After the first three weeks of Lone Star Conference football play, the Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions are in a familiar place.

  Near the lead.

  The Lions currently sit in second place in the LSC standings at 2-0, a half-game behind 3-0 Tarleton State.

  A&M-Commerce has finished first or second in the LSC race in each of the past five seasons, winning the title from 2014-16 and placing second in 2017 and 2018. The 2017 Lions went on to win the NCAA Division II national championship.

  The Lions opened LSC play on Sept. 21 with a 45-27 victory over Eastern New Mexico and then lost a non-conference game at Colorado State-Pueblo before bouncing back to whip Texas A&M-Kingsville 33-6 in an LSC game on Saturday in Kingsville. That win enabled the Lions to keep the traveling trophy in the series with A&M-Kingsville, the Chennault Cup.

  A&M-Commerce running back Antonio Lealiiee ran for a career-high 141 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

  Lion quarterback Miklo Smalls was 14-of-20 passing for 222 yards and touchdowns of 3 yards to Eric Hebert, 62 yards to Darian Owens and 34 yards to Ryan Stokes.

  Alex Shillow gave the Lions a lift when he returned a blocked extra point 98 yards for a two-point score.

  The 4-1 Lions, actually 3-1 without counting their 83-0 win over Seleccion Nuevo Leon, will be back at home on Saturday at Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium to take on the rival Midwestern State Mustangs.   Midwestern State, which has finished among the top three teams in the LSC standings for the past five seasons, is off to a 1-2 start in LSC play. The Mustangs beat UT Permian Basin 14-8 and then lost 28-6 to Angelo State and 27-24 last week at home to Eastern New Mexico.

  Eastern New Mexico running back Paul Terry is the LSC offensive player of the week after rushing for a school record 40 carries for 225 yards and a touchdown.

  Eastern New Mexico junior Justin Manyweather is the special teams player of the week in the conference after returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown against the Mustangs.

  Defensive end B.J. Jefferson of Tarleton State is the defensive player of the week after recording 13 tackles in the Texans’ 30-13 win over Angelo State, including five solos. Jefferson forced a fumble that led to a field goal

  A&M-Commerce’s game with Midwestern State will be broadcast on ESPN3.

  Other LSC games this week feature Western New Mexico at Angelo State, West Texas A&M at UT Permian Basin and Tarleton State at Eastern New Mexico.

            Lone Star Conference

          2019 Football Standings

                        Conference  Overall

Tarleton State                3-0    5-0

Texas A&M-Commerce    2-0    3-1

Angelo State                  2-1    4-1

Eastern N.M.                  2-1    4-1

West Texas A&M             1-1    4-1

Western N.M.                 1-1    1-4

Midwestern State           1-2    3-2

UT Permian Basin           0-3    2-3

Texas A&M-Kingsville     0-3    1-4

         Last week’s results

A&M-Commerce 33, A&M-Kingsville 6

Tarleton State 30, Angelo State 13

Eastern N.M. 27, Midwestern State 24

Tarleton State 30, Angelo State 13

West Texas A&M 48, Central Washington 41

        Saturday’s games

4 p.m. — Western N.M. at Angelo State

6 p.m. — Midwestern State at A&M-Commerce

6 p.m. — West Texas A&M at UT Permian Basin

7 p.m. — Tarleton State at Eastern N.M.

7 p.m. — Western Oregon at A&M-Kingsville

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