Large crowd witnesses a Texas sized victory

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

It was a statement that every single person, all 14,920 of them, heard Saturday Night at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium.

The message was the Jackrabbit football team is better than they showed in its first three games. The result was a 39-3 drubbing of the Texas State Bobcats.

“Very good 0-3 football team,” Texas State coach Brad Wright said of SDSU. “Obviously I didn’t do a good job of convincing our guys that Western Illinois and Youngstown State and Northern Iowa are very good football teams.”

The Bobcats, who averaged 30.7 points a game — including 27 last week against Baylor — could only manage a field goal on their opening possession against the Jacks defense. For the first time in school history, the Jacks had held a Division I scholarship football team from finding the end zone.

The Bobcats led for just under two minutes before the Jacks (1-3, 0-0 GWFC) answered back. For the second straight week, junior quarterback Ryan Berry and junior wide receiver JaRon Harris hooked up for a long touchdown pass for the Jacks in the first quarter, and the Jacks never looked back.

Senior defensive lineman Jason Bonwell, who had three quarterback hurries, blocked the Bobcats punt on their next possession, which led to a field goal from senior kicker Parker Douglass. The Bobcats had a chance to score on their next possession, but a false start moved them backwards and they would miss the 35-yard field goal try. The Jacks took advantage of the opportunity and senior running back Cory Koenig scored from a yard out, the first of two on the day.

Redshirt freshman Kyle Minett would cap the scoring in the first half, turning a basic 10-yard reception into a 40-yard score, the first touchdown in his career. In a span of 18 minutes the Jacks had gone from down 3-0 to a 24-3 lead.

The game was the coming out party for Minett, he rushed for 134 yards, the first 100 yard rushing game of his career, on just 11 carries and was named the Outstanding Player of the Beef Bowl.

“I didn’t really have to do much. I just had green grass in front of me. I ran as fast as I could,” Minett said.

The Jacks came out with a few different offensive sets than they had previously shown in their first three games. Head coach John Stiegelmeier used his imagination and moved Koenig to quarterback on three offensive snaps with Berry as a wide out; Koenig completed the only pass he threw, a 10 yard reception to Harris.

“I didn’t think he (Koenig) was going to have to throw a pass but he did a good job of that too,” Stiegelmeier said.

The special teams even got into the action in the win. Senior wide receiver Paul Aanonson racked up over 100 yards in returns. Redshirt freshman punter Dean Priddy bounced back from a difficult game last week and notched the best game of his career. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt, including three of his four punts that landed inside the 20-yard line.

“He goes out and has an unbelievable night into the wind, with the wind,” Stiegelmeier said.

The Jacks conclude their three-game home stand Saturday against Stephen F. Austin in the 95th annual Hobo Day game. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 P.M.