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Defense delivers in #20 Texas A&M Kingsville's late 13-10 comeback win over UTPB

#20 Texas A&M Kingsville battles back late in 13-10 win over UTPB
Posted at 3:08 AM, Oct 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-16 22:30:15-04

KINGSVILLE, TX — For the first time all season, the #20 Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas did not score in the first quarter. In fact, they did not score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. They needed a little help from the defense, and that came right here on the thirty yard line when Jeff Lavarin made the interception that led to a touchdown with 2:06 left in the game.

“We were going over that play all week, so I was already prepared for it," said Jeff Lavarin, Texas A&M Kingsville junior cornerback. "Coming out of the huddle coach was telling us to be prepared for a shot play and it was already third and long, so we knew it was coming. Once I saw the ball in the air it was just like it’s time to make a play and I came down with it.”

Three plays later, the Javelinas finally found the endzone. Jacob Cavazos avoided the sack and threw a dart to West Oso alum Craig Clemons from 19-yards out and making it 13-10 with 1:26 left in the game.

“Coaches put us in situations to be great and they told us none of it was going to be easy. It’s going to be hard every play, every snap," said Clemons, Texas A&M Kingsville junior wide receiver. "Just keep your head down. Keep going and luckily we were just in the right spot at the right time.”

The game-winner was Clemons’ second touchdown this season and Lavarin’s interception was the second of his career.

“Both came here as walk-ons. They both earned scholarships," Mike Salinas, Texas A&M Kingsville football head coach. "They’re both leaders on our football team, so again they’re just two guys that came in and worked hard and put their nose down and went to work. For them everything has paid off.”

Texas A&M Kingsville is (7-0), which is their best start since 2009.

“Oh I’ve never been (7-0) before, so it’s like a family right now honestly. It feels amazing like it’s a brotherhood," said Lavarin. "Everyone is happy. Our coaches are dancing on the sidelines. It’s amazing. I just feel like it’s a brotherhood and I’ve never been a part of this in my life.”

Up next, the Javelinas will play for the Lone Star Conference lead on the road against #3 Angelo State on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

Angelo State (7-0, 5-0)
Texas A&M Kingsville (7-0, 5-0)
Central Washington (4-2, 4-1)
West Texas A&M (4-3, 2-3)
Midwestern State (3-4, 2-3)
UT Permian Basin (3-4, 2-3)
Western New Mexico (3-4, 2-3)
Western Oregon (3-4, 2-3)
Eastern New Mexico (2-5, 1-4)
Simon Fraser (0-5, 0-5)