SAN ANTONIO (JAVELINA ATHLETICS) - A balanced effort by the Javelinas led to the team's first season opening victory in 2012 as #RV Texas A&M University-Kingsville (1-0) knocked off Division I program University of the Incarnate Word (0-1), 31-22, Saturday evening at Gayle & Tom Benson Stadium.
Myles Carr went 23-of-28 with 313 yards and three touchdowns, two to Jordan Thomas, who finished with 79 yards, and one to converted tight end Chris Cooper. Cooper made the switch from offensive line last season. Luis Lopez powered into the end zone once and Greg Pitre collected 88 total yards on the ground. The team proved to be clutch, converting on 7-of-13 third-down opportunities and combined with a great defense that tallied 5.0 sacks, 11.0 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles and special teams, highlighted by punter's Dillon Scherer's sensational debut that featured two punts pinned inside the 20-yard line.
A 12-play, 59-yard drive by Incarnate Word ended with a missed field goal in the first quarter. In the drive, Braedon Robinson registered one of his two sacks and 4.0 tackles for losses.
With the Javelina offensive taking the field for the first time in 2016 at the 8:28 mark in the first, Carr began his senior campaign 8-for-8, including a 57-yard touchdown toss to Jordan Thomas with 5:42 left to play in the opening quarter. The Javelinas scored quick and used their bread and butter – running – as Jordan Thomas, Pitre and Carr all rushed for positive yardage in the five-play, 79-yard drive.
Incarnate Word tied the contest at 7-7 with 4:35 left in the first, but the Hogs continued to run at will, with Pitre ended the first with 25 yards on three carries to bring TAMUK into the red zone.
The drive was capped off by a Lopez push passed the plain as Texas A&M-Kingsville regained the lead, 14-7, with 14:19 left in the first half.
Later in the second quarterback, Scherer showcased his super leg, punting 41 yards to the UIW-7.
UIW knotted the game at 14-14, marching down the field with just three plays in 1:26 seconds, but the first half came to a close with some strategic gameplanning as Julio De la Garza connected on a 23-yard field goal to give A&M-Kingsville a 17-14 lead.
Defense and mistakes factored in early, but the Javelina lead hit double digits as TAMUK extended its cushion to 10 with 1:10 remaining in the third. The drive began with Carr finding a trailing Anthony Autry for 31 yards, and later, for 14 yards. Jordan Thomas and Carr celebrated once again, this time on an 11-yard connection, as JT registered a multi-touchdown performance.
Beginning the fourth quarter with a forced fumble by Forrest Jones that was recovered by Devonte Williams, the offense carried the momentum created by the defense as Carr hit Kyle Plum for 55 yards and moments later, Cooper showed off his footwork, toe tapping his way to a receiving TD and Carr's third passing score of the ballgame.
On the ensuing drive, Liberty University transfer Justin Guillory intercepted Trent Brittain and returned it 23 yards to put the Hogs in the red zone.
UIW was able to cut its deficit to nine, but the Javelinas preserved their victory, 31-22.
Torrey Thomas finished with four catches for 57 yards. Robinson led all Hogs with seven total tackles, six solo. Jarrod Sanders added six, a TFL and pass breakup, Quentin Parks forced his way into the pocket five times and finished with 2.0 TFL and a sack and Brandon Jones added a sack of his own. The other sack came from senior defensive end Alex Kuyinu. Jones and Josh Wilson forced fumbles and Amushie and Tre Oliver recovered the miscues.
With the win, the Javelinas improved to 4-1 versus UIW all-time. The home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10 when Simon Fraser enters Javelina Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Military Appreciation Night.
Single game tickets are available and can be purchased by calling 361-593-4030 or by visiting the McCulley Hall Ticket Office.
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