When the game ended, the stadium lights flickered on and off, the band played and fans cheered, as the Temple Wildcats crushed the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon Tigers 51 to 29 in Friday’s game at Wildcat stadium.
After a very back-and-forth first half, the Wildcats and Tigers left the field at halftime with a score of 27-23, Temple. In the second half, Temple came back with more momentum and wasted no time expanding their lead.
“They got yelled at,” Temple head coach Scott Stewart said, of what changed after halftime, chuckling. “These kids respond to that. They respond to tough coaching. We need to start all week with that.”
The team definitely did respond. With 11:43 left in the third quarter, DeMarco Williams picked up a Tigers fumble and ran it in for a touchdown, making the score 34-23.
Their momentum didn’t stop there. Temple would score two more times in the third quarter. UANL was only able to score once in the second half, in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Stewart has been the Wildcat’s head coach since 2016 and though he was happy to have won and proud of how the Wildcats played in the second half, he believes they can always become better.
“Biggest room in the house is the room for improvement. We came out, we played hard, but we’ve got a lot of stuff to fix,” he said.
Stewart said they need to be more physical on both sides of the ball and acknowledged that there are several sophomores and a freshman on defense.
“We’ve got to be more physical at the point of attack, both on the offensive and defensive line,” Stewart said.
Though they struggled to get going in the first half, the Wildcats had 143 rushing yards and a great passing game of 306 yards, led by senior quarterback Vance Willis. The kickers also made big plays, with junior Aaron Wagaman kicking a 40 yard field goal in the third quarter and senior Adrian Guzman kicking a 50 yard field goal right before halftime.
One big player of the game was senior wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Standing 6 feet 4 inches tall, he was on the receiving end of most passes.
“I think everybody in the country wants guys like that,” Stewart said. “He’s a special kid, he’s a hard worker, he does everything we ask him to do.”
Out of all of the big plays he made, Johnston’s favorite moment of the game was a touchdown that didn’t even count.
“The touchdown that they called back when I caught it over those two people,” Johnston said of his favorite moment. “It was a momentum builder. We obviously came out kind of slow in the first half, so I was just trying to get some momentum going.”
Johnston believes that if the Wildcats play like they did in the second half, throughout the entire game, they will have a great season.
“As long as what we can do what we do in the second half in the first half to start the game, we’ll be really good,” Johnston said.
Temple begins district play on Sept. 13 against the Harker Heights Knights in Buckley Stadium. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.