Provided by: Wayland Baptist University
Saturday afternoon's Central States Football League game between Wayland Baptist and Southwestern Assemblies of God University boiled down to a running back/kicker show. Unfortunately, the Lions got a handful more points out of their tandem than the Pioneers did out of their's.
While Kendall Roberson and Jake Higgs were impressive for Wayland, rushing for three touchdowns and kicking three PATs, respectively, SAGU's Troy Griffin and James Gish were just a bit more productive. Griffin ran for two TDs while Gish booted four field goals to lead the Lions to a 26-21 victory at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium.
Wayland (0-8, 0-4 CSFL) led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter before the Lions scored 17 unanswered points to take a 20-14 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Pioneers regained the lead, 21-20, when Roberson and Higgs made it happen for the last time with 10:53 to play.
The Lions didn't trail for long, however, as Gish – with an appreciable southerly wind at his back – booted field goals of 44 and 43 yards to cap SAGU's next two possessions and go up by five.
With 2:03 left on the clock, the win-hungry Pioneers still had 2:03 to work with but were 75 yards from the end zone. That field got much shorter, though, when Anthony Campuzano, in for injured starter Josh Houghtaling, hooked up with Roberson on a 49-yard pass and run that set Wayland up at the SAGU 26-yard line.
It went downhill from there, however, as Campuzano – hobbling a bit on an injured leg – was sacked, threw an incomplete pass and finally underthrew his intended receiver on a crossing route, allowing SAGU's Dylan Snyder to make a diving interception at the Lions' 17 with 1:11 showing.
The Pioneers held SAGU without a first down while exhausting all of their timeouts, forcing the Lions to punt from their own 24 with 15 seconds left. SAGU got off a clutch 53-yard punt without a hitch, and after Wayland's Chris Acosta returned it 16 yards to the Pioneers' 39, only three seconds remained. The Lions then sacked Campuzano as time ran out.
SAGU recorded 25 first downs and 400 yards of offense compared to Wayland's 11 firsts and 319 yards. Roberson ended with 139 yards, 82 of which came on his second touchdown run of the contest. Campuzano completed 7-of-19 passes for 155 yards with two picks, while Houghtaling went 2-of-9 for 61 yards. Josh Amador made two catches for a team-best 67 yards.
On defense, the Pioneers were led by Jon-Lucas Poe with five solo and 10 assisted tackles. Nathaniel Sisler added 7 solo stops and one assisted while David Hockenberry had five and four.
The Pioneers play their final home game of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 against McMurry University in what will be Military/Veterans Appreciation Day. All veterans and active military personnel, and their immediate families, will be admitted free.
McMurry, which faced University of the Incarnate Word on Saturday in Abilene, is 1-7 on the season, its lone win coming over Oklahoma-Panhandle State on Sept. 28, 53-27. OPSU defeated Wayland a week after that, 62-21.The War Hawks topped the Pioneers last season, 76-13.
WBU ends its season on Nov. 16 on the road against CSFL leader Langston (Okla.)