The seniors were not quite ready to say goodbye to Shotwell Stadium, so they went into overtime before finishing off No. 21 West Alabama 22-16.
The game started with 10 year-old Rex Fleming, son of Lance Fleming, flipping the coin and calling the first offensive play for the ‘Cats. Rex has a malignant brain tumor, and has been an inspirational person even in his young age. Rex’s call went for 33 yards and jump-started the Wildcats first drive.
The Wildcats would go on to score the first 13 points, and take a shutout into the fourth quarter.
Wide Receiver Darrell Cantu-Harkless did a little bit of everything for the ‘Cats, totaling 288 yards of offense, flipping the field twice on special teams and catching nine passes, capped with a rushing touchdown in overtime.
“It has everything to do with the ten guys in front of me blocking very hard,” Cantu-Harkless said. “I couldn’t do it without them. My job is to make one guy miss, and the ten other guys handle the rest.”
Despite the Tigers averaging over 37 points per game on the season, the defense held UWA to only 16 points, and only gave up two touchdowns during the day.
“Coaches do a good job game planning and scheming.” linebacker Justin Stephens said. “Our defense steps up when the time comes.”
Safety Angel Lopez had a game high 12 tackles, while Mike Wallace finished with 11 stops. In Overtime, Stephens made a pair of tackles before cornerback Stephen Ford deflected a fourth down pass from the Tigers and sealed a Wildcat victory.
Meanwhile, quarterback Mitchell Gale only needs 301 passing yards to eclipse the 12,000-yard mark and become the all-time leading passer in ACU history, after he threw for 284 yards and a touchdown.
West Alabama is the first ranked team the Wildcats have beaten all year, and the victory on senior day will leave the Wildcats with a signature win to end their home schedule.
“Getting a win for the seniors came into my mind in overtime,” Cantu-Harkless said. “We are trying to win every game but this one is so special for the seniors. Overtime, win at home, just a great experience.”
The ‘Cats will be back in action next week to take on the Incarnate Word Cardinals in San Antonio, with a chance to finish the season at 7-4.