LIONS WELCOME WILDCATS TO COMMERCE ONE FINAL TIME ON HOMECOMING
A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Abilene Christian Wildcats
Saturday, October 27 • 2 p.m.
Memorial Stadium • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (1-6, 1-4 LSC); Abilene Christian (4-4, 2-4 LSC)
Live Video: LionAthletics.com (powered by Stretch Internet)
Radio: KETR 88.9 FM (listen online at KETR.org)
Live Stats: LionAthletics.com
Twitter Updates: @Lion_Athletics
A&M-Commerce Game Notes (PDF)
A&M-Commerce returns to the turf at Memorial Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m., hosting Abilene Christian in a key Lone Star Conference showdown. The game between the Lions and the Wildcats also marks the 77th annual Homecoming game at A&M-Commerce.
Lions on the Web
Fans unable to make it to Commerce for Saturday's Homecoming tilt against Abilene Christian can still stay up to date on every Lion play. Live streaming video of the game will be available at LionAthletics.com, powered by Stretch Internet. A subscription is required with a single-game pass costing $7.95, while season passes are also available. KETR 88.9 FM will also carry the game live with Charlie Chitwood and Brock Callaway on the call as the live stream will also be available online at KETR.org. Live stats will be available at LionAthletics.com with Twitter followers receiving updates @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Wildcats
2012: 4-4 overall, 2-4 Lone Star Conference (6th), 1-2 road
Last Three Games: L vs. Midwestern State (35-31), L at West Texas A&M (36-0), W vs. Eastern New Mexico (59-17)
Head Coach: Ken Collums (Central Arkansas, 1995). First season at Abilene Christian (4-4, .500)
Key Offensive Players:
• #15 Mitchell Gale (Sr., QB): 163-of-275 for 2,054 yards (59.3%), 16 TDs, 5 INTs, long of 57
• #26 Charcandrick West (Jr., RB): 62 carries for 219 yards (3.5 avg.), 4 TDs, long of 18
• #8 Marcel Threat (R-So., RB): 35 carries for 179 yards (5.1 avg.), 3 TDs, long of 17
• #4 Taylor Gabriel (Jr., WR): 42 catches for 561 yards (13.4 avg.), 7 TDs, long of 46
• #38 Darrell Cantu-Harkless (Jr., WR): 35 catches for 397 yards (11.3 avg.), 1 TD, long of 41
Key Defensive Players:
• #7 L.B. Suggs (Sr., CB): 77 tackles (42 solo), 1.5 TFL, 2 FF, 1 FR
• #20 Justin Stephens (So., LB): 60 tackles (29 solo), 5.5 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 FF
• #21 Angel Lopez (So., DB): 59 tackles (27 solo), 2.0 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU
• #9 Thor Woerner (Jr., LB): 59 tackles (35 solo), 4.5 TFL, 1 INT, 3 PBU, 4 PD
• #5 Nick Richardson (So., LB): 36 tackles (21 solo), 10.5 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 3 QBH, 1 FF
Key Special Teams Players
• #85 Morgan Lineberry (Sr., K): 7-of-11 FGs (63.6%), long of 32; 27-of-30 PATs (90.0%)
• #81 Spencer Covey (Sr., P): 32 punts for 1,320 yards (41.2 avg.), long of 60, 3 50+, 4 I-20
• #4 Taylor Gabriel (Jr., WR): 3 punt returns for 92 yards (30.7 avg.), long of 54
• #34 Caleb Winthrow (Jr., DB): 7 kick returns for 125 yards (17.9 avg.), long of 26
Synopsis: 2012 has been a disappointing season in Abilene Christian standards as the Wildcats are just 4-4 overall and 2-4 in Lone Star Conference play, sitting sixth in the standings. ACU dropped its LSC opener 16-13 at home to A&M-Kingsville, followed by a 28-23 loss at Angelo State. Abilene Christian enters Saturday's game on a two-game losing streak to the conference's top-two teams, dropping a 36-0 decision at West Texas A&M and a 35-31 home loss to Midwestern State last week.
The rivalry between A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian is the longest-standing series in Lion program history as Saturday's game marks the 69th meeting between the two teams, dating back to the 1922 season. The Wildcats hold a 40-27-1 lead in the all-time series and have won the last four meetings between the two, including last season's 40-28 victory in Abilene. The Lions are 13-16-1 all-time against the Wildcats in Commerce with the last home victory coming in a 23-10 win back in 2001.
The End of An Era?
While the series between A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian has been one that has been highlighted in the record books, Saturday's 69th meeting could also be the final meeting between the two for quite some time as Abilene Christian will make the move to Division I FCS starting in 2013. The Lions and Wildcats first squared off in 1922, resulting in a 30-2 ACU victory in Commerce. For years, these two teams traditionally began their seasons against each other as A&M-Commerce and Abilene Christian met in the season-opener 23 times, including 18 of 19 years from 1951 to 1969. The Wildcats have also served as the Lions' homecoming opponent 11 times previously, the last of which came in 2003.
Lions on Homecoming
Saturday's game against Abilene Christian marks the 77th Homecoming game for A&M-Commerce as the Lions have posted a 44-31-1 record in Homecoming games. The Wildcats have been a familar foe for the returning alumni as Saturday marks the 12th time Abilene Christian has been A&M-Commerce's Homecoming opponent with Texas State (formerly Southwest Texas) playing in the game 11 times. A&M-Commerce will be looking to stop a recent skid as the Lions have dropped their last four Homecoming games, including last year's 45-14 loss to Angelo State.
Lions Among National Leaders
A number of Lions have continued to make thier mark on the national landscape. Senior linebacker Danny Mason ranks 16th nationally in tackles (10.71) while sitting tied for 52nd in tackles for loss (1.36) and is tied for 95th in sacks (0.50) along with teammate Brandon Turner. Offensively, Garrett Smith is tied for 85th nationally in receptions per game (5.00) while punter Cameron Frosch continues to be the Lions' unsung hero, ranking 23rd in punting average (41.50).
Lions Announce 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees
As part of the 2012 Homecoming festivities, A&M-Commerce will induct five new members into the Lion Hall of Fame, bringing the prestigious total to 144. Curtis Buckley (football), John Carlos (track and field), Paul Peak (coach/administrator), Robert Peek (meritorious service) and Donna Tavener (coach) will join the Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 27, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Sam Rayburn Student Center. The inducteees will also be recognized at halftime of today's game. In addition, the Lions will recognize three Bobby Fox Alumni Coaching Award winners: Arizona State football coach Bob Connelly, former Oklahoma State basketball coach, the late Miranda Serna and Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson.
Following this afternoon's Homecoming game against Abilene Christian, A&M-Commerce embarks on the final two games of the 2012 season, beginning on the road with a trip to Eastern New Mexico on Saturday, November 3. The Lions then close out the 2012 season at home, facing Lone Star Conference-leading West Texas A&M at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 10th. The 2012 Lion seniors will be recognized prior to the opening kick, so don't miss your last chance to see this year's A&M-Commerce squad.