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Scott Puryear, Sports Information Director
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, OK 73939
580-349-1340 scottp@opsu.edu

 

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Oklahoma Panhandle State football coach Kyle Davis (left) had plenty of reasons to smile in the 20-17 victory over Wayne State on Saturday. Among them was a 155 yard rushing performance by freshman quarterback Brandon Warner. – photos by Campus Communications and Larry Wiggins  

**For Immediate Release**
OPSU Plays Well in 20-17 Come From Behind Victory
- by Scott Puryear of Aggie Sports on 9/19/05

Goodwell, OK - The Oklahoma Panhandle State football team traveled north and east to Wayne, Nebraska, and in come from behind fashion – outfought Wayne State for a 20-17 victory.

It was the first win of the season for the Aggies, their first ever under head coach Kyle Davis, and a banner day for freshman quarterback Brandon Warner.

The Aggies took an early 3-0 lead as Hal Rogers nailed a 32-yard field goal. Though they drove the ball well in that first quarter, it ended with them still holding the three point margin and with both teams playing very well defensively.

To start the second quarter, the Aggies went for it on a fourth down and came up short, opening the door for Wayne State. However, a short time later, the Aggie “D” continued to tend to business and 280-pound sophomore lineman Tim Hearne came up with a fumble to give the Aggies the ball on the Wayne 30 yard line.

Led by the hard running of halfback David Daniels and Warner, the Aggies drove to the Wayne State three yard line. On fourth down after a loss, the Aggies went for it again, and Warner hammered his way in from four yards out for a touchdown. Rogers’ PAT gave OPSU a 10-0 lead with 11:47 left in the first half. The six play drive covered 30 yards.

The OPSU offensive attack is beginning to gel under Kyle Davis (in his first season as head coach), and Warner is doing a fine job in the option offense. In the second quarter, converted wide receiver James Stephens, Warner and Daniels did some serious damage with their running.

However, the Wildcats came back after their own nice drive with a Travis Dietz to Marque McCray 12-yard scoring pass, and the ensuing PAT left the Aggies with a 10-7 lead with 2:46 left in the first half.

The half ended with the three point OPSU advantage. Their defense had played well and their running attack had generated 155 yards (90 of them by Warner).

The Wildcats took the second half kick-off and drove up the field. The Aggie defense bent but did not break, and the Wildcats managed a 32-yard Oscar Cervantes field goal to tie the game at 10 with just over ten minutes to play in the third quarter.

After an unsuccessful OPSU possession, Wayne State’s McCray hauled in a 62-yard scoring pass from Dietz and, with the extra point, the Wildcats had seized their first lead at 17-10 at the end of the third period.

On an early fourth quarter possession, the sure-handed wide receiver Shane Black made two straight nice receptions (from Warner) to get OPSU to Wayne’s 20 yard line, and the explosive Daniels promptly charged up the middle for a touchdown. Rogers’ conversion tied the game at 17-17 with 12:56 left on the clock.

The Aggies soon lost their first turnover of the game when Wayne State recovered a fumble on the OPSU 38 yard line. Led by tough linebackers Clifford Dean and Ranoaldo Davis, the Aggies held on downs and took over on their own 27 with just under seven minutes left in the game.

Warner and company again went to work and freshman Taner Williams got into the act with a tough 18 yard run into Wayne State territory. On the next play, the crafty Warner made a nice eleven yard run to get the Aggies to near Wayne’s 30 yard line.

Runs by Warner and Daniels took the Aggies to the eight yard line and first and goal with under three minutes left. The Wildcat defense was up to the task and gave the Aggies only three yards on three downs.

With 37 seconds to play, the dependable Rogers set up for a field goal, and then nailed the 23-yarder for what would prove to be the game winning three point margin.

With the Aggies leading 20-17, Wayne State took the field and received the kick-off. On the first play of the drive, lineman William Hackney came up with a huge quarterback sack. On the second, OPSU defensive back Andre Gumbs made a nice interception and the Aggies had their first win of the season.

Warner, an excellent all-around athlete, gives Aggie football fans something to be very excited about. He is a leader both on and off the field. At 6’1” and 205 pounds, he handles the option well, and he ran for 155 yards on 32 carries plus completed ten of his 15 passes for 73 yards on Saturday.

On defense, Dean was in on nine tackles and Ranoaldo Davis was in on seven. The always tough Jeborric Evans was in on six from his defensive back spot and lineman Gary Hendricks pulled in an interception.

Though their winning margin was narrow, the Aggies dominated the statistics, especially in total yards, out gaining their opponents 362 – 186. They controlled the ball well and ran 75 plays compared to only 50 for their opponents.

After the game, Kyle Davis could barely speak, but lauded the play of his entire team, especially Warner and the linebacking duo of Ranoaldo Davis and Dean. He added, “We came from behind and did what we had to for a big win. We’ll work on our penalties for next week, but I’m very happy and excited to say that we put a good game together today.”

Kyle Davis has good reason to be pleased . . . a road win, a very hard hitting defense, and a strong quarterback who might just be giving opposing teams fits for the next 40 or so football games.

The 1-3 Aggies will be on their home field next Saturday with a contest against the always tough Southeastern Oklahoma State.

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