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Buffaloes Come Up Short In Opener At
Special to the N.E.T.
ADA, OK -- The West Texas A&M University football
team struggled in its season-opener,falling 13-6, to East
Central University Saturday night at ECU's Norris Field
in Ada, Okla.
The Buffaloes had several opportunities and scoring
chances, but were allthwarted by self-inflicted mistakes,
either a dropped pass or a penalty, toend the drive and
prevent the offense from reaching the end zone.
WTAMU piled up 329 yards of offense, but couldn't find
the end zone. Senior quarterback Derek Maupin was 34-53
for 274 yards, with one interception.
Senior wideout Anthony Armstrong snagged eight passes for
73 yards, while junior wideout Jordan Grant had five
catches for 71 yards in his first game in a Buffalo
ECU, which won its home opener for the first time since
1996, compiled 288 yards of offense, including 111 yards
rushing by running back King Bennett, as well as 125
yards passing by quarterback Wilson Pirtle on 11-21 in
his ECU debut.
Junior Jacob Felton booted a pair of field goals to
provide the WTAMU offense, drilling a 26-yarder in the
second quarter to put the Buffaloes on the board,
trailing ECU, 7-3. Felton added a 34-yard field goal in
the third quarter to pull WTAMU within 10-6.
After a scoreless first quarter, ECU got on the board
first, taking overafter a muffed WTAMU punt return at the
Buffaloes' 42-yard line. Pirtle punched it in on a
14-yard run, and Greshman added the PAT to put the Tigers
ahead 7-0 just four minutes into the second stanza.
WTAMU responded with 13-play, 71-yard drive, that
culminated with Felton's first field goal, to make it 7-3
with 6:33 left in the first half, as the drive fizzled at
the ECU 9-yard line after back-to-back incomplete passes.
The Buffalo defense forced an ECU punt and the offense
drove to the Tigers'33-yard line, where the drive
stalled, and Felton attempted a 51-yard field goal that
was just short, leaving WTAMU trailing, 7-3, with 1:04
That was plenty of time for ECU to put points on the
board, as the Tigers drove the to WTAMU 17, and Brad
Gresham drilled a 34-yard field goal as the clock turned
to zeroes, sending the teams to halftime with ECU
Felton's second field goal capped a drive which began on
the ECU 38 after the Buffaloes' coverage team forced ECU
return man Trey Owens to cough up the ball and WTAMU
The Buffaloes stampeded to the Tigers' 14-yard line on
three-straight\ running plays from junior running back
Dominique Bibben, including a 13-yard burst on the first
play of the drive. The stampede was stamped out after a
WTAMU penalty on third-and-eight from the 12, forced the
Buffaloes back to
the 17 and they couldn't convert, setting up Felton's
second kick and bringing WTAMU to within 10-6.
ECU responded with a nine-play, 45-yard drive that was
capped by Gresham's second field goal of the game, a
36-yarder that glanced off the upright, to make it 13-6,
with 8:09 to play in the third quarter.
The Buffaloes put together a 12-play, 47-yard drive that
overlapped the end of the third quarter with the
beginning of the fourth quarter, reaching the ECU 26. On
fourth-and-seven, WTAMU ran a fake field goal, but Felton
was stopped short, turning the ball over on downs.
ECU had a chance to open a bigger lead, but Gresham
missed a 30-yard attempt with 5:43 left in the game.
WTAMU couldn't piece together anything, as the Buffaloes
were forced to punt after a three-and-out, giving the
ball back to ECU with 4:12 remaining on the clock.
The Tigers drove to the Buffaloes' 37-yard line, but
WTAMU senior defensive back Terry Roy broke through and
sacked Pirtle on a third-down play, to stomp out that
threat, and giving the WTAMU offense one last shot.
The Buffaloes took over at the 20-yard line with 1:46 to
play after ECU's punt went into the end zone for the
touchback, but WTAMU couldn't move the ball, coming up
short on a fourth-down play, turning the ball over to ECU
with 1:22 left. Pirtle took a knee on three plays to end
The WTAMU defense showed dramatic improvement since last
year, as junior defensive end Daryl Lewis led the
Buffaloes with 10 tackles, while newcomer fellow junior
defensive end Derick Wiley added nine, as well as another
newcomer, junior defensive back Marques Kelley also had
WTAMU makes its home opener on Patriot Day, Sept. 11,
against the 10th-ranked University of Central Oklahoma at
6 p.m. at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium, featuring a special
pregame ceremony, as well as post-game fireworks and
laser light show to honor Patriot Day.
Steals Thunder In Buffaloes' Scrimmage
Special to the N.E.T.
CANYON, Texas - The special teams unit
stole the thunder from the high-octane offense and the
revamped defense in West Texas A&M University's
two-hour controlled scrimmage Thursday night at Kimbrough
Junior Jacob Felton drilled a 55-yard
field goal into the wind and senior preseason
All-American punter Chad Kennedy boomed a 64-yarder.
Sophomore Jason Jones broke loose for a 46-yard punt
Felton's kick was shy of the school
record of 58 yards, held by Bruce Wyre in 1973.
The Buffaloes' high-octane offense,
directed by senior signal-caller Derek Maupin, had
several highlights on the evening, including newcomer
junior receiver Tonae Martin, who caught a 47-yard pass
early in the scrimmage, and senior wideout Anthony
Armstrong who had a 30-yard reception, while true
freshman Kiel Anderson scampered for a 40+ yard scoring
run late in the scrimmage.
The defense tallied several sacks and quarterback
hurries, as well as breaking up a handful of passes.
The Buffaloes bring back 20 starters (10
offense, 8 defense, 2 special teams) and 38 letterwinners
from last year's 3-8 campaign, entering the season-opener
Sept. 4 at East Central University.
WTAMU's home opener is Patriot Day, Sept.
11, as the Buffaloes host the University of Central
Oklahoma at 6 p.m. at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium,
featuring a special pregame ceremony, as well as
post-game fireworks and laser light show to honor Patriot
Sept. 5, 2004