By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
Tyler Thomas talked about “leaving something special on the field” at Indian Bowl Saturday.
The Bacone College senior running back left his impression on Wayland Baptist’s defense as he ran for a school-record 206 yards on just 11 carries and scored three touchdowns to power the Warriors to a 53-0 victory against the Pioneers.
“It was Senior Day,” he said. “I knew it was going to be the last time on our home turf. I think I had a good game. I kept working on making positive plays.”
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Jackson, Miss., native didn’t have carries for negative yardage as the Warriors collected 426 rushing yards as a team to win their sixth straight game and improve to 7-2 overall. Bacone tied the school record for wins in a season after going 7-3 in 2004 in David Ross’ fourth season and 7-4 in 2008 in Joe Thrasher’s third and last season.
Thomas’ TD runs of 75, 7 and 74 yards didn’t surprise coach Trevor Rubly.
“We’ve always known that he’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s a great, hard runner,” the Bacone coach said. “My hat’s off to him. I’m glad we’re playing with him and not against him.”
Bacone, which led 28-0 at halftime, also scored on an eight-yard pass to wide receiver Sheriff Thomas from quarterback Kyle Kuban, a two-yard pass to Chris McCall from Kuban and one-yard plunges by Aron McCoy and Brandon Bethel. A 21-yard field goal by Chad Nichols and a safety in the fourth quarter accounted for Bacone’s other points.
Definitely not to be forgotten, the Warriors’ defense recorded their third shutout of the season in limiting the Pioneers (2-6) to just 28 yards rushing and 174 yards of total offense.
The defensive effort comes on the heels of this week when the Warriors found out they were ranked No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 1 in total defense in the NAIA, according to Dakstats.com.
“Our guys saw that and they came to practice saying, ‘Don’t mess with us,’ “ Rubly said. “They had that swagger, but I told them that could be a good thing and a bad thing. I told them that nobody was going to lay down for them.
“Wayland dictated the tempo in the first half, but we made just adjustments at halftime and played outstanding in the second half.”
Fullback Kendall Roberson paced the Pioneers with 80 yards rushing on 19 carries and quarterback Anthony Campuzano completed 14 of 28 passes for 138 yards and two interceptions.
Bacone returns to action for its regular season finale Nov. 10 when it travels to Abilene, Texas to play McMurry University.
BACONE 53, WAYLAND BAPTIST 0
Wayland 0 0 0 0—0
Bacone 7 21 13 12—53
Bacone — Tyler Thomas 75 run (Chad Nichols kick), 1:23
Bacone — Chris McCall 2 pass from Kyle Kuban (Nichols kick), 11:58
Bacone — Thomas 7 run (Nichols kick), 10:03
Bacone — Sheriff Thomas 8 pass from Kuban (Nichols kick), 0:12
Bacone — Thomas 74 run (kick failed), 13:22
Bacone — Aron McCoy 1 run (Nichols kick), 8:39
Bacone — Nichols 21 FG, 9:32
Bacone — Safety (Quarterback runs out of end zone), 5:27
Bacone — Brandon Bethel 1 run (Nichols kick), 2:25
First Downs 18 25
Rushes-Yards 39-28 53-426
Passing Yards 146 169
Passes (C-A-I) 18-34-2 10-20-0
Punts-Average 7-31.9 4-31.8
Fumbles-Lost 4-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-39 11-90
Rushing: Wayland, Roberson 19-80. Bacone, T. Thomas 11-206 (3 TDs), McCoy 13-69 (1 TD), Bethel 8-47 (1 TD), Morrow 5-30.
Passing: Wayland, Campuzano, 14-28-2—138. Bacone, Kuban 9-16-0—157.
Receiving: Wayland, Curry 4-37. Bacone, S. Thomas 3-70, Lenox 2-31, Price 2-23, Rich 1-25.