Ja’Marius Allen hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Curtez Griffin with 15 seconds remaining to lift Texas College to a 36-29 win over Wayland Baptist Saturday at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium in Plainview.
It was the Steers (1-3, 1-0) first victory of the season, while the Pioneers fall to 0-4 and 0-1. It was also the Central States Football League opener for both teams.
The final drive was set up when TC linebacker Charles Jones stripped the Pioneer runner and recovered the football at the Texas College nine.
“Charles (Jones) had another great game for us at linebacker, and his recovery there late when they were driving really fueled the team and our offense just made the plays,” TC coach George Cumby said.
TC took over with 1:21 left in the game and trailing 29-28.
Griffin, who stepped in for woozy starter Vincent McNeil in the third quarter, directed the Steers on the winning drive. Facing a fourth-and-16 at his own 20, Griffin connected with Joshua Isaac for 27 yards and first down.
On the next play, Griffin lofted a pass to Allen, who caught the ball, between three defenders at the five and leaped into the end zone.
Griffin then ran the ball in for the two-point conversion and TC led 36-29.
“Curtez did a great job of stepping in and making some very smart plays for us,” Cumby said. “There was a lot of pressure on him, and a few big fourth-down plays he kept his composure and made the play we needed.”
Griffin hit on 15 of 25 pass attempts for 214 yards and two touchdowns. McNeil also starred, connecting on 23 of 39 passes for 366 yards and three TDs.
Allen, the sophomore from Pine Tree HS, had nine receptions for 144 yards and three TDs, while Jamaal Johnson had nine catches for 135 yards and a TD.
“Ja’Marius (Allen had a huge game for us, Aaron Washington had two big catches and over 100-yards I think, and Josh Isaac made three clutch grabs in the final quarter that helped us earn this win today,” Cumby said.
Kendall Roberson led Wayland Baptist with 199 yards rushing on 28 carries. He had three touchdowns.
The Steers are off next week, but return to play Oct. 12 against Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla.
The Pioneers play host to Oklahoma Panhandle State University Saturday. Kickoff is 2 p.m.
Texas College 36,
Wayland Baptist 29
Texas College 0 14 8 14 — 36
Wayland Baptist 8 7 7 7 — 29
WBU—Kendall Roberson 1 run (Josh Bailey pass to Ashton Tillman), 1:33.
TC—Ja’Marius Allen 9 pass from Vincent McNeil (McNeil pass to Aaron Washington), 12:28
WBU—Roberson 8 run (JT Torres kick), 10:18
TC—Jamaal Johnson 39 pass from McNeil (pass failed), 6:42
TC—Allen 35 pass from McNeil (McNeil run), 12:06
WBU—Roberson 53 run (Torres kick), 7:07
TC—Bradford Lewis 16 pass from Curtez Griffin (run failed), 13:44
WBU—Caleb Monroe 41 pass from Joshua Houghtaling (Torres kick), 12:53
TC—Allen 53 pass from Griffin (Griffin run), :15
First Downs 3621
Rushes-Yards 47-49 39-217
Passing Yards 580 255
Comp.-Att.-Int. 38-64-2 19-41-2
Punts-Avg. 3-34.3 3-57.0
Fumbles-Lost 5-2 5-4
Penalties-Yards 12-82 9-70
RUSHING—TC, Burns 20-56, McNeil 14-36, Allen 1-7, Roberson 1-(-3), Siberry 1-(-7), Griffin 10-(-40). WBU, Roberson 27-196, Houghtaling 6-27, Tillman 4-9, Hudson 2-(-15).
PASSING—TC, McNeil 23-39-2 366 yards, 3 TDs. Griffin 15-25-0 214 yards, 2 TDs. WBU, Houghtaling 16-34-2 224 yards, 2 TDs, Hudson 3-7-0 31 yards.
RECEIVING—TC, Lewis 10-100, Allen 9-144, Johnson 9-135, Isaac 4-71, Sidberry 4-30, Washington 2-100. WBU, Acosta 5-67, Eaton 2-61, Monroe 2-45, Maldonado 2-24, Barnett 2-21, Amador 2-20,Chatman 2-8, Tillman 1-5, Pegg 1-4.