KINGSVILLE (Javelinas Athletics) - The Texas A&M-Kingsville football used a balanced attack on offense and solid defensive effort to down Incarnate Word 20-17 and end a four-game losing streak Saturday at Javelina Stadium.
Anthony Johnson led the way for the Javelinas who move to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the Lone Star Conference with the win. Johnson, a senior, rushed for 128 yards on 16 carries for Kingsville with over half of those yards coming on a 68-yard touchdown run with 3:49 remaining for a 20-10 lead. It was the longest play from scrimmage this season for the Javelinas.
Behind back-up quarterback Taylor Woods, Incarnate Word (2-5, 1-4) drove 73 yards on six plays on the ensuing possession. Woods hit 5-of-6 passes for 63 yards on his only possession of the game. He hit Andrew Mocio from 25-yards out to pull the Cardinals to within three points with two minutes to go.
Incarnate Word kicked away following the touchdown. Bryan Erhlich, who replaced Nate Poppell due to an injury, picked up a first down with an 11-yard run on an option play on 3rd-and-7. Kingsville ran the clock out from there.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Javelinas struck first on a 23-yard run by Randall Toney just over a minute into the second period.
UIW turned a 21-yard pass from Joseph Sadler to Derek Pierce on a fake punt into three points as Jake Wilcox kicked a 36-yard field goal with 8:28 remaining in the half.
After the sides traded possessions, Poppell drove the Javelinas into field-goal range completing passes of 17 yards to Clyde Lee and 18 yards to Joseph Vela. The latter gave TAMUK a first down at the 18. Three plays later Matt Stoll hit a 27-yard field goal for a 10-3 lead as time expired in the half. It was Kingsville's first half-time lead since the game at Abilene Christian.
Kingsville took the opening drive of the second half and marched to the UIW 19 as Poppell connected on four of his first five passes. His sixth pass went off the hands of Randall Toney and was intercepted by Juan Asencio, who returned it 86 yards for a touchdown tying the game at 10 with 7:08 remaining in the third.
Stoll gave Kingsville the lead for good at 13-10 with 11:23 to go in the game when hit a field goal from 36 yards away. The drive was set up as Anthony Washington forced and recovered a Joseph Sadler fumble at the Carindals' 24.
The Javelina kicker got another chance moments later after Anthony Forker intercepted a Zach Rhodes pass at midfield and returned to the visitors' 19. However, Stoll missed wide right from 27 yards with 8:13 left.
Neither team picked up another first down until Johnson's touchdown run.
Kingsville finished with 188 yards rushing and 148 passing for 336 yards of total offense. Aside from Johnsons 127 yards rushing, Toney finished with 62 on 14 carries. Poppell finished 9-of-17 passing for 117 yards and an interception, while Ehrlich was 4-of-11 with an interception for 31 yards. Christian Taylor was the top receiver with six catches for 69 yards. They held the ball for 33:49 running 15 more plays than UIW.
UIW finished with 241 yards of offense, with 73 coming on the final drive. Sadler led the Cardinals with 26 yards rushing as they finished with 65 yards on the ground. Through the air, Rhodes was 13-of-29 with an interception for 92 yards. Mocio had a team-high 46 yards receiving.
Aguilar had a team-high seven tackles with a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Steve Harris also had seven tackles. Devin Haywood and Padyn Giebler each had nine tackles for the Cardinals.
Kingsville hits the road next week to visit Tarleton State at 6 p.m.