The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX


December 9, 2012

Kats prove they can play in cold during dominating victory over Montana State

HUNTSVILLE — All last week, the Bearkats were eagerly looking forward to heading to Montana for their quarterfinal matchup against the second-ranked and No. 3 national seed Montana State. And for a few reasons.

The Bobcats were a team that Sam Houston faced last year in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and a squad the Bearkats easily handled 49-13. A win over Montana State would also bring Sam Houston one step closer toward returning to the FCS national championship game in Frisco.

The Kats also wanted to respond to some criticism that they could in fact go up north, go into Big Sky country and win in the cold, something they didn’t have to do last season in the playoffs.

Sam Houston answered those calls in a resounding way with a dominant 34-16 victory over the payback-seeking Bobcats.

If you go back and look at the numbers and how the games played out, the two victories the Kats had over Montana State were awfully similar.

In both games, Sam Houston’s defense stifled Bobcats quarterback DeNarius McGhee in the first half and the Bearkats used that to take a double-digit lead into halftime with nearly the same score (20-6 in 2011 and 20-3 on last Friday night).

Just like in the 2011 quarterfinal, Montana State methodically moved its way down the field and scored on its first possession of the second half to cut away at the deficit.

Sam Houston buckled down defensively, holding the Bobcats to 10 yards in the next three possessions that ended on a fumble and a pair of punts.

Meanwhile, the Bearkats offense kept hitting big plays to move the ball and put up a couple of more touchdowns as Brian Bell hit wide receiver Chance Nelson for crucial 16- and 45-yard touchdowns to put the game away.

In order to advance to this week’s national semifinal showdown against Eastern Washington, the Bearkats needed have a lot of those things go their way, especially in front of a hostile crowd of 16,417 in a frigid 32 degrees with the wind chill making it feel like 22 degrees.

At this point of the season, what Sam Houston needed was to win the turnover battle, force mistakes with defensive pressure, stay balanced offensively and also win the time of possession.

That’s certainly much, much easier said than done in the playoffs with only the best of the best still alive, but that’s just what the Bearkats were able to do against a team that had previously lost just one game all season by a mere three points (27-24) to the No. 2 seeded Eagles of Eastern Washington.

By passing all of those tests with straight A’s, it’s no surprise that Sam Houston was able to put the game out of reach with more than 10 minutes to go.

Text Only
  • 4-24-rickeyshia.jpg HUNTSVILLE TRACK AND FIELD — Now's the time to shine at regional meet

    Only one more meet and strong competition is keeping the Lady Hornets and a pair of Hornets from advancing to the UIL Track and Field State Meet.
    In order to advance to Austin, the Huntsville boys and girls will have to turn in another strong showing on Friday and Saturday at the Class 4A Region III meet, which will be held at the York Track and Field Complex at Sam Houston State University.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • HORNETS FOOTBALL — Hornets football coaching staff coming together

    As the Hornets and their new head coach, Rodney Southern, continue to get more acquainted, there will also be a handful of new faces that the Huntsville boys will learn to get accustomed to.
    Though there are plenty of coaches still employed at other school districts, Southern is slowly but steadily putting his coaching staff together.

    April 24, 2014

  • HUNTSVILLE BASEBALL — Hornets upset Brenham in final road game

    All of a sudden, the Huntsville baseball team is on a roll. The Hornets figure it’s better late than never.
    Since getting off to a rough 1-10 start in district play this season, Huntsville has rattled off three wins in its last four games and two in a row after Tuesday night’s 7-4 road victory against district leader Brenham.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-shsu-golfer-Zach-Cabra.jpg SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE GOLF — Bearkats lead by 10 shots going into final round of men's championships

    Led by junior Zach Cabra and senior Albert Miner, Sam Houston State held off a charge by Stephen F. Austin to take a 10-stroke lead into today’s final 18 holes at the 2014 Southland Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-schultz.jpg NEW WAVERLY SOFTBALL — Lady Dogs ready for playoff game against Blooming Grove on Thursday

    With the Lady Bulldogs in the playoffs for the fourth straight season, this year’s team has high expectations going into the post-season.The latest pursuit begins Thursday for the Lady Dogs, facing Blooming Grove of District 23-2A at Madisonville High School in the opening round. Thursday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Game 2 is slated for Friday at 6 p.m. If necessary, the Lady Dogs and Lady Lions will play a third and deciding game following Friday’s tilt.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SHSU BASEBALL — Bearkats take down No. 12 Houston

    The Bearkats manufactured a run in the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie and beat No. 12 Houston 5-4 on Tuesday at Cougar Field. Designated hitter Hayden Simerly scored the first and final runs of the game, the last on a sacrifice fly after he was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-22-coach-oliphant-2011-playoffs.jpg Huntsville hires Jay Oliphant as new boys basketball coach

    Huntsville hired a new head coach for the boys basketball team and didn’t have to search very far to find him.
    Jay Oliphant is well-known around these parts. After spending the last five seasons as the girls basketball coach, Oliphant will take over a boys program that missed the playoffs in 2013-14 for the first time in the last six seasons.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-chaz.jpg NEW WAVERLY BASEBALL — Bulldogs jump on Onalaska early, cruises to 10-1 victory in finale

    The Bulldogs are back.
    After a year away from the Class 2A baseball playoff picture, New Waverly’s team has returned to form and perhaps even better than before.
    The Bulldogs finished the regular season strong with a dominant 10-1 victory over Onalaska on Monday night.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • HUNTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL — Jay Oliphant to be named new Hornets head coach

    Former Huntsville basketball standout Jay Oliphant is the new head coach for the boys team, The Item learned Monday morning.

    April 21, 2014

  • 4-20-Cally-Belcher-2.jpg Cally Belcher's death was a tragedy ahead of its time

    As a defensive back for the Huntsville Hornets from 1987-89, Cally Belcher was an intimidating tackler during a time in football when hitting was one of the more glamorous elements of the sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo


House Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide