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The Road Ends Here

—By Daulton Perry on 11/11/2012 Congratulations to Aggie running back #20 Justice Patterson for surpassing 1,000 yards rushing for the 2012 season!—Maximiliano Finello photoCongratulations to Aggie running back #20 Justice Patterson for surpassing 1,000 yards rushing for the 2012 season!—Maximiliano Finello photo Goodwell, Okla.—Saturday afternoon was not just the last football of the Aggie season, but it was also the last collegiate football game for several of the OPSU seniors including Joe Middleton, Henry Caldwell, Nick Collins, Willie Hall, Justice Patterson, Jihad' Wright, Chase Boyer, Trevor Lutz, Chris Robinson, Jared Pecore, Michael Simpson, Rantz Traylor, Michael Cole, and Stephen Perriera. These seniors were honored before the game and were ready to get their last collegiate football game against the Langston University Lions underway.

Both teams were going to have more than just each other to battle as the winds were blowing strong at around 50 mph throughout the entire game. This didn't just mean that the air attack for both teams was going to be hindered, but would affect the special teams as well. The Aggies were set to receive the opening kickoff, but the wind forced the ball out of bounds and the Aggies started with great field position for their first drive of the game. They drove down the field, but were forced to attempt a 32-yard field goal. Carlos Nieto's kick was wide left and the Aggies turned the ball over to the Lions. The Aggie defense held them to a three and out, and Xavier Murry blocked the ensuing punt, bouncing the ball right into Timothy Hollingshed's hands and he ran it in for the 29-yard touchdown return. Nieto's PAT was good and the Aggies put the first points on the scoreboard as the led after the first quarter 7-0.

The Aggies had the ball to start the second quarter, thanks to a fumble recovered by linebacker Nathaniel Mathurin following a sack of quarterback Brendon Crawford, and after a 31-yard pass and catch from Caleb Holbrook to linebacker Trevor Lutz, Chris McClendon punched it in from one yard out. Nieto's PAT was no good this time, but the Aggies still led 13-0. On the second Lion possession of the second quarter, Kenrick Roberson ran it for the 2-yard TD and with the PAT, the Aggies lead was now just 13-7 and that's what the score would be going into the half.

Langston received the second half kickoff and after putting together an 11-play drive, they were unable to convert on the 4th and 2 play and turned the ball over on downs. Five plays later, Holbrook, with the wind behind him, connected with WR Ricky Backstrom for a 57-yard TD. With the extra point, OPSU now pushed their lead to 20-7 going into the fourth and final quarter. Langston had the ball going into the final quarter and ended an 18-play drive that seemed to never end with a Roberson TD from a yard out. The PAT was blocked so the Aggies now led 20-13. On the first play of the ensuing Aggie drive, the ball was snapped over the head of wildcat QB Justice Patterson and was recovered by the Lions in the end zone for a TD. The PAT was no good and the Aggie lead shrunk to just one point with the score at 20-19. The Aggies had to start every drive going into the wind and were forced to resort to the run game and the Lions defense kept their team in the ball game until the winds took over. OPSU was forced to punt, and Antonio Mendoza's punt had too much hang time. The winds caused the ball to travel only 15 yards and the Aggies' punting unit ran past the ball. The Lions returner Shelton Augustine scooped up the ball and took it back 40 yards for the TD. The 2-point conversion was good and the Lions took their first lead of the ball game, 27-20 and with the Aggies offense struggling with the wind, that's all they needed to win this ball game. OPSU fell in their final game of the season with that score, and Aggies ended their season 4-6.

Patterson did have a successful day on the ground as he was able to get over the century mark with 104 yards and he also surpassed 1,000 yards on the season as well. Holbrook was 12-20 for 133 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Backstrom was the leading receiver with his one catch of 57 yards. This is not how the Aggie seniors wanted to go out, but judging how each one of them played, they left everything out on the field and that's something to be proud of.


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