92
      Friday
      90 / 67
      Saturday
      90 / 67
      Sunday
      93 / 69

      WT Buffs roll in regular season finale

      For the first time since 2007, the No. 17-ranked West Texas A&M football team can call itself Lone Star Conference Champions after a 45-14 win over Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams. With the win, the Buffs improved to 9-2 on the year and finished conference play with a 7-1 record tying with Midwestern State for the conference title, while TAMUC fell to 1-9 and 1-7 in league play.

      The Buffs were led on the ground by senior running back Khiry Robinson has he became the first running back since Keithon Flemming in 2007. Robinson led the way with 110 yards on the ground and two scores. He has 1,015 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns for the season. Junior quarterback Dustin Vaughan, who didn??t play in the fourth quarter due to the lopsided score, went 20 of 29 for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Torrence Allen had four catches for 103 yards and a score.

      Defensively, the Buffs were led by juniors Shane Pennix and Taylor McCuller who each had seven tackles and each had a sack. TAMUC and the conference-leading tackler, Danny Mason, had 15 tackles on the day.

      West Texas A&M will now return home and await its NCAA Tournament fate as the NCAA Division II Football Selection Show will be announced live tomorrow at 4 p.m. CT on www.ncaa.com.

      The Buffs forced a three-and-out on the opening possession by the Lions on a windy day at Memorial Field as the Lions lined up for a punt at their 25. West Texas brought the heat and junior defensive back Curtis Slater blocked the punt with junior linebacker Eric Finefeuiaki scooped and scored for a 7-0 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. It was the first punt block returned for a touchdown since junior linebacker David Christmas returned one at Incarnate Word Sept. 22, 2012, and the sixth block of the season for the Buffs.

      On the second WT possession, the Buffs marched down the field following a TAMUC punt from the 50 as Robinson ran in from five yards out for a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. It was the tenth rushing touchdown of the season for Robinson.

      A fumble forced by redshirt freshman defensive back Anthony Hayes and recovery by junior linebacker Chris Olson set the Buffs up once again near midfield as Vaughan threw a nice pass to junior wide receiver Lance Ratliff, but the Buffs were stopped on fourth and short at the 15.

      Following a fumble by the Buffaloes, the Lions marched down field and Jamar Mosley ran in from 11-yards out for a 14-7 score with 2:11 remaining in the first half. It was the second rushing touchdown by a running back this season for the Lions.

      WT took the ensuing kick and drove down field for a score in the final minute on a nine-play, 73-yard drive for 1:30 on the clock as it was capped on a 15-yard run from Robinson for a 21-7 lead with 35 seconds left in the half.

      For the half Robinson led the way with 71 yards on the ground and two scores. Vaughan went 13 of 20 for 138 yards. TAMUC had 186 total yards, while the Buffs had 232. WT held the Lions to just 35 yards on the ground.

      After Cameron Frosch punted to the WT 2-yard line on the Lions first drive of the second half, the Buffs drove 98-yards on 10 plays in 4:23 for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead. Robinson had a 20-yard run which pushed him over 1,000 yards for the season early in the drive. Vaughan, then on 3rd and 8, threw a nice 18-yard pass to junior wide receiver Torrence Allen for a first down at the TAMUC 15. Vaughan then hooked up with junior Jace Jackson for the score from 13-yards out.

      The 98-yard drive was the longest of the season for the Buffs.

      The Lions came right back with a nice drive as they cut the deficit back to 14 with a 5-play, 75-yard drive consuming 2:47 as Wayne Chapman scored from five-yards out for the second rushing touchdown of the game.

      On the ensuing drive, Vaughan hooked up with Allen on the flea-flicker for 75-yards and a 35-14 score. They then scored, once again, early in the fourth as redshirt freshman Geremy Alridge lead the ground attack and ran in from 12-yards out for a 42-14 score.

      The Buffs added a late field goal from junior Sergio Castillo, Jr., for the final margin of 45-14.