GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — GRAND JUNCTION, Co. - The Texas A&M-Kingsville football team began the 2023 season with a road win on Saturday afternoon, taking down Colorado Mesa, 30-10.
Javelina special teams shined in the win, being responsible for 17 of TAMUK's 30 points.
The TAMUK defense also put together a complete performance against a Maverick offense that was in the top-25 in total offense a season ago, allowing just ten points while scoring one of their own via a Caden Ochoa pick-six, the first of two interceptions the defense would have.
The Javelinas opened the scoring in the first quarter as kicker Gilbert Garza split the uprights with a 24-yard field goal to cap off a six-play, 41-yard drive with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Mesa found an answer to take the lead on a two-yard rush by its quarterback after being set up by a deep pass on the two-play, 50-yard drive to go up 7-0 late in the first.
After holding the Javelina offense in check, the Mavs offense tacked on three more points after driving 71-yards on 13 plays, to lead 10-3 with 4:27 remaining in the second quarter.
TAMUK responded right away with All-American Amos Coleman III who took the ensuing kick-off, 93-yards down the Javelina sideline before a Garza, PAT tied the game at 10-10.
The Javelina special teams units were not done scoring either as with a minute remaining in the first half, Blake Jacques blocked a Maverick punt and returned it to the endzone putting the Hogs up 17-10 to close the half.
The Hogs extended their lead early in the second half, as Caden Ochoa picked off the Mavericks and strolled into the endzone to go up 23-10.
There was little offensive activity for either team for the remainder of the game as D'Cambrian Verrett picked off the Mavericks in the endzone to keep them scoreless in the second half ending a 9-play, 58-yard drive with 3:46 in the third quarter.
TAMUK sealed the win late in the fourth as their top rusher from a season ago, Christian Anderson capped off the win with a four-yard run spinning off contact to get into the endzone putting TAMUK up 30-10 with 4:18 remaining
With the win the Javelinas snapped the Mavericks 10-year opening game winning streak.
As a team, the Javelinas recorded 135 total yards rushing, as transfer CJ Odom recorded 76 of them on 16 attempts.
Jaylin Smith, led the team in receiving yards with 50 on two receptions including a long of 41-yards.
Linebacker, Khalid Walker led the Javelinas in tackles with 5 total, (two sacks, three assists) including an 8-yard sack.
Next week, the Javelinas will have their home season opener against No. 22 West Georgia on Sept. 9, at Javelina Stadium.
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