Football takes down Tarleton, retires Grays jersey

Jakari Domino, music freshman, blocks an opponent from Tarleton State University at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. The Mustangs won 45-42 in overtime. Photo by Harlie David

The football team defeated rival Tarleton State University 45-42 in overtime on Saturday, Nov. 4.

At the 9:38 mark of the first quarter, Adrian Seales, running back and criminal justice junior, made the first touchdown of the game. With the extra point kick achieved by Jaron Imbirani, kicker/punter and sports and leisure studies sophomore, the score was 7-0. At 4:58 left in the quarter, Tarleton completed a touchdown and an extra point kick to tie up the score, ending the first quarter with a score of 7-7.

“Our strengths are passing pretty well and coaches are getting the players to execute the plays well,” Imbriani said.

The second quarter started with a touchdown by D.J. Myers, wide reciever and psychology senior, at the 14:11 mark. The football team had good defense to hold off another Tarleton touchdown, until the 9:16 mark when a Tarleton player was able to get into the end zone. The score was then back to a tie of 14-14. With 2:28 left before half time, DeAndre Black, wide receiver and business management senior, made it into the end zone for a touchdown. This left the score at half time 21-14.

The football game against Tarleton State University was more than just a rivalry game, though. At half time, the parents of Robert Grays, Tammy and Robert Grays III, were brought on the field beside University President Suzanne Shipley and Interim Athletic Director Kyle Williams. They announced that a plaque will be placed above Grays’ football locker and his No. 24 jersey will be retired.

“It’s the right thing to do and he deserves it,” Bill Maskill, head coach, said.

Players agreed with Maskill’s comments about Grays.

“Nobody should ever wear Robert Grays’ jersey again. He exemplified what it is to be a Mustang football player. He was the life of the team, and he is still deeply missed by all his friends, family and MSU brothers,” Jaylon Jackson, linebacker and marketing sophomore, said.

The third quarter started with a Tarleton touchdown, so the game was back at a tie. At the 12:45 mark, Kylan Harrison, wide reciever and kinesiology freshman, ran for a touchdown. With the score 28-21 for almost all of the quarter, Tarleton gained a touchdown with 3:09 left.

Vincent Johnson, running back and mechanical engineering junior, gained another touchdown for the team at the 14:56 mark of the fourth quarter. Johnson then ran for another touchdown at the 9:26 mark, bringing the score to 42-28. Not too far after Johnson’s second touchdown, Tarleton gained one of their own, bringing the score to 42-35. Josh Wydermyer, defensive back and sports and leisure studies junior, blocked a Tarleton pass to help keep MSU in the lead. Jaydon Cunigan, defensive back and criminal justice sophomore, took down a Tarleton player at the 5:05 mark of the fourth quarter. Before getting to the end of the game, Tarleton made a touchdown to tie the game with 2:31 left.

“Our offense did a heck of a job. The o-line blocked really good, our recievers caught the ball and the quarterback had a great arm,” Drew Bolin, linebacker and criminal justice junior, said.

Neither team was able to score with two minutes left and the game went into overtime. Tarleton was given the ball to start, but Jacob Sherrill, linebacker and respiratory therapy senior, intercepted a Tarleton pass to gain possession for MSU. Instead of running for a touchdown, coaches put Imbriani in for a field goal attempt. Imbriani kicked a successful field goal and the Mustangs won 45-42.

“We had our ups and our downs. The bottom line is the scoreboard and the mistakes we made we can get corrected. We enjoyed what we did out here because that was a tough team to play,” Maskill said.

This game was the last home game for the regular football season. Their overall record is 8-0 as they go into the Eastern New Mexico game on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. in Portales, New Mexico.

“It feels great to have such a successful season after the death of Rob. All of this that we have accomplished has been because of him, he is our why,” Wydermyer said.

Tarleton vs. MSU 2017

Jakari Domino, music freshman, contributes to the overtime win for the mustangs by blocking an opponent from Tarleton State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Jakari Domino, music freshman, contributes to the overtime win for the mustangs by blocking an opponent from Tarleton State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Layton Rabb, accounting junior, throws a pass towards his teammate
Layton Rabb, accounting junior, throws a pass towards his teammate
Semaj Robinson, criminal justice senior, tackles a Tarleton State opponent causing him to fumble the ball during the football game at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Semaj Robinson, criminal justice senior, tackles a Tarleton State opponent causing him to fumble the ball during the football game at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Deandre Black, business management senior, reaches the endzone for a mustangs touchdown during the football game inside Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Deandre Black, business management senior, reaches the endzone for a mustangs touchdown during the football game inside Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Deandre Black, business management senior, and D.J. Myers, psychology senior, celebrate a mustangs touchdown in the endzone inside Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Deandre Black, business management senior, and D.J. Myers, psychology senior, celebrate a mustangs touchdown in the endzone inside Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Tyrique Edwards, criminal justice sophomore, jumps up to catch the ball during a route at the football game against Tarleton State inside the Memorial Stadium on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Tyrique Edwards, criminal justice sophomore, jumps up to catch the ball during a route at the football game against Tarleton State inside the Memorial Stadium on Nov.4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Dorian Johnson, kinesiology/sports & leisure senior, breaks through the middle to gain yards during the football game at Memorial Stadium against Tarleton State on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
Dorian Johnson, kinesiology/sports & leisure senior, breaks through the middle to gain yards during the football game at Memorial Stadium against Tarleton State on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
President Shipley, Tammy Grays, and Robert Grays, stand in honor of Robert Grays to retire the number 24 at the Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David
President Shipley, Tammy Grays, and Robert Grays, stand in honor of Robert Grays to retire the number 24 at the Memorial Stadium during the football game against Tarleton State on Nov. 4, 2017. Photo by Harlie David

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