The Texas College Steers kicked off the game with a celebration honoring the senior class and came out pumped up, taking a two-touchdown lead.
However, untimely turnovers started to aid the Oklahoma Baptist Bison to a 39-28 victory over the Steers in TC’s season finale Saturday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
An expected running battle turned into an air show with a combined 92 passes in the game.
“I feel bad for the seniors,” third-year Steers head coach George Cumby said.
“The players gave it all they had, it’s just too bad we couldn’t win a game that was a very winnable game for us, but we just could not get any consistency going in the last half.
“Hats off to them (OBU), and they have come a long way since last year but I wish we could have sent the seniors out with a win.”
It appeared the Steers were ready to pick up a second conference win early on, but turnovers and a missed fourth-down run attempt by the Steers punter help aid the Bisons’ field position.
After three plays and a punt to start the game for OBU, the Steers put together a 75-yard drive.
TC quarterback Curtez Griffen gave the Steers a lead with a 4-yard run for one score.
Another three plays and punt for the visitors set up a Jamaal Johnson 66-yard catch-and-run score. Johnson also caught the PAT pass for a 14-0 lead with 7:07 left in the opening quarter.
OBU, however, answered back with two TD passes in the final 4 minutes, 43 seconds of the stanza to knot the score at 14-14 after the first period.
The Bison took the lead for the first time after field goals of 40 and 27 yards by Austin Manger.
The Steers’ leading tackler, Charles Jones from Texarkana, made the only interception of the game to put TC in good shape at the Bison 28-yard line.
Six plays later, Josh Isaac hauled in a 16-yard TD pass from Griffen to regain the lead at 22-20 after Johnson caught the PAT pass from Griffen.
Grauer threw a 9-yard strike for a tally and the Manger PAT kick regained the OBU lead for good and a 33-22.
Manger banged through a 22-yard field goal before TC made its final TD of the season.
Griffen found his leading receiver for the game, Ja’Marius Allen, for a 9-yard scoring pass but the PAT pass was intercepted.
Allen made seven catches for 117 yards and one TD to pace the Steers.
Receiver Josh Isaac made six catches, four of the circus-style variety for 83 yards.
The top ground-gainer for was Taylor Gray with seven carries and 18 yards.
TC outgained the Bison in total yardage, 384-349, but five consecutive penalties killed another Steers drive deep in Bison territory in the final quarter.
Eric DeLay made seven catches for 117 yards for OBU, while running back Darryl Fields finished with seven carries for 41 yards.
Defensively for TC, Charles Jones made 10 tackles and added the TD setup with an interception. Henry Mapps made nine stops (five solo) and two sacks.
Joseph Cook added two sacks and four tackles, while DBs Geoffrey Gilchrist had six tackles and Gilmer’s Jeremy McMillan added five tackles.