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Roadrunners defeat Bobcats, 20-13

By Elwyn Henderson

    In a very unusual happening, former Gilmer Buckeye and current UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor matched up against former 2006 Gilmer Buckeye quarterback and current Texas State
Head Coach GJ Kinne at the Alamodome in San Antonio Saturday afternoon.

     A week earlier Kinne and the Bobcats shocked the College Football world with a 42-31 upset win over the heavily favored Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium in Waco while Traylor and the Roadrunners suffered a heartbreaking 17-14 loss to the Houston Cougars on the road. 

     Everyone expected a close contest in the Roadrunners home opener and that is exactly what they got.  A crowd of 49,342, the second largest in UTSA football history, definitely got their money’s worth.  When the clock ran out the Roadrunners walked off the field with a      win to even their record at 1-1 on the year.  With the loss Texas State also fell to 1-1.

     UTSA won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half.  Texas State could get nothing going against a stingy Roadrunner defense and was forced to punt after falling 2 yards short of a first down on third down.  Following the punt the ‘Runners began their first offensive drive at their 24.

     Frank Harris, who had a rough start to the season a week earlier, throwing interceptions on three consecutive passes late in the fourth quarter, started out looking very sharp.  He led the offense into enemy territory at the 41, but was sacked on a third down and UTSA was forced to punt from the Bobcat 48.  The ball went into the end zone and Texas State began their second drive on their 20.

     The Roadrunners defense brought the heat once again and forced a three-and-out.  Following a punt and a fair catch, UTSA set up for their second possession of the day at their 32.

     Harris moved his charges down to the Bobcat 29 where they faced a 4th and 11 and Chase Allen came in and booted a 37-yard field goal with 3:01 left in the first quarter and gave the Alamodome fans something to cheer about when the ball split the uprights, giving UTSA a 3-0 lead.  The drive was 11 plays, 39 yards and took 3:54.

     Texas State moved down to the UTSA 43 but the Roadrunners forced an incomplete pass on fourth down and UTSA went back on offense with 14:55 left in the first half.

     Harris moved the offense methodically and Rocko Griffin found the end zone on a 20-yard scoring run with 12:48 left in the first half.  Allen added the PAT and UTSA jumped out to a 10-0 lead.  The drive was 6 plays, 57 yards, and took 2:07 off the clock.


     Texas State missed a golden opportunity when a pass that would have gained about 25 yards fell incomplete and UTSA went back on the offensive at their 22 after another punt.

     Harris wasted little time in getting another impressive drive underway.  He led his team down to the Texas State 37 but a 4th down run by Harris fell short and Texas State took over on downs at their 34 with 9:01 left in the half.

     The Bobcat cashed in on the stop when Jahmyl Shelton ran into the end zone with 5:11 left in the first half of play.  Mason Shipley nailed the extra point kick and the Bobcats were right back in the game, trailing 10-7.  The drive was 11 plays, 66 yards and took 3:50 off the clock.

     When UTSA got the ball back following the score, Frank Harris, who had grabbed his left foot after a play and came out of the game for a couple of plays, returned to the field and shortly thereafter he grabbed his foot again and fell to the turf in obvious pain after completing a spectacular pass.  He went into the locker room and did not return the remainder of the half.  The Roadrunners were flat as could be and unable to get any offensive momentum the remainder of the half, as Eddie Lee Marburger could not get any traction once he came into the game to replace Harris.

     Following a UTSA punt a penalty against Texas State on the kick, the visitors began their final drive of the half from their 11. Quarterback TJ Finley led the team down to the UTSA 25 and on a 4th and 10 Shipley hit a 33-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the half and the game was tied 10-10.  The scoring drive was 8 plays, 64 yards and took just 2:10.

     UTSA received the second half kickoff and began at their 18 after the return.  Harris returned at quarterback with his left knee tightly wrapped, but he was sporting an obvious limp and didn’t appear to be anywhere near 100%.  As a result, it was a quick three-and-out and the ‘Runners had to punt the ball from their 10 back to the fired up Bobcats.  The kick bounced off the hands of the Bobcat player on the receiving end of the kick and even though three Roadrunners were in the vicinity, Texas State recovered at their 42 for their first possession of the second half.

BRANDON TENNISON, UTSA backup QB and former Gilmer QB.

