Arkansas State football drops final game of season to Texas State
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A 48-yard field goal attempt by Blake Grupe fell to the Allison Field turf in the final seconds Saturday, as the Arkansas State football team dropped a 24-22 contest to Texas State at Centennial Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Layne Hatcher led A-State (2-10, 1-7 SBC) down the field with under a minute to play and set up the potential game-winner into a whipping 15-mph wind. However, a gust knocked the ball down, sealing the victory for the Bobcats (4-8, 3-5).
“I’m really proud of our players in the second half,” head coach Butch Jones said. “They showed some competitive grit, and I was proud of them for that. Overall, I’m extremely disappointed. I was disappointed in our first-half performance. Everyone wants to remember the second half and how the game ended, but football is an accumulation of reps and situations that occur. For some reason, we weren’t ready to play mentally, physically and all of the above, and we came out and put ourselves into a hole.”
A-State outgained Texas State offensively 471-333, including 277 yards through the air and 194 on the ground, tied for the most in a single game this season. Defensively, the Red Wolves limited the Bobcats to just 130 passing yards, while giving up 203 on the ground. A-State recorded 25 first downs, while Texas State had 14.
Hatcher completed 25 of 37 passes for 277 yards and passing touchdowns to Dahu Green and Corey Rucker. Rucker led A-State with 85 yards on 8 catches, while Green grabbed 5 balls for 81 yards.
Alan Lamar led A-State’s rushing attack with 88 yards on 12 attempts, while Lincoln Pare churned out 75 yards on 14 attempts. Johnnie Lang Jr. rushed three times for 35 yards.
Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt completed 11 of 25 passes for 121 yards and one touchdown, to receiver Trevis Graham, Jr., who led with 67 yards on 4 catches. Calvin Hill rushed 12 times for 123 yards and a 78-yard touchdown, while Jahmyl Jeter also found the end zone, rushing 10 times for 36 yards.
Jeter’s score put the Bobcats ahead first at the 10:38 mark in the first quarter to make it 7-0 before A-State responded with Hatcher’s 39-yard scoring toss to Green to tie it at 7-all. With 5:47 remaining in the quarter, Vitt hit Graham for a 31-yard strike to give Texas State a 14-7 lead after one period.
The teams traded field goals in the second quarter, with Grupe hitting a 23-yard kick to make it 14-10. Texas State’s Seth Killer then drilled a 46-yard field goal with 3:09 left in the half, giving the Bobcats a 17-10 lead at halftime.
Hill plunged across the goal with 8:06 to play in the third to give the Bobcats a two-score advantage up 24-13. However, A-State did not go away in its final contest of the season, with Grupe sending a 22-yard kick through the uprights with 12:17 remaining to make it 24-16.
A-State’s defense held strong, forcing back-to-back punts to give the offense a chance to tie up the contest. That chance came when Hatcher found Rucker for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 2:12 to go, but the 2-point conversion try was no good to make it 24-22.
Texas State’s offense stalled, going 3-and-out to give the Red Wolves the ball back with 55 seconds and two timeouts. Back-to-back first downs put the Scarlet and Black in Bobcat territory, then a 9-yard pass to Green made it third-and-1, when A-State called a timeout with 26 seconds. After a 1-yard loss on a rush, the Red Wolves called their final timeout with 3 seconds to play. The Bobcats then used a timeout before Grupe’s kick, which met a gust of wind to send the ball down and end the contest.
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