The ‘Cats were overmatched on Saturday as the offense could not find their rhythm against Pittsburg State University in Kansas, losing 28-20.
ACU has lost three straight games, the most since 2005, and are now 3-3. The Gorillas remain undefeated at 5-0, and are ranked No. 10 among Div. II teams.
“Unfortunately, we were overmatched in a couple of spots on the field and it hurt us,” head coach Ken Collums said. “You know going up against Pitt. State that you better be sharp, and that’s not what we were. This game doesn’t define who we are as a team, and we’re going to continue to learn and get better.”
Senior quarterback John David Baker finished 25-42 passing for 260 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Senior wide receiver Taylor Gabriel had ten receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. ACU could not establish a running game as the team rushed for just ten yards, compared to the 185 yards for Pitt. State.
Gorillas running back Jeff Seybold finished with 24 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns. It is the second consecutive week that ACU has given up 100 plus yards to an opposing rusher. Tarleton State’s Jerome Regal had 31 carries for 251 yards against ACU last week.
“They did a lot of things that we haven’t seen from the teams that we’ve faced so far,” Collums said. “It’s a learning process, I felt like our offense moved a little slower than I would have liked, but that’s all part of the process.”
Sophomore defensive back Tyler Chapa got ACU on the board early with his second pick-six of the season, a 32-yard touchdown return. The Gorillas responded with 17 unanswered points. ACU scored a touchdown on a three-yard pass from Baker to Gabriel to bring the Wildcats within three points going into halftime, down 17-14.
ACU’s defense was able to hold Pitt. State to three points on a 29-yard field goal out of the half. Seybold would add another touchdown to double the score, 28-14, at the end of the third. The Wildcats added a touchdown on a seven-yard pass to senior wide receiver Darrell Cantu-Harkless.
“When it comes down to it, there’s really only three plays that if we execute on defense, it’s an entirely different ball game,” junior defensive back Angel Lopez said. “There were a few plays that we had busted coverage and it opened up the field for a thirty yard run down the sideline and another run that led to a touchdown. If we stop those plays, we’d probably win that game.”
ACU will look to get back in the winners column next Saturday when they travel to Houston to take on the Houston Baptist Huskies. HBU owns a 2-1 record, while the Wildcats will try to avoid going under .500 for the first time this season.