Arkansas Tech wins Division II HOT Bowl 51-35 over Eastern New Mexico
Updated: December 6, 2015
BY: ALLAN MANDELL – KILLEEN DAILY HERALD
COPPERAS COVE — Senior receiver Jabyes Cross caught three passes, two for touchdowns, and led Arkansas Tech to a 51-35 win over Eastern New Mexico in the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl on Saturday night at Bulldawg Stadium.
His three receptions totaled 125 yards.
With the game less than two minutes old, the Wonder Boys were at the ENMU 48-yard line. Cross sprinted past all defenders and quarterback Arsenio Favor merely had to loft a floater — which Cross promptly grabbed — and Tech led 7-0.
In the second quarter, ahead 30-21, on his own 31-yard line, Favor flipped a screen pass to Cross. Then Cross pulled off some magic. He faked out three would-be tacklers and took off down the sidelines.
After sprinting 30 yards down those sidelines, he was seemingly trapped. Cross then completely crossed the field. Near the other sideline, he looked trapped again. Cross then did a little left-right-left dance, faked out three more would-be tacklers and waltzed into the end zone, completing a 69-yard scoring play.At halftime, Tech led 37-28 and the Wonder Boys had already amassed 423 yards of offense. By the end of the contest, Tech had 620 yards of offense. Favor completed 18 of 29 passes for 353 yards and earned the game’s MVP award.
The Greyhounds of Eastern New Mexico scored their points on touchdown runs by Kamal Cass (2 yards, 1 yard) and receptions by Aaron Johnson (65 yards, 27 yards) and Logan O’Brien (1 yard). Greyhound quarterback Jeremy Buurman completed 13 of 24 passes for 255 yards.
Besides Cross, Tech scored its points on a safety and TD runs by Demetris Ford (8 yards), Favor (21 yards) and receptions by Chris Eastburn (2 yards), Brayden Stringer (37 yards) and Jermaine Murdock (8 yards).
The first game as part of the Heart of Texas Bowl was won by East Central College over Kilgore 35-21. The Warriors led 21-0 after one quarter and 21-7 at halftime.
Running back Tredarian Gamble led the Warriors with 141 rushing yards on 26 carries.
The CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl was founded in 2001 by Copperas Cove’s legendary head football coach and athletic director Jack Welch.
At the time, Welch’s goals were modest. He wanted to give some junior college football players a chance to be noticed, help out his community financially and increase funds for “Champs,” a student-based organization providing student-based activities.
Since then, the contest has grown in prestige, has expanded to include NCAA D-II schools, drawn national attention and the annual economic boom to the community has far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Contact Allan Mandell at email@example.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com