By BRAD KEITH
KINGSVILLE (October, 21, 2017) — Tarleton State got it done where they haven’t in the past two weeks, and that is along the offensive line, and that is the primary reason, I say in Saturday Tarleton football edition of the First Financial Bank First Flash, the Texans are enjoying their six hour bus ride home from Kingsville, if that’s even possible.
They certainly enjoyed their time at Javelina Stadium, interrupting Texas A&M-Kingsville homecoming festivities with a season-best 465 yards of offense and 17 points off four defensive takeways in a 41-34 victory, their 10th win all-time against the most historically successful football team in the Lone Star Conference.
Center Noah Perez returning successfully from injury and making the offensive line calls while stopping blitzes up the middle from being free runs at Woerner, as they seemed so often to be in losses to Western New Mexico and Eastern New Mexico, was the biggest of several bright spots Saturday.
Perez’s play and the way his presence seems to bring stronger play out of those alongside him places him very near the top of the list when it comes to players most crucial to Tarleton’success.
The Big Uglies were nowhere near perfect, but they were light years beyond the difficult-to-watch lack of blocking and protection provided during first half of the win at UT-Permian Basin, the entire contest at WNMU and too much of last week’s defeat at the hands of ENMU.
The line allowed Woerner to be sacked three times, much better than the nine times he was taken down in the backfield when these teams met a year prior in Stephenville. On his feet, Woerner passed for 337 yards with four TDs to four different receivers.
Jeff Thomas and Del’Michael High combined for 14 grabs and 210 yards, and they would have done more damage if not for a open drop by each and a penalty that wiped out a catch-and-run TD by High.
Combine a competitve offensive line with seniors Woerner, Thomas and High on offense with a strip sack and fumble recovery plus three interceptions for a total of four takeaways by the defense and you get what you saw Saturday night – a win, one that wasn’t really as close as the final score indicated.
A win that leads me to believe there may still be additional victorious First Financial Bank First Flash ramblings to come this year, as the Texans inch ever closer to guaranteeing themselves a winning season.