ABILENE (Javelina Athletics) - The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team will find itself climbing further up the NCAA DII rankings this week as the Javelinas (2-0) snapped an 8-game losing streak to Abilene Christian with a 16-13 victory over the 9th-ranked Wildcats.
Down 6-0, the Javelina defense spurred the comeback from 6-0 down with a stifling defensive effort allowing just 224 total yards in the game. They allowed just three yards of offense and no first downs to the Wildcats in the second and third quarters.
Meanwhile, the offense overcame some costly penalties to put 16 unanswered points on the board for a 16-6 lead early in the fourth quarter on Matt Stoll's third field goal of the game with 14:57 remaining.
ACU tried to rally as Darrell Cantu-Harkless scored on a 65-yard end around 12 seconds later. The extra point made the score 16-13. The score was set up by the kickoff going out of bounds.
Stoll went for his fourth FG of the game moments later but missed right on a 39-yard attempt with 11:42. ACU marched down the field on the ensuing drive but Morgan Lineberry, who missed a PAT on the game's first TD, missed short from 51 yards with seven minutes to go.
The Javelina defense regrouped with the help of pair of Angel Millan punts that were downed inside the 10. TAMUK allowed just one more first down the rest of the way the Wildcats getting no further than their own 21. Fittingly, ACU's last possession ended with a sack by Marcus Singleton. It was his second and the team's fourth of the game.
Abilene took advantage of a short 10-yard punt by Millan after he bobbled the snap. Five plays later Taylor Gabriel scored on a 7-yard run with no time remaining in the opening quarter. Lineberry missed the extra point for a 6-0 lead.
The Javelinas took the lead with a 75-yard drive that was capped by a 22-yard strike from Nate Poppell to Robert Armstrong. Poppell was 19-of-28 in the first half for 207 yards and finished with 372 yards passing.
Stoll then took over with his three field goals proving to be the difference on the scoreboard.
Kingsville finished with 420 yards of offense. Sherman Batiste had 10 catches for 128 yards and Armstrong had 94 yards with 10 receptions. Joseph Vela had a career-best 84 yards on five receptions. The Javs had the ball five times in the red zone with three scores. ACU was in the red zone just once after scoring 51 points with 461 yards of offense against McMurry in week one. Jeremy Aguilar had a team-best nine tackles.
The Hoggies remain on the road as they head to Arlington next Saturday to face West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference Football Festival at Cowboy Stadium. The game is slated to start at 6 p.m.