KINGSVILLE (Javelina Athletics) - The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team avoided the slow start that plagued them in recent contests, but couldn't overcome 31 straight points by Tarleton State falling 45-20 Saturday night on Kingsville Community Appreciation sponsored by Hertz.
With the loss, the Javelinas fall to 2-6 on the season and 0-5 in the Lone Star Conference. Tarleton State is now 6-2 overall and 5-1 in the LSC.
After Marquis Wadley took the direct snap on a fake punt and raced 39-yards for the game's first points at the 10:13 mark, Kingsville scored 10 straight to lead 10-7.
A 46-yard field goal by Matt Stoll cut the deficit to 7-3. The Javelinas took the lead 28 seconds later as Trevor Pesek intercepted a Jake Fenske pass and returned it 40 yards for a score. Pesek's first collegiate touchdown pushed Kingsville in front 10-7.
Tarleton regained the lead moments later when Jerome Regal capped a 6-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard run with just over five minutes remaining in the quarter. The point after made it 14-10 Texans.
Kingsville responded by hogging the ball for eight minutes. The Javelinas drove to the TSU four, but a face-masking penalty on the offense pushed the Javelinas back to the 19. The Hoggies would settle for another Stoll field goal from the 28 at the 11:56 mark of the second quarter. The see-saw battle continued as Fenske connected with Clifton Rhodes on an 18-yard aerialstrike. The touchdown and PAT made it 21-13 TSU.
The Javelinas looked to be on track to stay in the hunt. Caleb Bedford and Robert Armstrong, who had seven catches for 89 yards passing Ryan Lincoln for the most receptions in Javelina history with 212 and counting, connected for a pair of passes totaling 29 yards that pushed Kingsville to Texan one. The Javelinas attempted four straight quarterback sneaks but could not break through turning the ball over on downs.
After Wadley intercepted a pass by Bedford, the Texans pulled out another trick play. As Andre Plata took a backwards pass from Fenske and hit Le'Nard Meyers for a 37-yard touchdown with 91 seconds left in the half. The extra-point made it 28-13.
The Javelinas tried to get a last-second score to close out the half as Bedford hit Shane Prater for a 38-yard pass to the two, but time expired.
After Barnes' 22-yard field goal accounted for the only points of the third quarter to make it 31-13, Kingsville tried to rally in the fourth. Joe Crowe intercepted Fenske setting up a Javelina drive that moved the ball deep in TSU territory. The drove stalled at the eight and Stoll, who was 2-for-2 earlier in the game, missed a 25-yard kick with 9:17 remaining. The Texans responded with an 8-yard TD pass from Fenske to Zach Henshaw with 6:19 left for a 38-13 score.
After TSU's Cody Burtscher scored on a 19-yard run, Bedford connected with Musa Mahmud for 19 yard TD catch for the final points. Kingsville finished with 473 yards of total offense. Bedford finished with a career-best 307 yards of offense going 25-of-40 with an interception. Anthony Washington added 80-yards rushing to lead the Javelinas who had 166 yards on the ground. Prater had three catches for 64 yards.
Robert Williams led the Javelinas with 14 tackles with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss of 12 yards. Brandon James, Mark Savere and Zane Brown each had eight tackles.
Fenske finished with 313 yards going 22-of 34 with two picks. Meyers had 102 yards on five catches while Rhodes had five for 91. Henshaw had 12 carries for 94 yards.
Wadley led the visitors with 15 tackles and Marc Martinez had 10 stops. Dashaun Phillips had four pass breakups.
The Javelinas travel to San Angelo next week to face Angelo State at 4 p.m. before closing out the season at home against Valdosta State on Nov. 16 on Hall of Fame Weekend at 7 p.m. Valdosta is the defending national champion.