ABILENE, TX. (KALB) - In a true tale of two halves on Saturday afternoon the Louisiana College football team dominated when it mattered most picking up a 35-23 road win over McMurry University. The Wildcat defense limited McMurry to just 169 yards of offense in the second half while racking up almost 300 of their own with three fourth quarter touchdowns to pick up their third road conference victory of the season. LC improves to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in American Southwest Conference play with back-to-back home games beginning next week as East Texas Baptist University comes to Wildcat Stadium.
As happened just two weeks ago the Wildcats found themselves down a score after the opening drive as McMurry scorched down the field scoring on just three plays covering 77 yards to take the 7-0 lead. The defense would hold strong the majority of the rest of the half, holding the War Hawks to just 81 total yards between their two touchdown drives that bookended the first half.
After three punts on their first three possessions of the game, LC was finally able to maintain a drive late in the first quarter. A Josh Pickett fumble recovery gave the Wildcats the ball at the MCM 38-yard line and on a bit of trickeration, Drake Battaglia threw the ball into the back of the endzone for Leondre James to take one out of the sky for the first Wildcat score of the afternoon.
Down 10-7 late in the second quarter, the Wildcats took advantage of good field position to take the lead away from the War Hawks. LC worked the ball down the field in 10-yard chunks to punch in another score on a four yard pass to Sam Phillips. The lead didn’t last long however as the War Hawks picked up 38-yard broken play on third down to set up their go ahead score giving McMurry the 17-14 halftime lead.
In one of the fastest third quarters ever, taking approximately 20 minutes of actual time to play the 15-minute quarter, the Wildcats began to show their capabilities of moving the football and stopping the War Hakws. If not for a fumble at the goal line, LC would have scored in the quarter but neither team added to the score in the frame.
It was a 93-yard touchdown drive that began near the end of the third quarter and took over six minutes off the clock in 16 plays that seemed to break the spirits of the home team. On a fourth-and-one from the three-yard line, running back Aaron Woods, from the Wildcat formation, took the snap into the endzone to put the Wildcats ahead 21-17, a lead they would not give back the rest of the way.
A seven-play, 80-yard drive later in the fourth all but sealed the game for LC when Melvin Young III punched it in from nine-yards out to make it a 28-17 LC advantage. The War Hawks made things a little interesting with a quick strike score on the next possession but three Woods rushes on the next LC drive for 52 yards put the nail in the coffin and gave the Wildcats the 35-23 road win. Three touchdowns in the fourth quarter cemented the Wildcats comeback and convincing victory.
The Wildcats won their third conference road game of the season, the first time since 2012 that happened in a season for LC. They also had by far their best rushing performance of the season with 138 rushing yards and three scores. For the third game in a row the LC defense forced three or more turnovers, getting their second win during that stretch.
LC will play their next two games at home beginning with the 2018 Battle for the Border Claw against ETBU. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday night at Wildcat Stadium. Stay connected to Louisiana College football by following @LC_ftball on Twitter. For general athletics news follow @LC_Wildcats on Tiwtter or like Louisiana College Wildcats on Facebook.