West Texas A&M’s Khiry Robinson rushed for 235 yards and three touchdowns and the Buffaloes’ defense stopped a late fourth quarter rally from Chadron State to earn a 38-30 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Saturday at Elliott Field. The Eagles end their season with a 9-3 record.
“When you look at it, it was a game of momentum,” first year head coach Jay Long said. “We had it at the beginning and then we let it slip away. Then, in the second half it was a dogfight. I’m proud of our guys. They fight to the end and today was another day where we did that.”
Quarterback Jonn McLain, who completed 32 of 49 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns, set the single season mark for most TD passes in a season with 30.
The Eagles put together a 12-play, 83-yard scoring drive that cut the Buffaloes’ lead to 38-30 with 1:39 to play. The Eagles then converted an onside and Glen Clinton gained 15 yards on two rushes to put the ball at the West Texas 38-yard line with over a minute to play. The Buffaloes’ defense tightened up and forced three straight incomplete passes to set up fourth and 10. On the Eagles’ final play, McLain, threw a desperation toss to senior wide receiver Allan Schmaltz that he caught at the 31 and stretched out to the first down marker but the spot was inches shy of a first down.
West Texas A&M took over on downs and took a knee to run the clock out.
“This is a senior class that’s known for fighting through a lot of adversity,” Long said. “They are great leaders and they’re going to succeed in life and I’m proud to say as an Eagle myself that they are now alumni. They fought for us, for our school and for our team. I can’t say enough positive things about them.”
Story courtesy of Chadron State athletics.