NACOGDOCHES, Texas (SFA Athletics) - The SFA football team turned rode a three-touchdown performance by Xavier Gipson to a dominant 31-12 victory against Angelo State University on Saturday in Homer Bryce Stadium.
Gipson, a sophomore, hauled in five receptions for a career-best 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns and also returned a punt for a score to lift the Lumberjacks (2-3) to their second straight victory. After both teams had drives stall out to open the first quarter, the Lumberjacks got the ball with 2:10 remaining in the stanza.
Following a pair of false start penalties to move them back to their own 10-yard line, Gipson hauled in a short pass from Trae Self in the flat and raced 90 yards down the sideline to put the hosts on the board in electric fashion. Following that 90-yard scoring drive, Xavier Gibson also had a 37-yard punt return touchdown to bring the score to 14-6, which would stand as the margin entering halftime. SFA would tack on three more points in the third quarter, as Bruce Harmon picked off the Rams quarterback and the Lumberjacks drove into range for a Chris Campos 45-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-6.
The Rams would answer with a 38-yard touchdown scamper on the ensuing drive to pull within five, 17-12, but Self and Gipson would hook up again with three minutes left to play in the third quarter, this time on a 76-yard touchdown reception. Gipson’s third tally of the day gave SFA a 24-12 lead heading into the fourth quarter of play. A nine-yard touchdown run by Da’Leon Ward just a minute into the fourth quarter extended SFA’s lead to a comfortable 31-12 margin, a score that would hold final.
Self finished with 197 yards passing and a pair of touchdown passes, while also adding 31 yards on the ground on four carries. Ward finished the day with 43 yards on 11 carries and a score. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lumberjack defense turned in a solid performance with two interceptions, four sacks and a forced fumble that was initially recovered by SFA but ruled back to the Rams after review determined it was recovered by the hosts out-of-bounds.