     The visitors moved the ball up to their 48 before they were forced to punt the ball back to UTSA.  Harris was not able to move around much at all and after leading his charges to midfield, the Roadrunners punted the ball away on 4th and 6.  After a fair catch at the 15 the Bobcats went back to work on offense once again.

     The Roadrunners rose to the occasion and forced the Bobcats to punt the ball back and after a fair catch they set up at their 32 with 5:52 left in the third quarter.  Harris gutted through the injury and finally got his offense moving.  They went on an 8-play, 68-yard TD drive that consumed 2:38.  The score came on a 20-yard pass from Harris to Willie McCoy.  Allen added the extra point and UTSA led 17-10.

     The Roadrunners were fired up after getting the lead back and the defense forced a punt that was fair caught at their 26 and Harris returned to the field once again.

     UTSA was driving but an untimely fumble was recovered by Texas State at their 38 with 13:08 left in the game and the momentum suddenly shifted.

     On the first play of the possession Finley connected on a 55-yard bomb to Kole Wilson down to the UTSA 8 and the visitors had a 1st and goal.  Thanks to an intentional grounding on Finley and a 6-yard sack, Texas State sent Shipley out to attempt a 38-yard field goal.  The kick split the uprights with 10:37 left in the game and the score tightened to 17-13.  The drive was 5 plays, 36 yards and took 2:31.


     The ensuing kickoff was returned to the 29 and Harris headed back on the field once again to see if he could pad the lead and possibly put a final nail in the coffin and secure the win.

      They moved the ball down to the Texas State 25 and on a 4th and 8 Shipley nailed a 43-yard field goal with 5:47 left in the contest and that moved the score to 20-13.  The drive was 14 plays, 46 yards and took 4:42 off the fourth quarter clock.

     Following a 35-yard return out of the end zone the Bobcats set up shop from their 29.  The defense smelled blood, knowing if they could get a stop and force a punt they would be in good shape to close out the win.  That’s exactly what they did, pushing the visitors back 8 yards in 3 plays.  After a punt that had zero yards returned the Roadrunners set up on their 32 with 4:16 left in the game.


     Harris and the offense gave the Bobcats a strong dose of up the middle runs, grinding the clock down in the meantime.  They were able to run the clock out and the game ended on the Bobcats 33 yard line and the Roadrunners took the 20-13 win.

     In his post-game press conference Coach Jeff Traylor began by giving his thoughts on the game.

     “I just kept telling our team it was going to be one of those kind of game—rivalry game, we got injured out there a little bit, lost the momentum and our kids fought back.  Our grit put our greatness on display.  This is the highest attendance at our games we’ve ever had since I’ve been head coach.  It was loud; it was deafening in there.  We lost a tough, heartbreaking game last week and then you come back.  Most places they don’t show back up when you do that.  It was grit by a lot of people today.”

     We had the chance to ask Coach Traylor if in his wildest dreams he would have ever thought back in 2006 when GJ Kinne was the quarterback of the Gilmer Buckeyes that one day they would both be FBS head coaches and be on opposite sidelines from each other as adversaries.

     “I’m ready because somebody else asked me that, believe it or not, Mr. Elwyn.  I would have thought he was going to be.  I mean he’s as handsome as Joe Namath, you know, he played in the National Football League five years.  I mean I’m a simpleton high school football coach.  I’m the one I didn’t think would be here.  Praise the Lord.  President Amy and Dr. Compos saw something in me and gave me my chance, so for the two of us to do this—I’d like for somebody to find this out.  How many times in Division I football has a high school football coach gone against his high school quarterback as two head coaches?  That has to be a pretty low number, but hey, always let your dreams be so large your prayer life has to match it!  So when your dreams come true, no one can take credit for it but the Lord.”

     The coach was asked by JJ Perez the unofficial UTSA media representative what he said to GJ after the game when they met.

     “I told him that I loved him and I meant it.  I know it’s not me, but I feel like a part of me is there.  The way we coached him when he was in high school and the way we’ve always treated him with unconditional love, you can do things right in this business and he’s going to do it right.  Those kids believe in him.  I’m proud of him, that’s what I told him and I’m always going to love him.  He’s just as great of a coach this week as last week.  I also told him to enjoy the “

     The Roadrunners have a short week ahead as they host Army in the Alamodome Friday night in a 6 PM game.









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