December 15, 2018

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Louisiana College vs McMurry Recap

The Louisiana College Wildcats traveled to Abeline, Texas on Saturday and defeated by the McMurry War Hawks by a final score of 34-28.  The Wildcats fall to 4-5 on the season and 1-4 in conference play with one game remaining on the road at Mary Hardin-Baylor next week.

A week after a heartbreaking 64-62 loss to rival ETBU, where the Wildcats put up over 500 yards of offense, LC struggled to move the ball with consistency against a talented McMurry defense, especially on the ground.  The conference’s leading rusher, Aurren Cooksey was held to just 65 yards on 13 carries with 39 coming on his lone touchdown run early in the 4th quarter.

The War Hawks took the opening possession of the game for 49 yards in 12 total plays and converted a 45-yard field goal to give the home team an early 3-0 lead in the game. The Wildcats would not be able to get the offense going over the next two drives snapping the ball eight times with two punts.  The War Hawks would have the next scoring opportunity at the start of the second quarter but Rudy Johnson was able get a hand on a McMurry field goal attempt to keep the score at 3-0.

The Wildcats would take the lead in the quarter after recovering a fumble on a punt return that gave LC great field positions at the McMurry 38-yard line. Three plays after the punt Easton Melancon found D.J. Latino for a 10-yard touchdown pass, his first touchdown catch of the season, to make the score 7-3 Wildcats early in the second.

Down by four the War Hawks would score 10-points in the final 50 seconds of the half after a 12-yard touchdown pass at the 49 second mark, capping a 12-play, 90-yard drive, and then an interception set the War Hawks up for a 22-yard field goal as time expired in the half.

Down by six to start the third quarter, the Wildcats would come out and regain the lead right away in the second half when Easton Melancon hit Shedrick Davis for a 45-yard touchdown, his 12th touchdown of the season.  McMurry would answer on their next possession to go back on top at 20-14, on their third 10 plus play scoring drive of the game.

After both teams traded turnovers, with the Wildcats Willie Smith intercepting a ball in the end zone for a touchback, LC would put together their best drive of the game going 80 yards in 10 plays, finished with a Lamar Carroway 36-yard touchdown pass, to give LC a 21-20 lead with a minute left in the third.

The Wildcats extended their slim lead to eight on Aurren Cooksey’s 39-yard touchdown run at the 13:51 minute mark of the fourth quarter. The War Hawks cut the lead down to two with a touchdown pass on their next possession, making the score 28-26 with 9:07 remaining in the game. LC would force another turnover on the War Hawks next drive as quarterback B.J. Ross tried to score but the ball was knocked out of his hands and recovered in the end zone by Orel Ledet, Jr. The turnover prevented McMurry from taking the lead and gave the Wildcats the ball back with the lead and 2:21 left on the clock.

LC’s offensive struggles in the game came back to bite them as they were unable to convert for a first down and were forced to punt with 1:50 left in the game.  The War Hawks would not let the second chance slip by and found the end zone with 47 seconds left to take the lead for the final time, converting a 2-point attempt as well. LC moved the ball to near mid field on their final chance of the game, but when intended receiver Shed Davis was unintentionally tripped on his route the pass from Melancon was intercepted and the ball game would end in the War Hawks favor.

Melancon finished the night with 274 yards passing on 20 of 32 passing and three touchdowns, giving the senior 29 touchdown passes on the season.  Aurren Cooksey was held to just 61 yards on 13 carries, keeping him 24 yards shy of his second straight 1,000 yard rushing season.  Shed Davis led the Wildcats in the air once again with eight catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, Davis was able to go over 1,000 receiving yards for the season, by two yards, on Saturday. Josh Pickett led the Wildcat defense with 12 total tackles including 10 solo tackles.

The Wildcats close out the season on next Saturday as they travel to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a 1pm kickoff. Live coverage of the game can be heard on 104.3 The Bridge starting at 12:30 pm.

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About Andy Bryson 664 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach