The Wildcat offense faltered in their Lone Star Conference opener on Saturday against the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas.
Kingsville left ACU with their first loss of the season, 16-13.
“We were just shooting ourselves in the foot,” receiver Darrell Cantu-Harkless said. “We didn’t execute, and it showed because we only got thirteen points out of it.”
The loss marks the first defeat at Shotwell Stadium since 2009, when the ‘Cats lost their homecoming game to Tarleton State.
The Kingsville front four was in the backfield most of the night, stuffing ACU’s rushing attack and sacking quarterback Mitchell Gale four times.
The only bright spot for ACU offensively was Cantu-Harkless, who had over 100 all-purpose yards.
Cantu-Harkless busted a 65-yard run to start the fourth quarter behind Blake Spears and the rest of the ACU offensive line.
“It was one of my first plays at running back the whole game,” Cantu-Harkless said. “I ran a little play right up the middle and it was wide open, and I took it from there.”
After the long touchdown run, the ‘Cats were down 16-13 and looked like they were going to come all the way back, but were unable to get any tractionÂ in the fourth quarter.
ACU was the definition of a bend but don’t break defense last Saturday. The Wildcat defense gave up over 400 yards, but hung tough and only gave up one touchdown the entire night.
“We were just flying around making plays,” safety L.B. Suggs said. “We were able to execute the calls and make plays.”
After a Taylor Gabriel touchdown run to end the first quarter, the Wildcats fell silent offensively for thirty minutes, while the Kingsville offense put up sixteen points of their own.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were not able to move the football against a stout Javelinas defense that played flawless football the entire night.
With two minutes left, the ‘Cats had one final chance to drive down the field, but could not get into scoring territory, and ended up turning the ball over on downs and sealing their fate.
The Wildcats and Javelinas rivalry will unfortunately come to an end with a Wildcat loss, but it will always be remembered as a streaky series.
ACU had gotten the best of the Javelinas for eight straight years before Saturday. But, the ‘Cats had lost the last twenty meetings before that.
The Wildcats will be back in action next Saturday at 4 p.m. against Tarleton State in Jerryworld as part of the LoneStar Football Festival.