No. 11 Mustangs rally past Eastern New Mexico, 26-21

It seemed like deja vu all over again Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.

For the second time this season, Midwestern State rallied past Eastern New Mexico in the closing minutes to a 26-21 win in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Playoffs.

The Mustangs move on to face Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday night in the LSC Playoff finals at A&M-C Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. The Lions edged Angelo State 36-35 earlier in the afternoon.

Eastern New Mexico jumped out front on its first offensive play of the game as sophomore Kamal Cass sprinted for a 70-yard touchdown to give the Greyhounds the lead.

It was the first of three touchdowns for Cass, who finished with a game-high 197 yards on 26 carries. His 15-yard touchdown with 3:55 to play in the opening quarter gave the 'Hounds a 14-3 edge.

MSU relied on the leg of Andy Alkhazshvilly for field goals of 26 and 23 yards before the defense came alive on a 63-yard fumble return by Marqui Christian to narrow the margin to 14-13 at halftime.

The Greyhounds turned the ball over four times in the opening half on three fumbles and an interception by Sir'Vell Ford but managed to keep the lead.

ENMU extended the lead to 21-13 when Cass plunged in from a yard out with 5:41 to go in the third quarter to close out a 17-play, 73-yard drive.

Midwestern owned the fourth quarter as Don Jerry scored a pair of touchdown on jet sweeps from 3 and 7 yards out with the last one coming with 80 seconds remaining.

MSU sophomore quarterback Hagen Hutchinson led the Mustangs with 123 yards on eight carries while completing 18-of-40 passes for 150 yards.

Senior linebacker Daniel Laudermilk led the defensive effort with 20 tackles which were the second most in school history and the most since Corby Walker, who made 24 tackles against Southwestern (Kan.) on Nov. 11, 1995.

Eastern New Mexico fell to 6-4 and closes the year Saturday at home against Angelo State.