In the last game of the biggest rivalry in the Lone Star Conference, ACU was shutout 36-0 by No. 20 West Texas A&M University.
The ‘Cats traveled to Canyon for WT’s homecoming and could not get anything going offensively in a hostile environment. The ‘Cats were last shut out in 2001, a streak of 121 games. West Texas had not pitched a shutout since 2008.
“I think when you don’t score points, it’s very obvious you can’t get anything going,” quarterback Mitchell Gale said. “They played good on defense and we didn’t play good on offense.”
ACU had only 113 yards of total offense in the first half and 210 total yards for the game. Gale was pressured all night by the Buffalo defense. He was sacked eight times, the last being the 100th of his career.
Head Coach Ken Collums said the offensive line was getting beat by the defense.
“Sometimes it was scheme stuff that they did and sometimes we just got beat,” he said. “The play action pass is used to create more time to throw and we weren’t creating time even doing that.”
The Wildcats were helped by their own defense in the first half. Other than a couple of long plays, West Texas was held to only 13 points and one touchdown.
WTAMU’s first touchdown came on a pass from quarterback Dustin Vaughan to receiver Trevor Hammargren.
Sergio Castillo kicked a career long 56-yard field goal to make it 13-0 at halftime.
West Texas opened up the second half with a 75-yard drive on eight plays and a four-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0.
The Buffaloes pulled away in the second half aided by a 75-yard touchdown pass to WT wide receiver Jarrian Rhone and Gale’s second interception of the game.
“Their offense just beat our defense in the second half and their defense beat our offense the entire game,” Collums said.
The interception came in the WT endzone in the third quarter. ACU was driving down the field at the time and looked to cut into their 27-0 deficit.
West Texas continued to swarm to both the football and Gale in the second half. Defensive end Shane Pennix sacked the ‘Cat quarterback in the endzone for a safety in the fourth quarter to make the score 29-0, Buffaloes.
Gale was 17 for 29 with two interceptions and 207 passing yards. Running back Charcandrick West had six receptions for 56 yards. Wide receiver Darian Hogg led the team in reception yards with two for 75 yards.
The Buffs offense slashed ACU’s defense for 475 yards. Vaughan threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
“The bottom line is Vaughan had time to throw and our guy didn’t,” Collums said.
ACU falls to 4-3 overall after the loss and 2-3 in the LSC. They return home next weekend for homecoming. The game is at 2 p.m. against Midwestern State University.