Buffs Battle Back; But Come Up Short In Lone Star Opener

The West Texas A&M Buffalos dropped their Lone Star Conference opener to #4 Tarleton 58 to 28 Saturday night in Stephenville, Texas.

West Texas A&M scored on their first four drives of the second half in a 58-28 defeat to No. 4 Tarleton in their Lone Star Conference opener on Saturday night in Stephenville, Texas.

 The buffs struggled from both sides of the ball and were down 51-0 at halftime. The Buffs managed just 12 yards on offense in the first half while turning the ball over three times including a pick-six.

 Buff Michael Onozie forced a fumble on the second-half kickoff that was recovered at the TSU 12-yard line. Nick Gerber found Jeremie Karnbaye for 20 yards and a first down. Jordan Johnson scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

WT scored a second touchdown when Gerber connected with Chase Sojka on a pair of third-and-longs to keep the drive alive before finding Juwan McCall from 12 yards out for the senior’s first career touchdown reception.

 The Buffs would make it three straight touchdowns on their next drive after Tobias Harris recorded a career-high 85-yard punt return to put WT at the Tarleton 3-yard line. J. Johnson would contribute his second touchdown of the game on the first play of the drive with a three-yard pass to Brock Gerlich to make it 51-21 with under a minute remaining in the third quarter. 

 JewMonte Lewis was credited with the Buffs first blocked punt of the season on the Texan’s first drive of the fourth quarter. Gerber would complete passes to Semaj Mitchell and J. Johnson before WT turned to the ground where Logan Vallo ran for 13 yards on four carries. Gerber would punch it in from two yards out before finding J. Johnson on the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 23 with 10 minutes remaining in the contest.

 Gerber finished the game 10-of-25 for 84 yards with a touchdown and interception. J. Johnson had 31 yards on the ground on 10 attempts with Vallo contributing 20 yards on nine carries. Sojka was one of eight Buffs to record a reception as the junior had a team-high 32 yards receiving.

 Hayden Dennis led the defense with a career-high 13 tackles including a tackle for loss with Christopher Thomas chipping in 11. Frank Honang just missed getting double-digit tackles for the third straight game with nine to go along with a quarterback hurry.

 WT returns to Buffalo Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 28, against Western New Mexico. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.