After a tough 2017 Homecoming against Southeastern Louisiana, the Wildcats came into Hammond Saturday evening and avenged the loss with a lopsided 48-27 victory of their own.
Neither team scored through 12 minutes of the first quarter, but ACU broke the silence with a 33-yard field goal from redshirt sophomore kicker Oscar Hernandez and left the quarter up 3-0.
The Wildcats had already begun a drive before the end of the first quarter and were able to get on the board with a touchdown quickly in the second. Redshirt junior running back Tracy James reached the end zone on a 15-yard run with 13:48 left in the second quarter and put ACU up 10-0.
SLU was able to respond to the touchdown fast, however, taking its next drive 46 yards in a minute and 41 seconds. The Lions capped it off with a four-yard touchdown run by Julius Maracalin.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Anthony answered the SLU touchdown on the next drive though, finding senior wide receiver Kalin Sadler for a 34-yard score putting ACU up 17-7.
Both teams then closed the half with a field goal each making the score 20-10.
In the second half, scoring was prominent as both teams put up more than double their first-half points.
Anthony linked up with junior wide receiver Torin Justice on a 15-yard touchdown in the middle of the third quarter. The Lions came back with a touchdown on their next possession after a nine-yard pass from Chason Virgil to Nih-Jer Jackson making the score 27-17 at the end of the third quarter.
ACU scored 21 points in the fourth quarter alone. James ran for his second touchdown of the night on a two-yard run less than a minute in.
After a field goal by the Lions, the Wildcats got their biggest play of the night from junior transfer running back Billy McCrary on a 51-yard run giving ACU a 41-20 lead.
Both teams closed the game out with a touchdown each. Justice caught his second touchdown of the night on a 14-yard pass from Anthony for the last score of the game leading to the 48-27 final.
The Wildcats improved their record to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in conference after the win. The Lions slipped to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in Southland play.
Offensively, the team totaled 612 total yards (317 rushing and 295 passing).
McCrary had an impressive night running for 222 yards and a touchdown. This was the first time a Wildcat running back topped the 200-yard mark in a game since De’Andre Brown when he ran for 256 against SFA in 2014.
Anthony ended up with 295 yards and three touchdown passes. His top receiver was Justice, hauling in six passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
For the first time since Baylor, junior linebacker Jeremiah Chambers wasn’t at the top of the list in total tackles. Instead, sophomore linebacker Jack Gibbens racked up 11 in the game and Chambers earned six. Overall, the defense allowed 450 yards, 126 of it rushing and 324 passing.
ACU has a bye this coming week but will return home for a game against Northwestern State Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.