Oct. 3, 2010

KINGSVILLE -

Courtesy of ACU Athletics

In a game that more than lived up to its billing Saturday night, the No. 5 ACU Wildcats rolled out of Javelina Stadium with a 31-24 Lone Star Conference South Division win over No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The win pushes the Wildcats to 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the LSC and 2-0 in the LSC South Division. The Javelinas, meanwhile, fall to 4-1, 3-1 and 1-1. ACU will return to Shotwell Stadium in Abilene next Saturday when it hosts Midwestern State at 2 p.m. in the Wildcats' annual Homecoming contest.

The Wildcats got another huge night from sophomore quarterback Mitchell Gale as for the second straight week he passed for a career-high in yardage, riddling the No. 1 defense in the nation for 417 yards and three touchdowns. ACU posted 440 total yards against the Javelinas, who came into the game having not allowed any of their previous four opponents more than 200 yards of offense.

The Wildcats held a 14-0 lead at halftime - scoring more points in one half than the Javelinas had given up in an entire game through the first four weeks - and then made it a 21-0 lead with 8:52 left in the third quarter when Gale hit Justin Andrews over the middle from 27 yards out.

But just two plays later, the Javelinas finally got on the board on a 59-yard touchdown run by Connell Davis. That seemed to give the Javelinas some momentum as the team's traded field goals before Gale hit Ben Gibbs from 10 yards out to make it 31-10 with 11:28 to play.

The Javelinas, however, answered with a big kickoff return and then went 51 yards on just five plays to a 11-yard touchdown pass from Nate Poppell to Delashaun Dean to make it 31-17 with 9:10 left in the game.

Four plays later the Javelinas had the football again after they blocked a Mark Sprague, gaining the football at the ACU 29-yard line with 7:20 left in the game. Thirty-four seconds later the Javelinas were in the end zone again as Poppell hit Ryan Lincoln from 12 yards out to cut ACU's lead to 31-24 with 6:46 to play.

But ACU's defense was able to make a few plays on the final two drives as Courtney Lane's pressure on Poppell resulted in an interception by Darien Williams with less than four minutes to play. And on Kingsville's final drive, Kevin Washington came up with a fumble recovery as the Javelinas were lateraling the ball around in a last-ditch effort to score.

ACU receiver Edmund Gates caught a career-best 11 passes for 135 yards and one score, while Kendrick Johnson caught seven passes a career-best 134 yards.