SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
ARLINGTON (September 19 ,2015) — Tarleton State makes its fourth trip to AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for the Lone Star Football Festival Saturday. The Texans will be facing West Texas A&M for the 25th time, the first on a neutral field. It’s the Lone Star Conference opener for both teams.
Here’s the game preview from Tarleton Athletic Communications. Be sure to stick with The Flash for our First Financial Bank Flash Football Update that begins at 2 p.m. when Stephenville vs. Lubbock Cooper. Tarleton and West Texas A&M join the party at 3:30 p.m.
Looking to avenge a one-point loss in last weekend’s opener, Tarleton will take the field at AT&T Stadium in its Lone Star Conference opener against West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
COVERING THE GAME
Saturday’s contest will be aired on the Tarleton Sports Network presented by North Texas Ford Dealers. The game will be broadcast live on KTRL (90.5 FM) with Casey Hogan calling play-by-play and Keltin Wiens joining him for color commentary. Travis Smith joins the broadcast team on the sidelines. In addition to the radio feed, the game is online at www.tarletonsports.com/listenlive.
LAST TIME OUT
Tarleton got the season under way last Saturday against the University of Findlay in Stephenville. The Texans found themselves on the wrong side of a 35-34 nail-biter to fall to 0-1. Despite the loss, Tarleton received several superlative individual efforts from key players including Le’Nard Meyersand Cody Burtscher. Meyers topped out at 139 yards receiving on seven catches while Burtscher recorded 14 tackles, three for a loss, two sacks, and a blocked kick in his debut on defense.
TARLETON AT THE FESTIVAL
This will be Tarleton’s fourth trip to AT&T Stadium, formerly Cowboys’ Stadium, for the LSC Football Festival. Tarleton is 1-2 all-time at Jerry’s Palace with the lone win coming against Midwestern State in 2013.
TARLETON vs WEST TEXAS A&M
Saturday marks the 25th meeting in the rivalry between the Texans and Buffs, dating back to 1990. Tarleton trails the all-time series 11-13 and Saturday will be the first meeting between the teams on a neutral site.
INSIDE THE SERIES
West Texas A&M won eight straight meetings from 2005-2012 before one of the greatest comeback wins in school history happened at Memorial Stadium on October 12, 2013. The Texans were trailing 27-3 at halftime before Tarleton rallied for four second-half touchdowns to end the drought with a 31-27 win over the Buffs in Stephenville. Tarleton won its second straight over the Buffs with a 31-27 win in Canyon in last year’s season opener. This will be the first meeting between these two schools on neutral ground. The largest attended game between the Buffs and Texans came on October 9, 2010 with an attendance figure of 16,218 in Canyon.
TEXANS UNDER FOWLER
The Texans are now 27-26 under head coach Cary Fowler and have one Lone Star Conference championship to their credit in his tenure. Fowler’s first LSC championship is the third LSC championship for the Texans in school history. Fowler is 23-18 against LSC opponents and 4-8 overall against non-conference schools.
TEXANS IN THE LSC
The Texans are 102-137 (.426) all-time in Lone Star Conference contests.
TARLETON’S SCORING STREAK
The Texans have now scored a touchdown in 48 straight games dating back to the 2010 season. The last time a Tarleton team was held without a TD came in a 65-3 loss to Abilene Christian back on Sept. 25, 2010. Tarleton has scored at least a field goal or touchdown in 56 straight games heading into Saturday’s game. The Texans have not been shutout since Nov. 8, 2008.
MAKING NATIONAL NEWS
Tarleton made national news last week with the production of a story by Reid Forgrave on FoxSports.com that chronicled Tarleton’s string of tragedies that have taken place during Cary Fowler‘s head coaching tenure. The story debuted on FoxSports.com on Tuesday and has since made headlines across the nation, as well as reaching the airwaves on 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday.
BEHIND THAT TEXAN LINE
The front five for the Texans are all seniors and have been here for at least three seasons, including four-year starter and preseason All-America selection Nick Perez. The five starting linemen have combined for over 100 career starts in their careers and have helped Tarleton’s offense move the ball for over 15,000 total yards since 2012. In last week’s season opener, the Texan line didn’t allow a single sack to Findlay.
BURTSCHER ON DEFENSE
Cody Burtscher, who was a standout, two-way player at Glen Rose High School, made a triumphant return to the defensive side of the ball last week with 14 tackles, two sacks and a blocked field goal – the first for Tarleton since Marquis Wadley blocked one against WT on Oct. 12, 2013 – in his first college game at linebacker.
ANDERSON IN THE END ZONE
Since breaking onto the scene against Texas A&M-Kingsville last season, Jabari Anderson has scored a touchdown in seven consecutive games dating back to October 11, 2014. The sophomore runner has scored 10 touchdowns in those seven games and is averaging a touchdown on every 6.6 carries during that stretch.
WELCOME BACK, ISAAC
In his first game action in over a year, Isaac Arellano shined on the special teams unit for Tarleton in last week’s opener. He kicked off seven times for an average of 62.7 yards per kick with five of his seven kicks going into the corner of the playing field inside the five yard line. He also punted once for 53 yards, which makes him the current national leader in net punting with an average of 53.0 yards per punt.
EYING THAT 2K MARK
Zach Henshaw is on the verge of eclipsing 2,000 rushing yards in his career – needing just 186 more yards to reach the mark. The senior from Canyon Lake is already the leading rusher of the Cary Fowler era with 1,814 yards heading into Saturday’s game. He is 590 yards ahead of Jerome Regal for the most yards on the ground since Fowler took over as head coach in 2010.
RECORD TRACKER: BLAKE BARNES
Entering his senior season, Blake Barnes is making a case to go down alongside Tarleton Hall of Famer J.W. Boren as two of the top kickers in Tarleton history.
• PAT Made: In PATs made, Barnes is second all-time with 135 and is two extra points away from passing Boren (136) as the all-time leader.
• PAT Att: He is also in second-place all-time in PATs attempted (137). He is 12 extra points away from the all-time record, held by Boren (148).
• FG Made: Entering Saturday’s game with 42 career field goals, he is tied with Paul Williams for second all-time. Barnes is 18 field goals away from becoming the all-time leader and passing Boren (59).
• FG Att: Barnes now has attempted 58 field goals in his career to place him No. 2 all-time. He is 26 attempts shy of passing Boren (83) for the all-time lead.
RECORD TRACKER: LE’NARD MEYERS
Entering his senior season, Le’Nard Meyers will look to etch his name into the all-time receiving records.
• Receptions: Meyers enters Saturday’s game with 134 career receptions and is 55 catches shy of passing Hall of Famer Harlan Wunsch (188) for second all-time in school history.
• Receiving Yards: Meyers enters Saturday’s game in need of 757 yards to crack the top five all-time in school history. Jeremy Madkins (2003-06) holds the No. 5 position with 2,441 yards.
• Receiving Touchdowns: Meyers needs eight (8) touchdowns this season to move into the top-3 all-time in receiving scores. Will Moody (2000-03) is currently third all-time with 20 touchdown catches.
• 100-Yard Receiving Games: Meyers moved into a tie for third place all-time with seven 100-yard receiving efforts. The all-time record is 10 by Devin Guinn from 2006-09.
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will head to Wichita Falls next Saturday night for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Mustangs of Midwestern State at W.F. Memorial Stadium.