LIONS RETURN TO ALAMO CITY FACING INCARNATE WORD SATURDAY
A&M-Commerce Lions at Incarnate Word Cardinals
Saturday, October 6 • 7 p.m.
Benson Stadium • San Antonio, Texas
Live Video: FoxSportsSouthwest.com
Radio: KETR 88.9 FM (listen online at KETR.org)
Live Stats: LionAthletics.com
Twitter Updates: @Lion_Athletics
A&M-Commerce Game Notes (PDF)
Incarnate Word Game Notes (PDF)
A&M-Commerce looks to build on its success from last week, making it second trip of the season to San Antonio to take on Lone Star Conference rival Incarnate Word at Benson Stadium Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m.
Lions on the Web
A&M-Commerce fans unable to make it to San Antonio this Saturday for the showdown against Incarnate Word can still keep up to date with every Lion play. The game will be streamed live at FoxSportsSouthwest.com in conjunction with the Lone Star Conference's new affiliation with the network. KETR 88.9 FM will carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood and Brock Callaway on the call and will also be streamed live at KETR.org. Live stats will be available at LionAthletics.com with Twitter updates @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Cardinals
2012: 1-4 overall, 0-3 Lone Star Conference, 1-1 home
Last Three Games: L at Midwestern State (34-7), L vs. West Texas A&M (24-0), L vs. Eastern New Mexico (34-24)
Head Coach: Larry Kennan (La Verne (Calif.), 1967). First season at Incarnate Word (1-4, .200); fifth season overall (25-22-3, .550)
Key Offensive Players:
• #4 Zach Rhodes (Sr., QB): 59-of-104 (54.1%) for 609 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs, long of 51; 21 rushes for 157 yards (7.5 avg.), long of 42
• #22 Trent Rios (Sr., RB): 54 carries for 237 yards (4.4 avg.), 2 TDs, long of 36; 11 catches for 114 yards (10.4 avg.), 1 TD, long of 54
• #6 Marcus Wright (Gr., RB): 34 carries for 98 yards (2.9 avg.), 1 TD, long of 12
• #80 Andrew Mocio (Sr., TE): 17 catches for 92 yards (5.4 avg.), long of 9
• #88 Caleb Kocian (Sr., TE): 10 catches for 73 yards (7.3 avg.), 1 TD, long of 21
Key Defensive Players:
• #33 Dakota Mawyer (Sr., LB): 34 tackles (13 solo), 1.5 TFL
• #48 Juan Asencio (Jr., LB): 33 tackles (12 solo), 2.0 TFL, 1.0 sack
• #21 Devin Haywood (Jr., CB): 26 tackles (17 solo), 1.0 TFL, 2 FR
• #7 Chaz Pavliska (Sr., S): 19 tackles (12 solo), 1.0 TFL, 2 PBU, 1 FR
• #52 Alan Ford (Jr., LB): 16 tackles (2 solo), 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack
Key Special Teams Players:
• #46 Jake Wilcox (Fr., K): 1-3 FG (long of 25), 6-8 PAT
• #9 Emmanuel Nunez (Jr., P): 16 punts for 703 yards (43.9 avg.), long of 58, 3 I20, 4 50+
• #6 Marcus Wright (Gr., RB): 9 kick returns for 222 yards (24.7 avg.), 1 TD, long of 83
• #22 Trent Rios (Sr., RB): 8 kick returns for 148 yards (18.5 avg.), long of 30
Synopsis: Incarnate Word opened up the 2012 season with a 19-12 home victory over Texas College, but have dropped their last four, including a 54-7 defeat at Sam Houston State, last season's Division I FCS national runner-up. The Cardinals are 0-3 in Lone Star Conference play, coming off a 34-7 loss at 14th-ranked Midwestern State Saturday evening.
If history is any indication, Lion fans are in for a nailbiter when they face the Cardinals Saturday evening. This marks the third meeting between A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word with both of the previous meetings decided by just a single point. The Cardinals took a 17-16 victory in San Antonio in 2010, then kicked the game-winning field goal in the final minute to defeat the Lions 23-22 last season at Memorial Stadium.
Mason Tabbed Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week
No one was more upset over A&M-Commerce's loss to Midwestern State on September 13 than linebacker Danny Mason, and the senior team captain took out his frustration on the Javelinas. Mason notched a game-high 13 tackles against the Javelinas, including five solo and a key sack on the first play of overtime to help preserve the win. Fittingly, when the Chennault Cup was brought onto the field, it was Mason that was presented with the trophy, who then took it directly to the A&M-Commerce sidelines to celebrate with the Lion faithful. For his efforts, Mason was named the Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, October 1.
