By BRAD KEITH
TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL
STEPHENVILLE (October 24, 2015) — Tarleton State set a single game school scoring record when Zed Woerner passed for five touchdowns and Joseph Sadler and Jabari Anderson combined for seven TDs on the ground in an 84-47 win over Oklahoma Panhandle State at Memorial Stadium Saturday night.
Woerner was 29-40 for 413 yards, leading Tarleton to a season-best 658 yards of total offense in its first home win since setting the previous school scoring mark in a 80-14 drubbing of Texas A&M-Kingsville on October 11, 2014.
Saturday marked the second highest scoring game in Tarleton history with 131 combined points. Tarleton and Abilene Christian combined for 133 in a 70-63 ACU victory back in 2007.
Sadler rushed for 118 yards and tied a school record with four scores, the first time a Tarleton player has rushed for four touchdowns since current Arena Bowl star Derrick Ross in 2004. Anderson ran for 140 yards and 3 TDs, marking the first time Tarleton has had two 100 yard rushers since its 2014 season opening win at West Texas A&M.
Dominique Martin hauled in six receptions for 109 yards and a TD, his first career 100-yard performance. Le’Nard Meyers caught six passes for 99 yards and two scores, finishing one yard shy of matching the school record with a 10th career 100-yard receiving game.
Cooper Cole also had six catches, gaining 73 yards for the Texans, while Kason Fornes scored twice on four catches for 65 yards.
Tarleton scored touchdowns on all six first half possessions, amassing 361 yards by the intermission. They scored three consecutive touchdowns to build a 42-21 lead before OPSU used a 49-yard hailmary to cut it to 42-27 on the final play of the half.
OPSU pulled even closer with a 100-yard kickoff return by Zacari Lavender to open the second half. The extra point was blocked by Keenan Blair, who picked up the ball, returned it to the OPSU 40, lateraled to Barry Stripling and watched his teammate race to the end zone, only for it to be negated by a block in the back penalty.
The Texans extended the lead to 49-33 on a 59-yard bomb from Woerner to Meyers, who beat the defense deep on a post route. It was 56-33 after a 35-yard TD by Sadler.
OPSU wouldn’t go away without a fight, however, pulling within 16 points on a 25-yard TD pass from Shane Truelove to Devyn Williams. Truelove passed for 218 yards and matched Woerner with five touchdowns including two each to Williams and Andrew Hernandez. The OPSU QB also rushed for 95 yards, while Christopher McCLendon ran for 92.
Tarleton scored the next 14 points to put the game away. Woerner hit Martin with a 15-yard TD, then Chase Varnado forced a fumble recovered by Tyriq Murray to set up a 6-yard scoring strike to Meyers for a 70-40 lead.
Anderson and Sadler scored on runs of 7 and 6 yards, respectively, to conclude the offensive onslaught.
OPSU had 436 total yards and the teams combined for 1,114. Surprisingly, it isn’t the most combined yards in a Tarleton game this season. There were 1,179 total yards in a 63-46 loss to Midwestern State on September 26.
The victory is just Tarleton’s second at home since Nov. 9, 2013. The Texans conclude the regular season at Angelo State next Saturday. Seeding is still being determined for the second-annual LSC Playoff that begins on November 7.
The FlashToday.com photos by RUSSELL HUFFMAN