Mustangs bury No. 10 Humboldt State with big third quarter

Junior quarterback Quade Coward threw for a career-high 292 yards and four touchdowns lead No. 11 Midwestern State to a 35-10 rout of No. 10-ranked Humboldt State (Calif.) Saturday night.

The Mustangs improved 7-0 for the second in school history with the other time coming in perfect regular season run of 2011.

MSU can clinch a share of its fifth Lone Star Conference with a win over Texas A&M-Commerce next week on the road. Kickoff time at A&M-Commerce Memorial Stadium is set for 3 p.m.

The Mustangs erupted for 21 points in the third quarter as junior wide receiver Statron Jones raced 39 yards on a reverse for a score before Coward connected with Levy Wilson (24) and Arsenio Phillips (26) for his third and fourth touchdown passes of the night to push the advantage to 35-10.

Meanwhile, the MSU defense did its work by holding the top scoring offense in NCAA Division II scoreless after halftime as Humboldt State came in scoring 50 points and rolling up 505 yards per game.

The Lumberjacks did get 189 yards on 35 carries from sophomore Ja'Quan Gardner, who also came in as the top running back in NCAA Division II but HSU managed just 391 yards.

Humboldt State did strike first when Gardner finished off a 10-play, 78-yard drive with a 2-yard run just over five minutes into the contests.

The Mustangs answered quickly as Coward connected with Derek Lockhart on a 45-yard gain before hitting Phillips on a 25-yard post route to reset the game at 7-7.

Phillips also set a career-high with 106 receiving yards on five catches with two scores, while Lockhart finished with 61 yards on two receptions.

Coward was far from down hitting Tyrique Edwards for another 8-yard score with 8:47 to play in the first half as the Mustangs would carry a 14-10 edge into the second half.

The Cleburne product also paced the team on the ground with 66 yards to finish with 358 yards of total offense.

Redshirt-freshman Drew Bolin led a determined defensive effort with eight tackles including 1.5 for loss with a pass breakup while senior cornerback Dominique Rouse had seven tackles with one interception and three pass breakups.

Humboldt State dropped to 5-1.