Back Texas State Wins Wild One in 3OT

Texas State Wins Wild One in 3OT

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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The visiting Bobcats triumph over Ohio in Everett Withers' debut.

Athens, Ohio- In a battle of two Bobcats, the Texas State football team opened a new era in competitive fashion when they defeated Ohio 56-54 in triple overtime at Peden Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was Texas State's first game under new head coach Everett Withers, who took over as Texas State's head coach on January 7.

"I was really proud of our team," Withers said. "You go on the road and that was a bowl team and was 8-5 last year," Withers said. "They are a really well-coached team and to fight and scratch against a really talented front seven. You have to be patient and I thought our offense did a really good job of finding something that we do and sticking with it."

Ohio tested Texas State's defense early in the game with three long offensive drives, but OU only came away with six points as Texas State forced a turnover and stiffened to hold Ohio to just a pair of field goals on two other drives. That allowed Texas State's offense to get untracked with a pair of touchdown drives to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.

The first half began with Ohio driving down the field for a pair of field goals to take an early 6-0 lead, but Texas State answered with a pair of touchdowns and went into halftime leading 14-6.
On Ohio's opening drive of the game, Texas State's defense forced its first turnover of the season when Brandon McDowell forced a fumble and Teron Fitzgerald recovered on TXST's 26-yard line.

After Texas State's offense was forced to punt, Ohio scored the first points of the game when Louis Zervos made a 35-yard field goal to give OU a 3-0 lead. Zervos extended the lead on OU's next possession when he kicked a 39-yard field goal.

But, Texas State began the moving the ball when Tyler Jones completed a 16-yard pass to Elijah King and an eight-yard throw to Gabe Schrade. But, the drive ended Jones was tackled for no gain at OU's 32-yard line.

After Zervos missed a 41-yard field goal attempt, Texas State drove down the field again. However, Ohio intercepted a pass by Jones at OU's 23-yard line. After Ohio was forced to punt again after three downs, Texas State gained possession at its 39-yard line.

This time the Bobcats drove the length of the field to take a 7-6 lead with 8:13 left to play in the opening half. After Jones hit Eric Luna and Schrade on a pair of passes to Ohio's 277-yard line, Stedman Mayberry ran the ball the rest of the way with a 26-yard run and a one-yard plunge into the end zone.

The Bobcat defense forced another punt by Ohio at its 27-yard line, Texas State took over with 1:22 left to play in the opening half and began another scoring drive. First, Jones hit Luna for an 11-yard reception at Ohio's 38- yard line. Then, he connected with Schrade for a 21 yard strike down to the 17.

After Ohio was called for an off sides penalty, Jones hit Luna for an eight yard pass and Ohio was called for a personal foul penalty to give the Bobcats possession at the two-yard line. Jones ran up the middle for a touchdown to give Texas State a 14-6 halftime lead.

The second half opened in similar fashion except the two offenses began battling each other back and forth.

Ohio drove 48 yards on its first possession in the third quarter to pull to within 14-13 when Maleek Irons ran for a three-yard touchdown and Zervos added the extra point. OU regained the lead on its next possession when Zervos connected on a 45-yard field goal.

But Texas State came right back when Jones hit Elijah King on a 35-yard pass on a fourth down and two play to give TXST a 21-16 lead with 2:50 left to play in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Ohio answered with a touchdown of its own when Greg Bingham completed a 29-yard pass to Jordan Reid and he broke through a tackle for a touchdown. Jarid Brown scored the two-point conversion on a reverse to the right side to give Ohio a 24-21 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Thurman Morbley fumbled the ball at Texas State's 15-yard line and Ohio recovered at the 16-yard line. Ohio increased its lead to 31-21 when Papi White ran 16 yards on a sweep to the right side for the touchdown and Zervos added the extra point.

Texas State would not go away as Jones hit Eric Luna for a five-yard TD pass and Ripley added the extra point to make the score 31-28 with 8:37 left to play.

After Texas State's defense forced another fumble at Ohio's 45-yard line, Jones ran for 40 yards to the Ohio one-yard line and then threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Watts to give the Bobcats a 35-31 lead.

But, Windham hit White for a 75-yard TD to put Ohio up 38-35 with 18 seconds left to play. However, Jones completed a 22-yard pass to Elijah King at Ohio's 41-yard line. Then, he completed a 10-yard pass to Mayberry before hitting Eric Luna for a 21-yard strike at Ohio's 10-yard line. That set up a last-second field goal by freshman Marcus Ripley, which tied the score at 38-38 and sent the game into overtime.

Both teams scored a field goal on their first possession, and a touchdown in the second overtime. Texas State took a 56-48 lead when L.G. Williams threw a 22-yard pass to Jones on a fake reverse and then Jones hit Gabe Schrade on a shovel pass to give the Bobcats a 56-48 lead. Ohio answered with an 18-yard TD pass to Elijah Ball, but their two-point conversion failed, clinching the win for the Bobcats.