WICHITA FALLS, Texas — It took a half for No. 10 Midwestern State to make the right adjustments, but once the Mustangs did they were able to take care of the No. 2 West Florida Argonauts, 38-17, at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Mustangs, who were down 14-3 at halftime, scored 35 second-half points on the back of their running game, which they committed to on the first drive of the second half, leading to a touchdown. The Mustangs started using running back Adrian Seales more to the right side, and the senior made it pay off with 96 yards rushing and a touchdown. That finally opened up the rest of the offense, as quarterback Layton Rabb threw for 334 yards and 3 touchdowns and wide receiver Juwan Johnson added 7 catches for 100 yards. Xavier Land led the Mustangs with 10 catches, one of which went for a touchdown.
In a battle of teams that could well challenge for the Division II national crown, the Argonauts had control early, as quarterback Sam Vaughn connected with Ishmel Morrow on a 23-yard touchdown pass and Ezra Saffold on a 64-yard touchdown pass in the first half. Up 14-3 at the break, the Argos seemed in clear control of the game. Vaughn finished with 251 yards passing 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
But the Mustangs made things difficult on the Argos’ offense in the second half, slowing down the running attack and putting Vaughn under more pressure. That gave the offense the opening it needed to assume the lead and control of the game. Rabb threw all three of his touchdown passes in the second half, including the go-ahead to Anthony Tennison, a 17-yarder, in the fourth quarter.
MSU’s Paul Manus had both interceptions on Vaughn, including a late pick he took back for a touchdown to put the cherry on top of a big with for the Mustangs.
Midwestern State travels to UT-Permian Basin next Saturday, while UWF hosts Shorter.
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