WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Midwestern State mounted a furious third-quarter surge, but came up shy in the end in a 27-24 loss to Eastern New Mexico in Lone Star Conference play Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
Sophomore quarterback Triston Williams connected on 8-of-9 passes for 146 yards in the third quarter leading the Mustangs on three touchdown drives as MSU Texas took a 24-17 lead in the final stanza.
But the Greyhounds got to the signal-caller who was making his first collegiate start to force a fumble on a 13-yard sack early in the fourth quarter to give ENMU the ball on the Mustangs’ 9-yard line.
Three plays later, Johnny Smith rambled in on a pitch toss around the left end to allowing the Greyhounds to tie the game at 24-all.
Eastern New Mexico forced the Mustangs into a three-and-out on the next possession to seize momentum.
The 'Hounds kept the ball for the next 5 minutes on an 11-play, 67-yard drive to regain the advantage courtesy of a 23-yard field by Tyler Vargas with 3:21 to play.
Eastern New Mexico ground out 417 rushing yards paced by Paul Terry's workman-like effort.
The senior pounded out 225 yards on 40 carries, while slotman Johnny Smith had 105 yards on 15 totes.
The Mustangs forced a pair of Wyatt Strand fumbles coming on the 1-yard line in the first half and another with the Greyhounds driving in the third quarter.
Midwestern State senior Quinton Childs turned his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season going for 165 yards on 23 carries, while senior wideout Xavier Land notched his second consecutive game over the century-mark making six catches for 111 yards.
Williams completed 13-of-23 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown in his first start.
The Midwestern State defense made 11 tackles for loss including a sack and was paced by sophomore Matthew Roach’s career-best 14-tackle effort.
Midwestern State hits the road to face Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Commerce. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.