Tarleton looks to stay in LSC title hunt at OPSU

Chase Varnado and Tarleton State look to stay within reach of the lead in the Lone Star Conference football standings today at Oklahoma Panhandle State. || TheFlashToday.com photo by RUSSELL HUFFMAN


Tarleton travels to Goodwell, Oklahoma to take on Oklahoma Panhandle State on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Carl Wooten Field.

A complete broadcast of the game can be heard on the Tarleton Sports Network presented by the North Texas Ford Dealers. Byron Anderson and Brad Keith will have the call on the flagship station of Tarleton Athletics – KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville – and worldwide at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. Live Stats and a video stream can be found on on the football schedule page of TarletonSports.com.
Tarleton dropped its last game to Texas A&M-Kingsville 21-17 to move to 4-4 overall and 4-2 in the Lone Star Conference. The Texans are in a 3-way tie for second in the LSC standings entering Saturday’s game. Tarleton is 1-2 on the road, with its win coming on Oct. 15 against Eastern New Mexico, 26-16. The Texans are averaging 28.3 points per game this season and holding opponents to 25.5 points. Offensively, Tarleton is averaging 347 yards per game (260 pass, 87 rush). Quarterback Zed Woerner has thrown for 1,935 yards and an LSC-leading 21 touchdown passes. Woerner enters the game second all time with 47 career touchdown passes and needs five scores to break Steve Kelly’s school record of 51 TD passes. Tarleton’s leading rusher is Joseph Sadler, who has 514 yards and 4.7 yards per carry with three touchdowns. Del’Michael High leads the LSC in receiving touchdowns with nine and also has 623 yards on 41 receptions. High’s nine TD’s rank sixth on the single-season record list and his next score will make him the seventh player in school history with 10 touchdown receptions in a season. Bubba Tandy is also a scoring threat for the Texans with six touchdowns and 540 yards on 36 catches. Defensively, Cody Burtscher ranks sixth in the nation and first in the LSC in tackles with 93. The school record for tackles in 170 by Tally Neal in 1978. Burtscher also leads the LSC in interceptions with three to go with 4.5 sacks. Burtscher is one of three Texans with three interceptions, joining Dominique Martin and Treston Ridge. Chase Varnado‘s six sacks rank second in the LSC and EJ Speed‘s 5.5 sacks rank fourth. Speed is also second in the LSC in tackles for loss with 12.

Oklahoma Panhandle State has a 2-6 record overall and is 1-5 in the Lone Star Conference, ranking ninth. The Aggies topped UT-Permian Basin last Saturday, 54-44, to snap a 5-game losing streak and win its first conference game. OPSU is 0-2 at home this season. OPSU is averaging 22 points per game and surrendering 39 points to opponents. The Aggies average 409 yards per game on offense (295 pass, 114 rush). Quarterback Shane Truelove leads the LSC with 2,152 passing yards to go with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. Running back Rod Moore has gained 528 yards on the ground and scored four touchdowns. OPSU’s leading receiver is Andrew Hernandez, who has 531 yards on 43 receptions and four touchdowns. Eddie Thomas IV also has four TD receptions for the Aggies. OPSU has 11 sacks on defense this year and John Pitts is the team leader with four. Darryn Cain controls the secondary with an LSC-leading three interceptions. Cain also leads the team in tackles with 55.

Saturday marks the sixth career meeting between Tarleton and Oklahoma Panhandle State since the series started in 1985 with the Texans leading the all-time series 3-2. Tarleton has won the last three games including a pair of wins last season over the Aggies 48-47 and 84-47. The 84 points scored in last season’s win is a Tarleton school record.

Tarleton returns home for its final home game of the season against Midwestern State for Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.


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