Latin breaks sack record as LCU beats Wayland, 37-17
PINEVILLE – The Louisiana Christian University Wildcats held their second of three-consecutive home games on Saturday when they hosted the Pioneers of Wayland Baptist University for a Sooner Athletic Conference matchup.
The home crowd not only witnessed a 37-17 victory by the men in orange and blue but also witnessed a school record be broken.
The Wildcat offense only needed the first five minutes of the contest to break into the endzone on a 24-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Sal Palermo III to sophomore receiver Sammy Feaster. Freshman kicker Levi Hilborn added the point-after-touchdown kick to give LCU a 7-0 lead.
On the next Wildcat possession, it seemed the drive had stalled and was over with freshman Mason Ingram coming onto the field to punt the ball away. Ingram sent the punt downfield but he was hit after the kick and the Pioneers were penalized for roughing the punter, giving the Wildcat drive new life and a new set of downs.
Six plays later, Palermo added his second touchdown pass of the night on another 24-yard touchdown connection, this one falling into the hands of senior receiver Micah Dunn, to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
With just over seven minutes left in the second quarter, Wildcats senior defensive end Micah Latin tore through the Pioneer offensive line and into the backfield to sack WBU quarterback Davian Guajardo for a loss of 15 yards. The sack was Latin’s eighth of the season, setting a new LCU record for sacks in a single season with four games still left in the season.
The Latin sack forced a punt by Wayland Baptist and LCU took over possession of the ball at the Pioneer 24-yard line following a bad punt. Three plays later, senior running back Devin Briscoe punched into the endzone on a four-yard run to extend the Wildcat lead to 21-0 heading into halftime.
The Wildcat offense took possession of the ball to start the second half but only two plays in Palermo threw an interception to set up the Pioneers with good field position at the Wildcat 23-yard line.
Wayland could not score a touchdown on the drive and on fourth down the field goal unit came onto the field. The leg of Brayden Welch proved true and Wayland scored their first points on the 17-yard field goal to cut the Wildcat lead to 21-3.
The men in orange and blue wasted no time in answering Pioneer field goal with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Palermo to sophomore running back Daylon Charles. The Hilborn PAT put the ‘Cats up 28-3 early in the third period.
Just when it looked like a blowout may be brewing, Willie Phillips broke loose on a 72-yard touchdown run on the first play of the following Pioneer drive to trim the Wildcat lead to 28-10 and keep Wayland Baptist in the game.
With six minutes left in the third quarter, Palermo threw his third touchdown pass of the game and his second to Dunn on a 15-yard completion for a Wildcat score. The PAT attempt failed and LCU held a 34-10 lead at the end of the third quarter.
After back-to-back sacks on their first drive of the final quarter, Wayland Baptist punted the ball away to Louisiana Christian. The Wildcats drove down field, winding down the clock as they went, and ended up with a 13-yard field goal by Hilborn to take a 37-10 lead with six minutes left in the game.
With just under four minutes left to play, Wayland Baptist scored a final time on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Guajardo to Kamron Williams to cut the LCU lead to 37-17.
The Wildcats took the ball back and were able to run out the final three minutes of the game, ending with victory formation and a kneel by Palermo to seal a 37-17 conference victory for the Wildcats of Louisiana Christian University.
Palermo finished with nine completions on 18 attempts for 177 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. The Live Oak alum also recorded 40 yards on 12 rushes.
Daylon Charles led all Wildcat rushers with 99 yards on 21 touches. The Lake Arthur product also added 16 yards and a touchdown reception in the passing game. Devin Briscoe also had 49 yards on nine carries.
Wildcat receivers were led by Micah Dunn with 80 yards and two touchdowns on only three receptions. Sammy Feaster had one catch for 24 yards and a touchdown. Tahj Smith also recorded two receptions for 27 yards.
The LCU defense allowed only 243 yards of total offense on the day forcing two turnovers and three sacks for the day. Micah Latin had a banner night on the way to becoming the new LCU single season sack leader. Latin recorded 12 total tackles, two sacks, and five and a half tackles for loss on the evening.
Next week, Louisiana Christian (3-4, 2-3 SAC) will end their three-game home stretch with a homecoming date against conference leader and nationally ranked Texas Wesleyan (6-1, 5-1 SAC).
- < PREV North Texas rides early lead to 47-27 win over LA Tech
- NEXT > Northwestern State starts fast, cruises past HCU, 37-10