MIDLAND, TX (Press release) - The West Texas Roughnecks came back from being down 13 points in the second half to outscore the Abilene Ruff Riders 16-7 in the fourth quarter to win their final road game of the regular season, 54-51.
The Ruff Riders struck first in the ball game as QB Robert Kent scrambled for a 25-yard touchdown run to give Abilene a 7-0 advantage. The Roughnecks answered with a nine-play drive capping it off with a three-yard touchdown run from former Lufkin Panther Jorvorskie Lane to make it 7-6.
Later on in the second quarter, the Ruff Riders took a 14-6 lead following a one-yard touchdown run by Kent, but the Roughnecks countered with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Jones to Ryan Bugg making it 14-12. Following a Trae Ivory three-yard touchdown run, Roughnecks wide out Dexter Henderson returned the ensuing kickoff back 42 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-19.
Later in the first half, Robert Kent found WR Fred Howze for a five-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and goal to give Abilene an eight point lead. But the Roughnecks closed out the first half with another Jorvorskie Lane rushing touchdown to make it 27-25 at half.
The second half started on the wrong foot for the Roughnecks as Robert Kent connected with Corey White for a 32-yard touchdown pass to make 34-25, following a Tommy Jones interception to begin the third quarter.
After the Roughnecks closed the gap at 37-31, Tommy Jones was intercepted again this time by Darvin Peterson who returned it back 48-yards for a crucial score to make it 44-31. The Roughnecks came back strong to close out the third quarter as Tommy Jones found Ryan Bugg for a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 44-38.
In the fourth quarter, the Roughnecks defense held the Abilene offensive unit short on fourth down. Tommy Jones would then connect with Steve Bergeski for a 27-yard touchdown pass to give the Roughnecks their first lead at 45-44. On the ensuing Ruff Riders drive, Robert Kent fumbled the snap and RB Trae Ivory would throw the loose ball out of the back of the end-zone to make it a safety for the Roughnecks.
Up 47-44, the Roughnecks expanded on their lead as Tommy Jones connected on his fifth touchdown pass to Steve Bergeski from 23 yards out to make it 54-44. Abilene hung tough however as Trae Ivory recorded a two-yard touchdown run to make it 54-51. However, the Roughnecks recovered the ensuing on-side kick and ran out the clock to record the come-from-behind win.
The Roughnecks improve to 4-7 with the win as Abilene drops to 2-9 on the season. Next week, the Roughnecks host the Corpus Christi Hammerheads on Saturday, May 29 as Abilene hosts Amarillo on May 29.