Buffaloes Hold Off Fourth Ranked Midwestern


Austin Heinen, Former Associate Editor

If there wasn’t ever a definition of a roller coaster game, this one would fit the bill. West Texas A&M’s quick start and persistence at the end led to an upset victory over previously unbeaten and 4th ranked Midwestern State 35-27.

The first quarter was all WT, as well as the early part of the 2nd quarter as the Buffs jumped to an early 21-0 lead. Ben Arbuckle was part of the reason why as he accounted for two of those early scores and finished 22-29 for 178 yards passing.

“It was just execution really,” Arbuckle said. “Our coaches drew a good game plan and Midwestern did a lot of the things we thought they would do. We just did what the coaches told us to do, they tried making adjustments at halftime and we adjusted pretty good.”

The Mustangs stormed back from mid-way through the 2nd quarter and after halftime. MSU scored 24 unanswered point to take a 24-21 lead with under a minute to go in the 3rd.. Then 27 seconds later running back Devon Paye ran for a 74-yard score that would put WT ahead for good. Paye finished the game with three total touchdowns, two of them on the ground along with 177 yards rushing.

“I just listened to the coaches,” Paye said. “They said that on that specific play to bounce it out and it’ll be end-zone and it was so I just trusted them.”

While the Buffs kept the lead for the remainder of the game, the visiting Mustangs didn’t go quietly. Putting a field goal through with 10 minutes left in the game made it 28-27. Trent Canion 5 minutes later put WT in the driver’s seat with a 26-yard TD run, which was followed by two fourth down stops from the Buffalo defense to seal the upset.

“I was really proud of the guys,” head coach Mike Nesbitt said. “We made some good plays, in the 3rd quarter we did a fantastic job defensively holding them to two field goals, that was the game, instead of 14 points we hold them to 6 that was fantastic. What I’m really proud of is the team collectively and the coaches for staying together. Nobody was upset everyone just stayed into it, stayed in the fight and we just tried to stay focused on the positives and we kept going.”

While the win is nice and will be celebrated, the Buffs will have another big game next week as they travel to 9th ranked Texas A&M Commerce.

“We’ll enjoy this tonight and tomorrow then wake up Monday and put in the work to get the next guy.” Nesbit said. “You got to breathe a little bit, the kids and coaches need to enjoy the hard work and the fruit of their labor a bit and then go back to work Monday.”

West Texas A&M (5-3, 4-2) and Texas A&M Commerce(7-1, 5-1) will kick-off next week at 4pm in Commerce, Texas.