Small college notes: Tarleton State riding high after rallying to defeat West Texas A&M

Posted Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Trailing 27-3 at halftime against No. 4 West Texas A&M, Tarleton State football coach Cary Fowler huddled his team before it headed into the locker room.

“I told them that it was all my fault,” Fowler said. “I just had to relax them and take the blame. They had been hearing about how great they were and they were tight. I went to every position in the locker room and told them to relax, play and have fun.”

Have fun is exactly what the Texans did. Tarleton ran off 28 unanswered points, including the game-winning touchdown with 44 seconds left, to upset West Texas A&M 31-27.

Le’Nard Meyers earned the Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Week award after catching eight passes for 168 yards, 63 coming on a touchdown reception that preceded his game-winning catch. Teammate Marques Wadley was named the Defensive Player of the Week, making 15 tackles, one shy of his career high.

The win moved the Texans from 21st to No. 14 in the AFCA Division II Coaches Poll. The players however, didn’t dwell on celebrating the big win.

The Texans (5-0, 4-0 LSC) travel to Cleveland, Miss., on Saturday for a 6 p.m. kickoff against Delta State, which defeated Tarleton 38-25 last season. Delta State (3-2, 2-1) blocked a punt and forced an interception to steal the win last year on a last-second field goal.

“We are the opponent,” Fowler said. “We are the only team that can beat us. We have to go and defensively take away what they do. Our defense has been able to take away the strength of every one of our opponents.”

Title defense begins

Tarleton State men’s basketball opened practice with Monday night’s Midnight Madness event.

The defending Lone Star Conference tournament champions open the season Nov. 9 against Southwestern Adventist.

Tarleton State returns three of its leading scorers, seniors Chuck Guy, De’Andre Upchurch and Coleman Furst. Guy was fifth in the Lone Star Conference in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game, while Upchurch added 10.7 points per game.

The Texans fell in the opening round of the NCAA Division II tournament last year, 76-75 to No. 3 Metro State.

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