The No. 1 ranked Sam Houston Bearkats proved to be too much for the Tarleton State University Texans on Saturday night as they cruised to a 45-27 victory at Memorial Stadium.
The win is the 18th straight for the Bearkats, dating back to the last game of the 2019 season. The win streak is currently the longest winning streak in all of college football.
It was also the Kats 17th win in the 2021 calendar year, setting an all-time college football record. The win also pushed head coach K.C. Keeler to 250 wins for his career.
The Bearkats (7-0, 3-0 WAC) offense carried the team to the win as the defense had a rare off game, allowing the Texans quarterback Steven Duncan to throw for 403 yards and four touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Eric Schmid had six total touchdowns to go with 307 passing yards while junior running back Ramon Jefferson rushed for 173 yards, his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season.
The Kats outpaced the Texans in total offense 575 to 471.
The first quarter ended with both teams tied at 14 with Tarleton answering both of Sam Houston’s scoring drives. The Bearkats used the next two quarters to take a convincing lead, outscoring the Texans 31-0.
Sam Houston started their third scoring drive with 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Sophomore running back Noah Smith started with a 17-yard rush followed by graduate tight end Isaac Schley picking up a 14-yard reception.
Schmid would finish the drive with a scramble to the left avoiding a tackle to get in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to give the Kats a 21-14 lead.
The teams traded punts before Sam Houston got the ball back again at the Tarleton 46-yard line after graduate receiver Jequez Ezzard returned the punt 12 yards. A pass interference on the Texans, drawn by senior wide receiver Brennon Tibbs, helped move the Bearkats down the field.
On the next play offensive coordinator Ryan Carty drew up a screen pass to Smith who reeled it in with one hand and followed his blockers 19 yards to the end zone to put the Kats up 14 points.
Tarleton threatened to score on the last possession of the first half, getting into field goal range for a 46-yard kick but senior defensive lineman Joseph Wallace got up and blocked the attempt.
In the third quarter the Bearkats put up 17 more points while forcing Tarleton to punt on four straight possessions.
Tarleton would score twice in the fourth quarter, both passing touchdowns from Duncan.
Sam Houston returns home to Bowers Stadium for their match with Dixie State University on Saturday, Nov. 6 at noon.