Texas College concentrated its efforts on finishing on a high note after striking a winning chord last week.
The Steers enter their next-to-last game with McMurry out of postseason contention, but gaining momentum after its second win of the season.
The Steers make their second trip to Abilene, this time for a 2 p.m. kickoff at Wilford Moore Stadium against a McMurry program in the transition from NCAA Division III to Division II, which offers athletic scholarships. The Steers stem with confidence after last week’s 31-20 win over Concordia-Selma (Ala.).
In their first trip to Abilene, the Steers lost to Hardin-Simmons (57-21). Since, TC has snapped a 15-game losing skid with a 26-0 win over Wayland Baptist, and went the distance in losses to the top two teams in the Central States Football League, falling to Langston (14-7) and Bacone (19-6).
TC led 24-0 at the midway point against a Concordia squad with one win over an NCAA Division I.
“The confidence is high because we beat a Concordia team that was 5-2,” second-year TC head coach George Cumby said. “We just jumped out on them and that confidence from that game is flowing over to this week. The last two weeks we’ve been like this.”
McMurry (5-3) defeated three teams the Steers lost to: Oklahoma Panhandle State (42-33), Incarnate Word (28-20) and Langston (29-11). McMurry also defeated Wayland Baptist (76-13). TC fell to Incarnate Word (19-12) in its second game and to Oklahoma Panhandle State (30-9), a game the Steers lost quarterback Vincent McNeil to injury.
McMurry gained 283 yards against a stout Langston defense, whereas the Steers finished with 318 yards against the same team in a breakout game for freshman quarterback Milton Harper.
In its lone meeting to date, McMurry breezed to a 64-0 win over TC in 2010.
The War Hawks average 28.1 points and 405 yards (73 rushing, 332 passing) per game, while allowing 33.5 points and 395 yards (183 rushing, 212 passing). Senior quarterback Jake Mullin paces the War Hawks with 2,257 yards, 14 TDs and nine interceptions passing with Greg Livingston (59 receptions for 718 yards) his favorite target.
The Steers produce 13.5 points and 236 yards (107 rushing, 129 passing) on average, while yielding 30.1 points and 345 yards (126 rushing, 219 passing). The Steers rank second in the NAIA in sacks per game (3.8).
Senior linebacker Dontay Livingston (106 tackles, two sacks) and sophomore defensive lineman Luis Castro (31 tackles, six sacks) lead the Steers stop unit.
“We have to play our best game against McMurry. Their offense is really talented and they have a tall quarterback we have to stop,” Cumby said. “To finish strong, that’s what our focus is the next two weeks.”