Handful of Streaks Snapped
A&M-Commerce's 21-14 overtime victory over A&M-Kingsville Saturday night marked the end of a number of streaks the Lions are more than happy to see fall by the wayside. The Lions snapped a four-game skid to the Javelinas, dating back to 2007, as well as snapping a four-game losing streak dating back to 2011. A&M-Commerce won the Chennault Cup for the first time since 2001, a span of five games, as the win also marked the first time since 1990, the first year of the Chennault Cup annual rivalry game, that the Lions had hoisted the trophy on their home field. But the biggest streak that was snapped Saturday evening was the Lions' 16-game skid against teams from the state of Texas, marking the first win over a team from the Lone Star state since a 13-10 win over Angelo State in 2008.
Don't I Know You?
One name on the Incarnate Word roster might sound vaguely familiar to A&M-Commerce fans, and for good reason. Cardinal quarterback Zach Rhodes spent half of the 2011 season at A&M-Commerce, but never saw any game action for the Lions. On the year, Rhodes has thrown for 609 yards and completed 54.1 percent of his passes for four touchdowns while also rushing 21 times for 157 yards.
We Hardly Knew You
A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word have only met twice before, and Saturday's meeting appears to be possibly the last meeting for a while as the Cardinals will make the jump to Division I FCS starting in 2013. While the series with Incarnate Word was short-lived, it wasn't about its memorable moments as both of the previous meetings were decided by a single point, both of which ended in the Cardinals' favor.
It's All About the Start
An old saying says that you can't win a game in the first quarter, but you can lose it, and that adage could be a key to Saturday's game. The first quarter has been drastically different for A&M-Commerce and Incarnate Word this season as the Cardinals have thrived in the opening 15 minutes, notching 35 points on the year and proving to be Incarnate Word's most successful quarter of the year. The Lions, on the other hand, have yet to score a point in the opening quarter and have notched just 10 points in the entire first half throughout the 2012 season. If the game is close at halftime, A&M-Commerce appears to have the advantage, outscoring Incarnate Word 47-22 in the second half thus far this season.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Leaders
Through the first five weeks of the 2012 season, A&M-Commerce ranks among the Lone Star Conference leaders in a number of categories. As a team, the Lions lead the LSC in pass defense (148.5 yards per game) and kickoff coverage (41.7 net average) while sitting second in punting (35.4 net average), opponent first down average (20.8) and opponent fourth down conversion (33.3%). Individually, 11 Lions rank among the league leaders in 10 categories, highlighted by Danny Mason leading the Lone Star Conference in tackles per game (11.0) with Byron Brooks and Cameron Frosch ranking third in kick return average (20.7) and punting average (40.3) respectively.
Lions in the National Rankings
Through the first five weeks of the 2012 season, A&M-Commerce remains among the national leaders in a handful of statistical categories. As a team, the Lions are 11th nationally in passing defense, allowing just 148.5 yards per game. Individually, five Lions are listed among the national leaders, led by linebacker Danny Mason who is 12th nationally in tackles per game (11.25) while Joel Wren is tied for 74th (9.00). Offensively, Garrett Smith is tied for 81st in receptions per game (5.00). A pair of Lion special team players also find themselves among the nation's best as punter Cameron Frosch is 30th in punting average (40.32) and Israel Hughes ranks 44th in punt return average (9.60).
2012 Lion Hall of Fame Class Announced
On Saturday, October 27, A&M-Commerce will induct five new members into the Lion Hall of Fame as part of the 2012 Homecoming festivities. Curtis Buckley (football), John Carlos (track and field), Paul Peak (coach/administrator), Robert Peek (meritorious service) and Donna Tavener (coach) comprise the five members of the 2012 induction class and will officially become members of the A&M-Commere Hall of Fame at the Induction Banquet Saturday evening. Tickets are on sale now for $25 and can be obtained by contacting the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department at (903) 886-5558.
A&M-Commerce will get a chance to build on its Memorial Stadium winning streak next week when the Lions welcome Lone Star Conference rival Tarleton State to Commerce on Saturday, October 13. Opening kick against the Texans is set for 6 p.m.
For the complete weekly release, click the PDF link above