"We're going to the national championship game...enough said. Yeah!"
That was a quote by Tom Minnick, AWC head football coach, after his Matadors became the first team in AWC Football history to reach the 11-win plateau for a single season after their 45-13 away-game win over Mesa on the night of Saturday, November 12.
The game started rather slowly with the Mats looking sluggish. The only real highlights from the first quarter were Damien Williams' 26 yard touchdown run and Chris Young's 32 yard fumble return for the Mats first two touchdowns of the night.
The second quarter had a slew of drive-killing penalties with things getting pretty chippy on the field. Then, with a little over a minute to go, Jeremy Reynolds booted a 38 yard field goal to give the Mats a bit of breathing room with an 8 point lead.
Halfway through the 3rd quarter, however, it was still anyone's game with a 15-7 score.
With 42 seconds left in the 3rd , Damien Williams scored his second touchdown of the night with a 14 yard scamper and the Mats began to take control with a 22-7 lead.
Midway through the 4th, Damien Williams grabbed his third TD with a 4 yard run for a 29-7 lead.
When Mesa's Justin Sieczkowski passed a 78 yard touchdown pass to Jonny Gordon halfway through the 4th a woman in the benches assured the Mats, "don't worry, they're still going home with a big ouie."
Nate Willis then blocked the extra point with a 68 yard return for a 2-point conversion making the score 31-13.
With a little over four minutes left in the game and rain beginning to fall, quarterback Cameron Coffman tossed an awesome 28 yard TD pass to Shawn Kitchens. Then, defensive lineman Tomasi Molesi made a 30 yard interception return TD for a final 45-13.
Congratulations, Matadors, for a season to remember! Now on to the national championship game, against #2 East Mississippi Community College, at the inaugural El Toro Bowl right here at The Vet on December 3!