Houston, TX - The Lubbock Renegades moved into playoff position and improved to .500 (6-6) for the first time in franchise history, as they defeated the Texas Copperheads on the road at the Berry Center 74-44 Saturday night.
Renegades quarterback Robert Kent was impressive with a season high 136.5 quarterback rating. He completed 20 of 30 pass attempts for 283 yards and nine touchdowns. In the second half, Kent completed ten of 11 passes for 126 yards and four touchdowns.
Lubbock's first three scores were touchdown receptions by Chris Highshaw, who also had a trio of scores in the prior meeting against Texas this season. The three scores were added following a safety forced by Shalom Tuimalealiifano on Texas' opening possession.
The Renegades downfall in the game was turnovers in the contest, as they fumbled the ball six times leading to four turnovers and a pair of touchdown fumble recoveries by Texas' Stanley Smith. A safety and Smith's first fumble recovery marked for nine of the Copperheads first 16 points and kept the game close early. With 30-seconds remaining in the first half, Lubbock took over a possession leading 30-23 and marched down to score as time expired with a touchdown pass to Jason Tezeno to take a 37-23 advantage at the half. The score was seven of an eventual 30-0 run to build the lead to 60-23 heading into the fourth quarter. The Copperheads went on a run of their own from with a trio of scores to cut their deficit to 60-44, but the Renegades kept their distance with scores by Robinson and King to claim the win. Robinson ended the game with a pair of touchdown catches and King, like Highshaw, finished with three touchdown receptions. Lubbock kept the offense balanced with four different individuals garnering touchdown receptions and no receiver had over 89 yards in receiving yards. Victor Mann also had a touchdown with a three-yard scamper for his 11th rushing touchdown of the season.
Lubbock's defensive pressure wore down the Copperheads and forced them to operate with two quarterbacks. Starter Kenton Evans completed just 8 of his 23 passing attempts for a pair of scores and 128 yards. He threw one pick, which was grabbed by Charles Ealy. Tony Eckert came in late in the game and completed five of 13 passes for 74 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Lubbock improves to 6-6 with the win and losses by Oklahoma City and Alabama places the Renegades tied for seventh place in the National Conference standings, with the tiebreaker with Oklahoma City keeping them at the eighth and final eligible playoff spot. The Renegades return home to host Tulsa Saturday at City Bank Coliseum.