Wayland Baptist beat Texas College for first win

Wayland Baptist beat Texas College for first win
Wayland Baptist (Source: Wayland Baptist University)

PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - Provided by Wayland Baptist University

Wayland Baptist foiled the potential go-ahead two-point conversion with less than a minute left in regulation, and the Pioneers hung on to defeat Texas College in Central States Football League action Saturday afternoon at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium, 27-26.

Wayland's dramatic first win of the season came during its home-opener and during homecoming week. At halftime Flying Queen Nina Sato was crowned homecoming queen.

The Pioneers, who opened the season with three road games, improved to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the CSFL. Texas College dropped to 0-4, 0-2.

The teams traded scores the entire game, and it appeared the contest might go to overtime when the Steers recovered a fumble on a punt return with 3:03 to play and scored on a 31-yard run to pull to within a point with 59 seconds left.

The Steers called timeout and decided to go for the win.

Lined up in the shotgun for the two-point conversion, freshman quarterback Vontyne Williams never got a handle on the snap on what appeared was going to be an option play, and Wayland senior linebacker Zac Hollingsworth recovered the loose ball. Freshman Pioneer JyUius Bumpus then recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the win, which snapped a five-game skid for WBU. The Steers have lost 14 in a row.

WBU quarterback Mitchell Parsley completed 13-of-28 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. The first score was a 14-yard toss to tight end Ben Owen five minutes into the second quarter that tied the game, 7-7. Texas College had taken a 7-0 lead by scoring on its first possession of the game, taking advantage of a short field after a short punt to midfield.

The Pioneers took their first lead of the season with just under four minutes left in the first half when Parsley hooked up with Malik Sims on a 22-yard pass.

Wayland extended its lead to 17-7 when Daniel Martinez booted a 52-yard field goal with 5:00 showing on the third-quarter clock.

The Steers made it a three-point game on a short touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, then after Wayland fumbled the ensuing kickoff tied it at 17-all on a 28-yard field goal with 12:30 left in the game.

Wayland got a big special teams boost when De'Sean Johnson returned the Texas College kickoff 44 yards to near midfield. The Pioneers were in trouble facing third-down-and-20 when Parsley completed a 35-yard pass to Devonte Hayden. Wayland converted another third-and-long, this time on an 11-yard toss from Parsley to Ja'Cobye Bracy.

A pair of Texas College penalties moved it to the 6-yard line where Johnson ran it in on the next play, putting WBU back ahead by seven with 9:32 left.

Wayland's defense came up with a stop, and when a high punt snap resulted in Wayland's offense taking over at the Steers' 15-yard line, things were looking up for WBU.

But the Pioneers weren't able to add to their lead when Martinez's 31-yard field goal was blocked. That led to the dramatic final 2 minutes that saw Texas College score the final points after the fumbled Wayland punt return.

Thankfully for the Pioneers, it was only six points and not seven.

Senior linebacker Michael Nealy, the reigning CSFL Defensive Player of the Week, ended with a career-high 20 tackles, including nine solo stops. Sophomore linebacker Weston McIntire was next with eight tackles.

Wayland heads back on the road for its next game Sept. 30 against Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. Lyon, a team the Pioneers defeated twice last year, were 2-2 going into Saturday's game against Oklahoma Panhandle State. The Scots lost their CSFL opener to Langston, Okla., two weeks ago, 41-14. Lyon defeated Missouri Baptist (28-7) and Trinity Bible College (61-0).