STEPHENVILLE – The script was written before the game even started. It was the first game at the Lonn Reisman Athletic Center at Memorial Stadium and the 1,000th in Tarleton football history.
The Texans were also playing as an NCAA Division II top-five team in the nation for the first time in program history and they delivered. The No. 5-ranked Texans overwhelmed Doane with a 56-3 victory on a historical night in Stephenville.
For the second straight week, Tarleton accounted for over 600 yards of offense, only this time the Texan defense held the Tigers to just 84 yards of offense. The Texans ran for 347 yards and threw for 262 yards. Last week, the Texans set a new school record with 673 yards at Stephen F. Austin.
The win marks the 12 straight regular season win by the Texans and the ninth straight win at home – which is the fourth longest streak in NCAA Division II.
Khalil Banks sparked the Texan offense with a career-high 168 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Banks had touchdown runs of 11 yards and 72 yards in the first quarter for the game’s first points. Banks’ performance gave the Texans a 100-yard rusher at home for the 10th straight game.
Zimari Manning also had a pair of first-half touchdowns as the All-American wide receiver totaled 155 yards on eight catches to go with two scores. Manning had touchdown catches of 11 and 41 yards. Quarterback Ben Holmes only played in the first half and threw for 212 yards on 13-of-19 passing and three touchdowns. His other scoring strike went to J.F. Thomas, who caught four passes for 49 yards and a TD.
The Texans led 39-0 at halftime and held the visiting Tigers to under 50 yards of offense in the process.
The defense was led by B.J. Jefferson, who had a game-high seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and broke up a pass at the line of scrimmage. Sean Walton had the other sack for the Texan defense and a fumble recovery that was forced by Jordan Phillips. Chris Radford’s second quarter tackle in the end zone produced a safety that made the score 29-0.
In the second half, Justice Anyanwu and Tayvis Coleman scored their first career touchdowns as Texans. Anyanwu had a 5-yard run and Coleman scored from three yards out. Anyanwu also rushed for a career-high 68 yards.
The Texans will begin Lone Star Conference play at home next week against West Texas A&M for Family Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.