STEPHENVILLE--Tarleton found its running game Saturday as the Texans evened their season record at 1-1, scoring five times on the ground in a 54-7 win against Fort Lewis on Military Appreciation night at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.
A week after ground game struggles, against Stephen F. Austin, the Texans came alive with Daniel Wright pounding out 119 yards on 15 carries and Jayy McDonald scoring twice as he rushed for nine times for 92 yards.
In all four running backs ran for more than 50 yards Khalil Banks (54 yards, 2 TDs) and Ryheem Skinner rolled up 50 yards on eight carries and punched the ball into the end zone once.
Nine different players recorded a reception for Tarleton, led by Kaylan Horton six catches for 62 yards and his 12-yard score from quarterback Steven Duncan. Cody Jones had four catches for 48 yards, and Wright added 37 more yards on four receptions for 156 all-purpose yards.
Spreading the ball around that much certainly gave coach Todd Whitten plenty of choice on offense, but one thing still missing from the Texans’ arsenal dating back to last season is the deep-threat passing game.
Duncan’s longest pass went 20 yards to Daniels out of the backfield, and backup Mike Irwin’s 34-yard pass to Khalil Banks was also catch-and-run during mop-up duty.
The Texans won’t have to pass much if they continue averaging 6.0 yards per carry as a team. Wright is averaging 7.9 yards per tote while McDonald is at 7.4. Duncan’s got nice numbers with a 69.8 completion percentage, but only three touchdowns against two interceptions, a long pass of 36 yards, and just 10 yards per completion.
Tarleton will need to turn it up Saturday as the Texans play at Choctaw Stadium, formerly Globe Life Park, against Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds are a deceiving 0-2, but those losses have come against #25 Arizona State 41-14 and 45-14 against San Jose State. The kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
The Texans opened their Family Weekend and Military Appreciation game in front of over 12,000 fans by commemorating the 13 service members tragically killed in Kabul a couple of weeks ago while also honoring the anniversary of 9/11 was 20 years ago.
Russell@hcnews.com | 817-573-7066 Ext. 231