September 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM CDT - Updated June 28 at 6:52 AM
No. 16 Midwestern State turned seven turnovers into 38 points to roll to a 65-14 win over Texas A&M-Commerce Thursday night in the Lone Star Football Festival opener at Cowboys Stadium.
The Mustangs, who evened their season record at 1-1, used a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery to fuel a 35-point third quarter explosion to turn a 23-0 halftime advantage into a 58-14 bulge.
The points were the second most ever scored in a single quarter by the Mustangs, who hit the road to face Texas A&M-Kingsville next Saturday.
Junior cornerback Neiko Conway recovered a pair of fumbles in the first half then returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown on the Lions' first drive of the second half to lead a very opportunistic MSU defense.
Senior safety Pat Gardner got the defense rolling with a 43-yard interception return which led to a 7-yard Brandon Kelsey-to-Brad Dittmar scoring strike in the second quarter before Conway and Coryan Briggs picked off A&M-Commerce reserve quarterback Justin Duncan early in the second half.
Ricardo Riascos added a 12-yard interception return for a score to close out scoring in the fourth quarter off of a third A&M-Commerce signal caller -- Kevin Vye.
Midwestern's offense also got untracked going for 555 total yards including 376 on the ground and 179 through the air.
Sophomore Chauncey Harris paced the squad with 148 yards on four carries including TD runs of 55 and 59 yards in the decisive third quarter.
Junior Peter Smith added 82 yards on 11 carries while Keidrick Jackson pitched 60 yards on 10 totes and Jimmy Pipkin had 43 yards on six carries.
Kelsey completed 13-of-19 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown competing four passes to senior wideout Jared Freeman and three more to Kendall Wrenn, who finished with 54 yards receiving.
Texas A&M-Commerce starter quarterback Deric Davis accounted for the Lions' two scores. He rushed 60 yards for a TD on a play he appeared to be down by contact on in the third quarter before hitting Blake Ohm for an 11-yard touchdown strike in the fourth.
Midwestern State's point total of 65 was the most in the two-year history of the Lone Star Football Festival bettering the 63 it scored against the Lions in 2011.