By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 10, 2016) — Jordan LeClaire split the uprights on a 23-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining Saturday night, lifting Southwest Baptist to a 31-28 victory over Tarleton State.
Tarleton State, in its first game at Memorial Stadium since the return of head coach Todd Whitten to the sideline, tied the contest with a 12-yard strike from Zed Woerner to Bubba Tandy with 2:16 remaining, but Southwest Baptist answered with its game-winning drive that was helped along by a targeting foul against the Texans.
Quarterback TJ Edwards led Southwest Baptist to its second straight victory over a Lone Star Conference opponent, going 26-39 for 360 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He hit Kendrick Payne with a 7-yard TD to give the Bearcats their first lead of 21-14 early in the third, and went deep 72 yards to Cassian Foreman to make it 28-21 with 2:08 remaining in the same period.
Tarleton scored in between with Jabari Anderson taking the snap out of the wildcat and plunging in a yard out. The game was tied for just 44 seconds, however, before Foreman crossed the goal line after the deep ball from Edwards.
The teams traded punts and each missed a short field goal in the fourth before the Woerner to Tandy pass that converted a third down and evened the score for the Texans.
Southwest Baptist amassed 550 yards. Bubba Jenkins rushed for 115 yards on a workman-like 33 carries, and Edward rushed 17 times for 76 yards from behind center. The mobile target’s favorite target in the passing game was Chris Robb, who had seven catches and 48 yards, but Foreman covered the most real estate – 165 yards on six grabs.
Woerner went the whole way at quarterback for Tarleton, and likely ended any battle over the starting spot by going 24-35 for 257 yards and three scores without a turnover. He hit Tandy seven times for 89 yards. Joseph Sadler paced the rushing attack with 18 carries for 101 yards.
Tarleton is home again next week for the beginning of Lone Star Conference play. The Texans host Angelo State at 7 p.m. Saturday.