COMMERCE — A national audience will be watching when the 3-1 Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions face the 3-2 Midwestern State Mustangs in Lone Star Conference football.
The 6 p.m. game at Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3, the online broadcasting arm of the sports giant. ESPN3 is available through many different cable and streaming providers and is accessible through multiple devices such as phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs and more.
A&M-Commerce holds a 13-11 record in the series against the Mustangs and grabbed a 20-19 win in last year’s game that took two days to complete. The game began in Wichita Falls on a Saturday but ended in Denton on Sunday, almost 21 hours after the opening kickoff. With the score tied 10-10 at halftime, the game was postponed due to lightning. Instead of a forfeit or reschedule, a vast undertaking was made to continue the game in a new location as the stadium was already occupied for Sunday.
A&M-Commerce won after a Midwestern State field goal sailed wide right at the final horn.
It was just the second time since 2011 that the Lions had defeated the Mustangs.
Midwestern enters the game in an unusual hole, sporting a 1-2 mark in LSC play. The Mustangs, who defeated Division I FCS opponent Northwestern State in the season opener, is riding a two-game losing streak, falling 28-6 to Angelo State two weeks ago and 27-24 to Eastern New Mexico last Saturday.
Midwestern has exhibited a stout defense, but has had trouble on offense, allowing just 19.4 points per game but scoring only an average of 21.
Running back Quinton Childs has been strong on the ground, averaging 99.4 yards rushing across five games and scoring three touchdowns.
Original starting quarterback Zach Purcell missed last week due to injury, but has accumulated 765 passing yards and five touchdowns without throwing a single interception. His backup Triston Williams, who started last week, has gone 22-of-44 for 275 yards, two scores and an interception in four appearances this season.
Melik Owens has been a standout for the Mustangs on defense, with 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in four games played.
The No. 20-ranked Lions are 2-0 in the LSC after claiming their eighth straight win over the longtime rival Texas A&M University-Kingsville last week in Kingsville. The Lions used a dominant third quarter to run away with a 33-6 victory. The Lions got to keep the traveling trophy in the series, the Chennault Cup named for Lt. General Claire Chennault, a Commerce-born World War II-era hero who spent part of his life at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville.
Lion quarterback Miklo Smalls had a good night, going 14-of-20 through the air for 222 yards and three scores. His touchdown passes went for 3 yards to Eric Hebert, 62 yards to Darian Owens and 34 yards to Ryan Stokes.
Running back Antonio Lealiiee rushed for a career-high 141 yards and a touchdown on just 13 rushes.
Carandal Hale ran for 56 yards.