West Texas A&M shuts out Wildcats
West Texas A&M started the series against ACU in 1921 with a shutout win in Canyon. They finished it Saturday night with another shutout at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
That 35-0 win over the Wildcats in 1921 was bookended Saturday night with a 36-0 trampling of the 2012 version of the Wildcats.
In between those two games were several classics, including several since 2006 when the two teams became Lone Star Conference powers.
Suffice to say, Saturday night's contest will not join the ranks of the series classics.
No. 20 West Texas A&M dominated in every phase of the game as the Buffaloes put a 36-0 whipping on the Wildcats in a game that really wasn't as close as the score might suggest. ACU will end the series against the Buffs holding a 28-18 edge, but the Buffaloes put their stamp on the final game with a dominating performance.
WT quarterback Dustin Vaughn threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns, Khiry Robinson ran for 102 yards and the WT defense sacked ACU quarterback Mitchell Gale eight times as the Wildcats were shut out for the first time in exactly 11 years. The streak of 121 straight games in which the Wildcats had scored began after ACU was shut out 31-0 at Angelo State on Oct. 13, 2001.
ACU was never in the game as WT scored on its first possession of the game on a 14-yard scoring pass from Vaughn to Trevor Hammargren to make it 7-0 with 6:10 left in the first quarter. Incredibly, that turned out to be the only points the Buffaloes would need.
The game was 10-0 late in the second quarter before WT converted a third-and-15 to the ACU 39-yard line with four seconds left in the half. Sergio Castillo came in and drilled a career-best 56-yard field goal to make it 13-0 at halftime.
The Buffs got the ball to start the second half and drove 75 yards on eight plays to a Robinson 4-yard touchdown run to make it 20-0 with 11:20 left in the third quarter.
The backbreaker came less than three minutes later after ACU's offense went three-and-out when Vaughn hit backup wide receiver Jarrian Rhone with a 75-yard scoring strike to make it 27-0 with 8:37 left in the quarter. Gale was sacked for a safety near the end of the third quarter to make it 29-0.
Vaughn hit Nathan Slaughter with a 31-yard touchdown pass with 11:53 left in the game and that was it for the scoring. The only drama remaining was whether or not ACU would be able to put points on the board.
The Buffs' defense didn't allow it as they held ACU to a meager 210 yards of total offense, its worst output of the season. Gale was sacked eight times, the most he's ever been sacked in a game in his career. Those lost yards (minus-46 yards) contributed to an ACU rushing game that accounted for just three yards on 28 carries.
The Buffs, meanwhile, racked up 475 yards as they improved to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. ACU falls to 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the LSC and will return home to Shotwell Stadium next Saturday at 2 p.m. to host Midwestern State in the annual Homecoming contest.
Information provided by ACU athletics department.