Kats run to first win of the season

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Sam Houston ran all over Texas A&M-Commerce on the way to a 27-17 victory at Bowers Stadium on Saturday. 

The Bearkats (1-2) rushed for 248 yards led by running back Zach Hrbacek who finished with 131-yards on 19 carries and a touchdown.

Quarterbacks Jordan Yates and Keegan Shoemaker, who came off the bench to lead three scoring drives in the second half, combined to rush for 96 yards. 

Sam Houston’s defense kept the Lions (1-2) out of the end zone with their only touchdown through three quarters coming on a turnover. TAMUC finally scored an offensive touchdown with 31 seconds to go in the game.

 Yates threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown to cut the lead to 10-7 in the third quarter, Shoemaker came in an immediately provided a spark. Shoemaker picked up a big first down on a 13-yard run and came up with another key play on third down when he broke loose for 22 yards to get the ball into Lions’ territory.

Wide receiver Cody Chrest had a 15-yard reception and Hrbacek tacked on 13 more to get the ball inside the red zone. After wide receiver Al’vonte Woodard made an acrobatic catch for nine yards down the sideline to put the ball on the 3, Chrest made a spectacular one-handed catch in the back right corner of the end zone to stretch the lead to 17-7. 

After TAMUC was able to trim the lead to 17-10, the Kats came storming back when Chris Hicks returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards into Lions’ territory. Hrbacek took over from there with 32 yards on the ground including a seven-yard touchdown to push the lead back to 14 with 9:31 left in the game. 

Hrbacek set up the final score of the game with 41 more yards on the ground that led to a 46-yard field goal by Seth Morgan

The Bearkats found the end zone for the first time this season in the second quarter when the defense set the offense up with great field position. Yates completed an eight-yard pass to Woodard to get the ball moving and added a seven-yard run on the next play to get inside the TAMUC 30-yard line.

Charles Crawford III picked up 10 yards on a carry and Yates took a keeper 12 yards to get to the 11. Yates then brought the crowd to its feet when we scrambled toward the end zone and leapt over a defender to help the Kats go up 10-0 with 12 minutes to go in the half. 

Morgan kicked a 40-yard field goal to begin the scoring in the first quarter, but he missed one from 37 yards out on the opening drive that went 59 yards in 15 plays and a bad snap spoiled another attempt. The Bearkat defense completely dominated the Lions in the first half. TAMUC managed just 84 total yards of offense, the bulk of that coming on a 31-yard pass.

Toby Ndukwe had an interception and Trevor Williams forced a fumble that Jevon Leon recovered to end the Lions’ only real scoring threat in the first half.