Lions fall 27-17 to Sam Houston – The Gilmer Mirror

HUNTSVILLE- Staying within range of the 2020 NCAA Division I FCS National Champions, Sam Houston Bearkats, throughout Saturday night, the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team fell 27-17 at Bowers Stadium.

The Lions drop to 1-2 this season, while the Bearkats earn their first win of the season and are 1-2. It was only the second meeting between the two teams in the last 37 years, who met every year from 1919 to 1987.

In the first practice of the game, the Bearkats went down to the red zone, but were limited to a field goal attempt from 37 yards. Sam Houston’s field goal attempt sailed wide to the right.

The Lions pushed into Bearkat territory on first practice, but Sam Houston intercepted the Lions attempt on fourth down and sent it back 10 yards. The Lions’ biggest play on practice was a 31-yard reception by Andre Armstrong (Dallas–Bishop Dunne) from Zadock Dinkelmann (Somerset), who started Saturday’s game as a quarterback.

Seth Morgan scored a field goal with 2:53 left in the first quarter for the game’s first points. After a punt, the Bearkats made a 44-yard drive to score a six-yard touchdown on a run from quarterback Jordan Yates, who rolled over in the end zone.

In the practice that followed, the Lions walked inside Sam Houston’s red zone, but a fumble on the 13-yard line blocked another offensive drive.

The Bearkats returned the favor with a 48-yard drive into the red zone, but the Lion’s defense again stopped at the goal line and forced a field goal attempt. The snap was sloppy by the Bearkats and the ball rolled to the 37-yard line, where it was picked up by Sam Houston to force a roll on the downs.

Sam Houston, following a Lions punt, walked into Lions territory and finished third-and-three at Lion 18. Following an incomplete on third down, Dee Walker (Moultrie, Ga.) sacked Bearkat’s quarterback on fourth down for blocking the drive.

After being forced to punt to start the second half, the Lions scored their first points of the night on a 41-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Celestin Haba (Columbia, SC), the Lions’ second pick six of the season.

The Bearkats raced down the field on the next practice to come back by seven on a 75-yard drive in 13 games and scored the touchdown on a 3-yard catch by Cody Chrest. A&M-Commerce scored three points on the first drive of the fourth quarter with a 22-yard field goal from Emmanuel Adagbon (Mesquite horn).

Sam Houston scored the next 10 points of the game, a seven-yard touchdown by Zach Hrbacek and a 46-yard field goal by Morgan. With 31 seconds left in the game, Spencer Long (Mont Belvieu – Barbers Hill) scored from the one-yard line for the Lions’ first offensive touchdown of the night.

Dinkelmann went 13 for 25 with one interception and threw for 169 yards in his debut as a quarterback for the Lions. He appeared in the first two games of the season as a tight end. On the ground, he scored 20 yards to lead all Lion rushers. Armstrong continued his dominance with 104 receiving yards on seven catches. He has 333 yards in the first three games. Darius Williams (Fort Worth – Arlington Heights) recorded 10 tackles to lead the team, followed by Walker and Michael Noble (Orange, California) with six each.

The Lions beat the Bearkats through the air, 169-101, but Sam Houston edged A&M-Commerce, 246-54.

POST-MATCH INTERVIEW

NEXT
The Lions return home to face North America next Saturday at 6 p.m. as part of Family Weekend and Rockwall CommUniverCity Day.

Charles P. Patton