Wildcats fall in the second round

Austin Pernell carries the ball down the field ahead of a TAMUC defender.

Austin Pernell carries the ball down the field ahead of a TAMUC defender.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

Austin Pernell carries the ball down the field ahead of a TAMUC defender.

Natalie Hyland, Sports Editor

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Xander Fu
Austin Pernell carries the ball down the field ahead of a TAMUC defender.

CWU fought hard, but fell just short in double overtime. The Texas A&M University Commerce (TAMUC) Lions took the game 34-31 in Ellensburg on Saturday. The loss ends CWU’s season and win streak 11-1.

The Wildcats came out swinging, scoring at 2:09 of the first quarter on a 10-yard run by quarterback Reilly Hennessey. The touchdown would be Hennessey’s first career playoff touchdown.

A little over five minutes later, CWU struck again. This time sophomore wide receiver Christian Stafford found the endzone for the Wildcats on a five-yard pass from Reilly Hennessey with 1:37 left in the first quarter.

The Lions made it on the board with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter on a 52-yard run from quarterback Luis Perez. A fumble late in the first quarter put the ball back in the Lions’ possession to end the first quarter.

An early second quarter interception by linebacker Kevin Haynes–his first of the season– ended in a third touchdown for CWU by tight end Kyle Self on a three-yard pass by Reilly Hennessey to bring the score to 21-7 at 2:19 in the second.

Austin Pernell of CWU found the endzone four minutes later with 6:04 left in the first half on a single yard run to bring the score to 28-7 to end the first half.

In addition to Haynes’ interception, linebacker Sean Elledge and sophomore Billy Greer also recorded their first career interceptions in the second quarter.

“Anytime a big play like that happens, especially deep in the red zone… it change[s] the momentum quite a bit,” Hennessey said.

When play resumed in the second half, the Lions opened the second half scoring at 1:19 on a 26-yard rush by Cranadal Hale, bringing the score to 28-14.

Elledge recorded his second career interception at 11:40 of the third quarter to give the Wildcats possession of the ball at their own 43-yard-line.

The Lions returned the favor with 1:19 left in the third quarter as linebacker Garrett Blubaugh intercepted a pass by Hennessey.

The Lions scored to end the third quarter on a nine-yard pass by junior Vincent Hobbs, to come within one touchdown of the Wildcats.

“They [TAMUC] just kind of chipped away and got some momentum,” linebacker Kevin Haynes said. “You can’t expect to hold an offense like that down forever.”

With three seconds left on the clock, the Lions found the endzone on a four-yard pass to Buck Wilson by Luis Perez, but the play fell under review. After review, the touchdown was confirmed and the score stood 28-28 to end regulation play.

“I thought we definitely played well at times today,” Shoemaker said. “Things got away from us in the second half… a lot of respect to the Commerce guys and coach Carthel. Those guys do a great job and were well prepared.”

In overtime the Lions kicked a 38-yard line field goal, to bring the score to 31-28. Giving the Lions their first lead of the game.

After that point, the Wildcats answered back with a carry to the eight-yard line and for a first down. The second down put the Wildcats at the Lion four-yard line as CWU used their timeout. .

As play stopped on the third down, a Lion’s player fell with an injury to his right leg and required assistance of the trainers to leave the field.

CWU kicker Gavin Todd kicked a successful field goal to bring the score to 31-31 and the game went to double overtime.

After four CWU downs, the score remained 31-31, giving TAMUC the chance they needed to secure their victory and end the Wildcats 11-0 streak.

“This was a great season for us,” Shoemaker said. “I’m really proud of our senior group. There’s a lot of guys that have played a lot of football for us and have really gotten this program to this point.”

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Wildcats fall in the second round