33 to 20 victory over rival Angelo State.
Mitchell Gale was named the State Farm player of the game. Gale completed 27 of 41 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns. He has thrown at least three touchdowns in his last five games, and still has thrown only one interception.
Edmund Gates also had his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game.
“They have played everybody tough like they just played us,” said ACU head coach Chris Thomsen. “I think they’re a really good team.
It was a slow start to a game that finished with 50-plus points scored.
The Wildcats managed, on their first drive, just a field goal attempt by Morgan Lineberry. Lineberry hit the 49-yard attempt, but left the game immediately following the kick after re-injuring his back.
Angelo State would fire back toward the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Josh Neiswander hit CJ Akins twice on the drive for 68 yards. Garrett Tidwell capped the drive from the Wildcat formation with an 11-yard run. CJ Akins was named the State Farm Player of the Game for Angelo, he finished the contest with seven receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown.
ACU’s next possession, which spilled into the second quarter, was all Mitchell Gale who went three for three on the drive including a 24-yard rush. Gale found Emery Dudensing on the sideline and Dudensing took it into the end zone. Dudensing scored twice in the game for his fifth and sixth touchdowns of both the season and his career.
Gale would find Raymond Radway just before the end of the half to put the Wildcats up 16-7 heading into the break.
ACU went three and out on their first possession of the second half and ASU took advantage. The Rams embarked on a 9-play drive that spanned just over four minutes to pull within three at 16-13.
The Wildcats would not allow the Rams to get any closer. Later in the third quarter Gale found Dudensing again for the second time in the game. ACU went up 23-13.
Another score by each team would seal the deal as the Wildcats moved to 9-0 with the win.
“I’m real proud of our guys, they played hard to the end,” Thomsen said.