The McMurry University football team rewarded its Homecoming crowd with a 29-11 victory over Langston University on Saturday afternoon at Wilford Moore Stadium. The win upped the War Hawks’ record to 5-3, while dropping the Lions to 4-4 overall.
McM senior quarterback Jake Mullin threw three touchdown passes – two to Jeret Smith and one to Greg Livingston – on his was to 168 aerial yards. Mullin completed 19-of-33 attempts, but was intercepted twice.
It was one of the rare times in which the War Hawks’ Air Raid Offense was out-done by an opponents’ passing attack, as Langston signal-callers combined for 255 yards through the air. The Lions completed 16-of-36 passes.
Langston also out-gained McMurry’s ground game by a 121-to-115 margin. LU’s “Achilles’ Heel” proved to be in penalty yardage, where the visitors were flagged 22 times for 186 yards.
The opportunistic War Hawks capitalized on those mistakes by Langston. Every McM offensive scoring drive was aided in some way by a Lions infraction.
McMurry trailed, 3-0, after LU’s Anthony Fernandez booted a 45 yard field goal at the 3:14 mark of the first quarter.
Late in the opening period, the War Hawks would embark on their first scoring set of the day, a nine-play, 74-yard drive that was aided by a pair of personal foul penalties by Langston. Mullin’s three-yard toss to Smith capped the drive with 12:36 left in the second period. Cory Foust’s PAT kick made it 7-3.
After a nifty 21-yard punt return by McM’s D.J. Baiza brought the ball to the Lions’ 44, a holding penalty by LU on the return moved the ball to the visitor’s 34. From there, Mullin needed just four plays before finding Greg Livingston, who hauled in his team-leading fourth TD reception of the year, a 22-yarder. Brady Lambert ran in the conversion to make it 15-3 with 5:50 left in the second.
The War Hawks extended that lead heading into the halftime locker room, thanks to their defense.
As LU’s Fernandez attempted a 28-yard field goal, Cory Pippen shot through the gap and blocked the kick. The bounding ball was picked up in stride by Desmond Guy. Guy returned the blocked ball 76-yards, untouched, for the score that increased McM cushion to 22-3.
Langston added a third quarter touchdown that tightened matters, 22-11. However, when Mullin found Smith at the 14:53 juncture of the fourth quarter, the War Hawks replenished their lead and relied on their defense hold Langston at bay, for the 29-11 final score.
Livingston had his second-consecutive 100-yard receiving game. The sophomore made seven grabs for 122 yards. Coupled with his 49 rushing yards and 31 kick return yards, Livingston finished the game with 202 all-purpose yards.
Freshman defensive back Ryan Williams led a harassing defense that generated three sacks. Williams, in addition to one of the sacks, had a game-leading 14 tackles (nine solo). Guy had a sack, five total tackles and three pass break-ups to go, along with his fumble return. Senior defensive end Corey Hall had the other sack.
McMurry will be at home again next Saturday (Nov. 3) versus Texas College (2 p.m.) for the second of four-consecutive home games to close out the 2012 regular season. The game will be “Military Appreciation Day”.
Information provided McMurry athletics department.