The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M leads Western Carolina 21-14 at the half

Christian Kirk

Texas A&M kicked off its final game at Kyle Field by honoring the seniors, sending them out one by one to hear the support from the 12th Man. It just so happened that a trio of seniors accounted for the Aggies first 14 points; Tra Carson, Jeremy Tabuyo and Taylor Bertolet. 
Western Carolina (6-3, 4-2 Southern) won the coin toss and elected to receive, hoping that they could create an early spark. Unfortunately for the Catamounts, Myles Garrett put a stop to their first drive with a tackle for loss that brought out Texas A&M’s (6-3, 3-3 SEC) freshman starting quarterback, Kyler Murray. 
On the rookie’s first pass attempt, he swung it out to the flats only to have it picked off by a WCU linebacker and returned for 24 yards to the Texas A&M 30 yard line. 
As the Catamounts neared the end zone it was freshman safety Justin Dunning, who started in place of Justin Evans, that intercepted a Troy Mitchell pass and returned it back out to the A&M seven. Dunning’s first career interception would be the start of the Aggies first scoring drive. 
To conclude a 93 yard march led by Murray, Carson barreled into the end zone for a two yard score, producing the games’ first points. The next time the Aggies had possession, a pair of dropped passes set up a Taylor Bertolet 51 yard field goal attempt that was unsuccessful. 
In what looked to be the drive that created a bit of a cushion for A&M, senior Jeremy Tabuyo hauled in his sixth reception of the year that was good for an Aggie score, increasing the lead to 14-0. However, that was just when things began to go downhill for the home team. 
As it has in the recent past, the Aggie defense showed its susceptibility to let up explosive plays and allowed WCU to manufacture a two-play, 82 yard touchdown drive that only took 34 seconds off of the clock. Detrez Newsome rushed for 65 yards then caught a 21 yard pass from Mitchell to cut into the A&M lead, 14-7. 
On the ensuing kickoff, Christian Kirk fielded the ball inside the red zone to have it promptly stripped and then returned for a four yard, Catamount touchdown, courtesy of Avery Worsham. The score evened things up at 14 apiece with 11:58 remaining in the half. 
Kirk was quick to reconcile his mishap by providing the finale to an A&M 58 yard drive, by catching two consecutive 14 yard Murray passes in WCU territory, the second being good for his fifth score of the year. The freshmen connection put the Aggies back on top, 21-14 with nine minutes remaining in the half. 
The remainder of the second quarter was full of back-and-forth between A&M and WCU that created three straight drives ending with a punt. 
At the half Texas A&M retained the lead, 21-14 and also out gained WCU by over 100 total yards. A&M will return the kickoff after the break. 

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