The Sam Houston Bearkats marched into Stephenville, Texas, Saturday and put on their best performance of the season with a 40-21 win over the Tarleton Texans.
The redshirt freshman running back Zach Hrbacek for the Bearkats (5-2) with an 80-yard touchdown run to open the scoring in the first quarter.
With that touchdown, it marked the first time this season the Bearkats scored a touchdown on the first drive of a game. It was also the longest scoring play of the season.
Point after by sophomore kicker Seth Morgan made it 7-0 just like that.
The Texans (5-3, 1-1) would quickly respond the next drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman Beau Allen to junior wide receiver Jaden Smith.
Point after by sophomore kicker Adrian Guzman tied it up 7-7.
The Bearkats wouldn’t let that pass as the other Bearkat redshirt freshman running back Charles Crawford III would take it into the house for his first Sam Houston career touchdown.
Morgan point after made it 14-7 Bearkats.
From there on out, the first half was all Sam Houston.
The Bearkat defense wouldn’t let the Texans score again in the half as they forced four turnovers.
One was a turnover on downs in the first quarter in Bearkat territory.
Three were interceptions by sophomore defensive back Donovan Adkins, redshirt freshman defensive back David Fisher and sophomore transfer defensive back Da’Veawn Armstead.
Fisher’s interception came in the endzone to prevent a touchdown.
The Bearkats mustered six points in the 2nd quarter off two field goals by sophomore kicker Seth Morgan.
The former All-American and three-time 2022 Western Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week also hit a career long 52-yard field goal.
The Bearkats led 20-7 heading into halftime.
One player that was a key for that first and would go on to be for the rest of the game was graduate wide receiver Cody Chrest.
He kept making amazing plays that would extend Bearkat drives. His ability to not only run but also make the hardest catches shouldn’t go unnoticed.
There wasn’t much scoring in the third quarter as it was Morgan coming up again with a 32-yard field goal to make it 23-7.
The fourth quarter was a high scoring one overall.
Graduate transfer Dezmon Jackson gave the Bearkats an 18-yard touchdown run to make it 30-7, before Morgan’s point after.
Tarleton had trouble getting things going after a fumble by the Texans was recovered by senior defensive back Trey Smith.
But Beau Allen and the Texans got a 23-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Darius Cooper.
It was now 30-14 with the Texans threatening to make a late rally.
The Bearkats though would put it on ice as Hrbacek on the next drive rushed into the endzone for a 4-yard touchdown with Morgan’s point after making it 40-14 with over six minutes to go.
Hrbacek also reached 203 rushing yards, which is a career high. The yards is also 14th all time in Sam Houston history.
Tarleton got another touchdown a few drives later with a 47-yard touchdown pass from sophomore back-up quarterback Marco Siderman to Darius Cooper to make it 40-21.
The game at that point however, was out of reach. tThe Bearkats win five straight games and grab their 13th straight winning season.
Seth Morgan once again was a big contributor to a Bearkat victory. He hit four out of five field goals.
The Bearkat defense was a big reason why the Bearkats won the shootout. They forced six turnovers and did it in situations where the Texans had a chance to do something.
Several players could be pointed out, but it seemed everyone did their job.
Cody Chrest finished with five catches for 97 yards while putting on yet another clinic.
He showed why National Football League teams were looking at him.
Chrest and amazing catches are quite a dynamic duo.
Junior quarterback Keegan Shoemaker finished with 16 of 34 for 172 yards.
The Bearkats will have another bye week and will be back in action for the final to games of the season.
They will all be home at Bowers Stadium.
Their next game is Nov. 12 against the Abilene Christian Wildcats. Kickoff is 12 p.m.
The game will be broadcasted on ESPN plus, 101.7 KSAM, and 90.5 KSHU The Kat.