The Lumberjacks took advantage of ACU’s five turnovers, defeating the Wildcats 35-32 in overtime at Globe Life Park in Arlington Saturday.
Following a 14-13 Wildcat lead entering the final quarter, an offensive explosion ensued for both teams. 31 points were scored in the fourth, leading to a tie at the end of regulation.
“We had some guys that were really banged up today and chose to play that didn’t have to,” head coach Adam Dorrel said. “We were very shorthanded on defense, so I thought those guys really toughed it out.”
Junior quarterback Trae Self’s pass to sophomore wide receiver Xavier Gipson gave the Lumberjacks (3-3, 1-0 SLC) their first lead of the game, 22-21, with just 2:23 remaining in regulation. Self finished the day 27-39 with 352 yards and three touchdowns.
“We just got to get ready for another game next week,” senior linebacker Jack Gibbens said. “This one hurts, but we’ll try to put it behind us tomorrow and get ready for the next game.”
Following a Lumberjack score, a Wildcat offense that struggled most of the game caught fire with a 78 yard pass to junior wide receiver Kobe Clark. It set the Wildcats (0-3, 0-1 SLC) up for another score three plays later, retaking the lead 29-22 following a successful two-point conversion.
Clark led both teams receiving with six receptions and 133 yards.
SFA had one last trick up its sleeve on a quick drive of three plays and 67 yards to tie the game. The Lumberjacks would ultimately hold ACU to a field goal and score a touchdown on the following drive.
Senior quarterback Peyton Mansell struggled throughout most of the game, throwing three interceptions. Before Saturday’s loss, Mansell hadn’t thrown a single interception in a Wildcat uniform.
The Wildcats commit a season-high five turnovers in Arlington. Dorrel said his team has to protect the ball more in the coming weeks.
“Ball security is going to be the top priority,” Dorrel said. “We had some really bad mental moments today, so we gotta go back and look at those. I think we also had some routes that were a little short on third down, but that comes with experience.”
Up next, ACU stays on the road to face Mercer in Macon, Georgia on Halloween. The Lumberjacks will ride their three-game winning streak back home to host Western Colorado Saturday.
“It was a great venue, obviously very beautiful,” Dorrel said. “I had never had the chance to be here. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to come back here and play again.”