Home 1st and 210 TXST Football: The Bobcat defense leads the Cats to their third victory...

TXST Football: The Bobcat defense leads the Cats to their third victory in 2021

Aaron Meullion // TXST Insider
Aaron Meullion // TXST Insider

It was a game that went against the grain of what 2021 has been for the Bobcats. From a strong defensive outing to efficient offensive play, Texas State arguably played their best four quarters of the season.

The (3-6, 2-3 SBC) Texas State Bobcats took on the (4-5, 2-4 SBC) Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks in a Sun Belt battle that neither team could afford to lose.

“I couldn’t be happier for that locker room. our mantra has been keep swinging all season.” – head coach jake spavital

The Bobcats began Saturday’s contest with the ball and QB Tyler Vitt under center. The Bobcat offense struggled early, with a three and out to begin the game.

QB Chandler Rogers and the ULM offense replicated Texas State’s first possession, except they picked up a quick first down before ultimately punting the ball to the Texas State 1 yard line.

Vitt and the offense rebounded after an abysmal first possession, as they drove down the field and put up three points after a Seth Keller field goal. The three-point lead came after Keller notched his 5th kick from 40+ yards on the year, with 8:12 left in the first frame.

The Warhawks answered with a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a score by RB Andrew Henry. Not related to Derrick, but he drove his legs into paydirt which gave ULM a 6-3 lead with 2:58 left in the first quarter.

The offensive display didn’t end there, as Tyler Vitt found WR Javen Banks with a 49-yard dart to put the Bobcats up by a score of 10-6. The deep ball was Javen Banks’ 16th receiving touchdown of his career, which put him 4th all-time in Texas State history.

“we felt like we could be more aggressive with the pass plays.” – head coach jake spavital

Into the second frame, ULM’s offense went on another 12 play drive, this time it ended it a 52-yard field goal attempt by Calum Sutherland. The attempt barely crept in over the crossbar, closing the game to a one-point lead for the Bobcats.

But the Cats roared back with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ends in RB Caleb Twyford finding the end-zone to cap off what has been an amazing offensive showing by Coach Spav and this Bobcats offense. The rushing score put the Cats up eight, a 17-9 lead with under six minutes to go in the first half.

ULM wasn’t done here, as QB Chandler Rogers led the Warhawks on a nine-play, 65-yard drive that ended in the signal-caller keeping a designed run and finding his way into the end-zone. The touchdown and extra-point cut the Bobcats lead to one point by a score of 17-16 with two minutes left in the first half.

The Bobcats finished their first half offensively with a field-goal attempt by Seth Keller, a 43-yarder. Keller knocked it in with ease, which was his 6th kick of 40+ yards on the season. The made field goal put the Bobcats up by a score of 20-16 with 54 seconds left in the half.

The first half concluded with ULM’s attempt to get points stopping abruptly after the clock ran out as they were on the Bobcats side of the field. After one half, Texas State led by a score of 20-16. Texas State’s offensive line up to this point was dominant in both facets of blocking, something that continued throughout the second half despite seven points to show for it.

The second half opened with ULM driving into Texas State territory yet again, though they were unable to grab six points. Instead, they settled for another Sutherland field goal, this time from 45-yards. The made attempt cut the Bobcats lead to one point, 20-19 with 10:13 left in the third quarter.

A series of punts ended the third quarter from both teams, as the fourth quarter began with the Warhawks in possession of the football. They begin the 4th and final frame on Texas State’s 45 yard-line.

The Warhawks were unable to cash in on their field-goal attempt from 51 yards out, a stunning end to what looked like a substance-filled drive to begin the final frame.

After a few series of punts for each team, the Warhawks found themselves on 4th and 1 from their own 37 yard-line. They ended up in a “goal-line” formation and attempted a QB sneak, but the attempt failed. The Bobcats stopped the ULM offense with 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter, giving their offense a chance to put a stamp on this game.

“defensively in that second half, everyone  (on the texas state defense) had their moments. (he later added) that lead to our victory right there.” – head coach jake spavital

The Texas State offense took over and immediately fed the ball to Marcell Barbee who picked up a major first down near the red zone. After a set of downs, the Bobcats found themselves with a 4th down conversion of their own. They chose a sweep out of the shotgun, which was stone-walled by the ULM defense.

The Bobcats defense continued to find themselves in favorable situations, from third and long to fourth and medium, and they continued to shine. Texas State’s defense stopped ULM’s every comeback attempt, en route to giving their offense the ball inside Warhawk territory.

“All week we’ve been talking about winning the game on defense.” LB markeveon coleman

With two minutes left on the ULM side of the field, Texas State’s RB Jahmyl Jeter scored a touchdown that put the Cats up by 8.

The Maroon and Gold’s defense stuck to their game plan and stopped ULM’s final comeback attempt on the ensuing possession, which ultimately gave the victory to Texas State.

The Bobcats go to 3-6 on the season, picking up their second in-conference win of the season. For the Warhawks, they drop to 4-5 on the year in addition to losing their second consecutive game against Texas State.

“I thought tyler vitt played well. he came out and was throwing it around.” – head coach jake spavital

Texas State will now take on Georgia Southern next Saturday back at the Wack, another crucial in-conference game for a team that would love to play in a Bowl game after recent struggles over the years.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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