Central Washington saw its perfect season end Saturday as Texas A&M Commerce overcame a 21-point deficit, then won 34-31 in double overtime of the NCAA Divison-II quarterfinals.
The Wildcats (11-1) led 28-7 at halftime thanks to two touchdown passes and a TD run by Reilly Hennessey. The junior from Camas completed 22 of 34 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Texas A&M Commerce (11-1) scored 21 unanswered points in the second half. The Lions tied the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with :03 seconds left in regulation.
After the teams traded field goals in the first overtime, Central Washington failed to score after a holding penalty forced third and 15.
Texas A&M Commerce then won the game on a 38-yard field goal.
“In the first half they gave us pretty base looks that we were anticipating,” Hennessey said. “Our guys did a great job of executing. The second half, they did a good job of changing up the defensive front on us and messing with some counts. But it all came down to us. We were in position to make plays, but didn’t make enough.”
Kevin Haynes finished his standout CWU career with a team-high 16 tackles and a sack. The All-American linebacker from Battle Ground also had a first-half interception that he returned for 27 yards.
“Obviously today was tough, but I don’t think you can ask for anything more than an 11-0 start to the season and a conference championship,” Haynes said. “When we got here, that was our goal. … Our chemistry was amazing. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.”
MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR 24, LINFIELD 0 — Linfield’s season came to a close with a second-round loss to top-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.
The defending national champions beat Linfield (9-2) for the second time this season.
A blocked punt on Linfield’s first drive led to a Hardin-Baylor touchdown two plays later.
The Cru (12-0) extended their lead with a 13-play 97-yard touchdown drive capped by Carl Robinson’s 36-yard run.
Linfield was held to 220 total yards and 12 first downs.
SOUTHERN OREGON 34, LINDSEY WILSON 29 — Ray Vega’s 6-yard touchdown run with 47 seconds left gave No. 5 Southern Oregon a road win over the No. 4 seed in Columbia, Ky.
The Red Raiders (12-0) advance to the NAIA semifinals against No. 2 seeded Reinhardt University next weekend in Georgia.
On the final drive, Tanner Trosin led Southern Oregon 75 yards in 1:28. A key play was a 35-yard pass to Jordan Suell, a Fort Vancouver grad.
Suell finished with four catches for a team-high 66 yards.
Trosin was 25 for 38 for 279 yards, completing passes to 10 receivers.