Lumberjacks Axe Lions 56-27

NACOGDOCHES, Texas- The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks defeated the Texas A&M Commerce Lions 56-27 tonight at Homer Bryce Stadium.  This was Head Coach Colby Carthel‘s first time facing his former team.

The Lions won the coin toss, elected to differ to the second half, and gave the Lumberjacks the opportunity to receive the ball first.  Brian Maurer led the offense on a 15-play 75-yard drive that was capped off with Maurer’s connection to Kylon Harris on a 12-yard passing touchdown.  It was Harris’s third consecutive game with a receiving touchdown and it gave the ‘Jacks a 7-0 lead with 8:16 left in the first quarter.

Commerce got the ball for the first time and was able to push it down the field on a quick four-play 75-yard drive.  After converting on third down, Reggie Branch rushed for a 63-yard touchdown that evened things up at 7-7 with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

SFA’s second possession of the drive got off to a good start after a third down defensive holding penalty against the Lions.  Following the penalty, Maurer connected with Khi’Yon Wafer on a 43-yard reception that set the Lumberjacks up at the Lion’s 13-yard line.  Anthony Williams capped off the eight-play, 80-yard drive with his 11-yard touchdown reception from Maurer.  With 3:35 left in the first quarter, SFA led 14-7.

Commerce got the ball in favorable field position after the ‘Jacks were unsuccessful on an onside kick attempt.  However, the Lumberjacks got their first defensive stop of the day after the Lions set up for a field goal with 2:43 that was blocked by Edward Bobino III.

The game’s next points came following the Lumberjacks fourth and goal attempt on the Lion’s 2-yard line. Anthony Williams got the ball back into the endzone on a 2-yard rushing touchdown, with 1:49 remaining in the first half. 

Commerce got their wheels moving again following Brian Maurer’s pass being intercepted by Jordan Polk. The Lions capitalized on the defensive stop and scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Keith Miller III.  With 1:05 left in the first half, the Lumberjacks clung to a 21-14 lead.

The Lumberjacks were able to extend their lead before the half following Anthony Williams’ third touchdown of the half.  His 16-yard rushing touchdown extended the ‘Jacks lead to 28-14 with :12 left in the first half.

The Lions got the ball first in the second half, but the Lumberjack defense held strong and forced them to punt.

SFA’s first possession of second half was a slow drive down the field. The Lumberjacks chewed up 5:43 on a 12-play 73-yard drive that was capped off with a Kylon Harris’ 4-yard touchdown reception from Brian Maurer.

The Lumberjacks got the ball back after Chris Campos recovered his own onside kick.  SFA didn’t waste any time getting back into the endzone as Brian Maurer found Khi’Yon Wafer on a 54-yard touchdown reception.  

With 5:33 left in the third quarter the ‘Jacks held a dominant 42-14 lead over the Lions.  SFA continued their strong second half defense as Josh Magana fumbled the ball on fourth down and gave the ball back to SFA.

The Lumberjacks offense found the endzone once again after Brian Maurer found Kylon Harris on an 18-yard passing touchdown.  It was Brian Maurer’s fifth touchdown pass of the game and Kylon Harris’s third receiving touchdown of the day.  With 12:08 remaining the ‘Jacks led the Lions 49-14.  

Commerce wasn’t quite ready to roll over as they were able to score on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Josh Magana to Micaelous Elder.  With 9:36 left in the fourth SFA still led 49-20.

Following a Lumberjack fumble the Lions began another offensive drive in SFA territory.  Josh Magana added onto the Lion’s total with a nine-yard passing touchdown to Zayden Davis.  SFA led 49-27 with 7:51 left in the fourth.

Preston Weeks checked in at quarterback for the Lumberjacks and put together an excellent drive that capped off the ‘Jack’s big offensive night.  Weeks connected with James Sowards on a 11-yard touchdown that extended SFA’s lead to 56-27 with 4:52 remaining in the fourth. SFA held the Lions on a goal line stand to end the game at 56-27.

Brian Maurer finished the game with five passing touchdowns which is the most passing touchdowns thrown by a Lumberjack quarterback since Trae Self against Abilene Christian (5, 10/30/2021).  Kylon Harris’s three touchdown day was also the most by a Lumberjack receiver since Xavier Gipson against Central Arkansas on November 13, 2921. Head Coach Colby Carthel now holds the highest home win percentage in SFA head coaching history (15-6, 71.4%).

 SFA will be back in action next week against Utah Tech.  The game will take place in St. George, Utah on October 7th at 8:00 p.m CT. 

Statistical Leaders:

Passing: Brian Maurer30-50 (60%) 342 yards, 5/1 (TD/INT), 146.5 QBR
Recieving: Kylon Harris11 for 111 yards, 3 touchdowns
Rushing: Anthony Williams17 for 82 (4.8 ypc), 3 TOT touchdowns 
Luke Watson5 solo, 8 total, 2 TFL
Jermaine Brown2 solo, 7 total, 1 assisted TFL
Jeremiah Walker 3 solo, 5 total, 2 PBUs