Story and photo courtesy of Midwestern State Athletics
ABILENE, Texas - The Pony Express chewed up 389 rushing yards to lift 12th-ranked Midwestern State to a 35-31 come-from-behind win over Abilene Christian Saturday afternoon at Shotwell Stadium.
"(ACU) fought hard all day and we found a way to make a few more plays than they did particularly at the end of the game," MSU coach Bill Maskill said.
But MSU junior running back Keidrick Jackson rushed for a career-high 197 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown while senior quarterback Brandon Kelsey ran for 141 yards and four touchdowns and sophomore running back Chauncey Harris accounted for 117 yards of total offense out of the backfield to key the victory.
The Mustangs sixth straight win improved them to 6-1 on the season and to 5-1 in the Lone Star Conference. MSU returns to Memorial Stadium Saturday against Eastern New Mexico. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Wildcats snagged momentum stopping Jackson on a fourth-and-1 from the ACU 43 with 7:50 to play.
ACU's Mitchell Gale, who passed for 335 yards and three touchdowns, led the Wildcats back down the field on a 7-play, 56-yard drive culminated with a 5-yard TD strike to Jamie Walker to give Abilene Christian a 31-28 lead with 5:43 to play.
For the third consecutive, the Mustangs answered the bell when trailing in the second half.
Jackson rushed for 16 and 10 yards on consecutive carries then Harris helped the Mustangs overcome a chop block infraction advancing the ball 18 yards on a swing pass on a third-and-16 play to set up a first down at the ACU 35-yard line.
Harris rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries and caught four passes for 57 more yards.
Jackson and Kelsey rotated carries the remainder of the way as Kelsey polished off the 12-play, 75-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring burst with 1:27 to go.
The teams exchanged scoring punches in the opening quarter as Gale connected with Taylor Gabriel on a 10-yard TD connection and Charcandrick West had a 3-yard scoring run to combat a pair of Kelsey touchdown jaunts (2, 30) as the Mustangs and Wildcats were tied at 14-14 going into the second quarter.
ACU's Ryan Owens hit a 32-yard field goal as the lone score of the second quarter to post the Wildcats to a 17-14 halftime advantage.
The teams exchanged the lead three times in the third quarter with Kelsey and Jackson accounted for touchdowns on 6- and 8-yard runs respectively sandwiched around a second Gale-to-Gabriel TD hookup as Midwestern would take a 28-24 lead into the final quarter of play.