BROWNWOOD, TX – A Cain Leon 2-yard run into the endzone with :45 to play gave Louisiana College a much-needed 27-21 road win over Howard Payne here today.
The run capped a 51-yard, 9-play drive that took 3:12, breaking the 21-21 tie from the 13:52 mark of the fourth quarter.
“Today we played our most complete game of the season,” said Head Coach Justin Charles following the game. “All three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams, stepped up today for the win. I’m very proud of the players and coaches on this team.”
It was a back-and-forth day as the Yellow Jackets scored first, getting on the board with a 9-yard run at the 11:20 mark of the first quarter. LC answered with a 10-play, 70-yard drive that took 4:37, the longest time-of-possession drive of the game.
With 2:40 left in the first half it was HPU’s turn, punching it in from 2 yards out, and ending the half up 14-7.
The Wildcats scored first in the second half when Jarred Simpson hauled in a 27-yard strike from quarterback Sal Palermo. Wade Simmons’ PAT kick was good and the game was tied 14-14.
It was LC’s turn again, when Zion Williams’ 10-yard TD catch from Palermo capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive to put LC up 12-14.
HPU wasn’t done and a 23-yard pass at the 13:52 mark of the fourth quarter tied it at 21-21. Then LC got the final say with the Leon run to win the game.
LC moves to 2-3 on the year and 2-2 in American Southwest Conference play. HPU is also 2-3 overall, but now 1-3 in the ASC.
Palermo went the distance for LC, completing 19 of 37 passes for 256 yard and 3 scores. That’s a completion percentage of just over 51 percent, without an interception.
Nine different Wildcats caught at least one pass in the game, led by Williams with 7 for 93 yards and the score. Michah Dunn had 3 receptions for 41 yards, while Simpson, Mark Milburn and running back Aaron Woods each had 2. Adding 1 reception each were Lucas Cormier, Trey Turner, Connor Maples and Leon.
Defensively the Wildcats were led by Devyn Allen’s 10 total stops. A.J. Whitaker and Julius Johnson each added 8 total stops and Micah Latin had 3 with the only 2 sacks against the HPU quarterback.
LC is back on the road in Texas next week, heading to Seguin to take on Texas Lutheran in an ASC matchup.