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Lions pummel Upper Iowa

A&M-Commerce scores 33 unanswered points in second half to secure victory

By Caleb Slinkard
On September 6, 2010

The A&M-Commerce football team overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to crush the Upper Iowa University Peacocks 33-10 in their season opener.

Junior running back Marcus Graham rushed for 85 yards and 2 TDs and freshman wideout Kenzee Jackson caught seven passes and returned a kickoff for a touchdown to spark the

Lions comeback.

The Peacocks struck early following a Lions punt when quarterback Ben Curran threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jesse Baldwin. Star linebacker Cory Whitefield sprained his knee on the drive and was forced to sit out for the rest of the game. His status for next week's game against Angelo State is uncertain.

A&M-Commerce struggled to move the ball effectively on the ground and QB Adam Farkes threw two interceptions in UIU territory that kept the Lions off the scoreboard. A 42-yard field goal by Tyler Parmenter put the Peacocks up 10-0 heading into the halftime.

The first half shutout did not appear to do much to dampen A&M-Commerce's enthusiasm.

"Nobody lost their cool," Lions offensive lineman John Marshall said. "We stuck to our game plan and executed."

A&M-Commerce fans didn't have to wait long for the Lions to strike. Jackson took UIU's kickoff 87 yards for the score that began a 33-0 run for A&M-Commerce. After a missed PAT the Peacocks had a 10-6 lead. Two tough runs inside the red zone by Graham put the Lions up 19-6.

"We realized that we were a better team than we played in the first half," Graham said. "When we figured out what we needed to do, the running game opened up."

The Lions added another touchdown after a risky but gutsy play by cornerback A.J. Billings. After intercepting Curran's pass, Billings flipped the ball to Chez Thomas, who ran 48 yards for the touchdown. An explosive 39-yard run by freshman RB La'Ryon Witherspoon put the final exclamation mark on the game.

QB Adam Farkes attributed much of the Lions' success to the offensive line.

"The offensive line is the rock of this offense," Farkes, who threw for 289 yards, said. "They were dominating the line of scrimmage up front and when you're able to do that you can open up your offense."

LB Danny Mason led A&M-Commerce in tackles with 13 and recorded their lone sack.

The Lions play LSC opponent Angelo State University in the third annual Harvey Martin Classic at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

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