A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Hicks Runs Well In The Cactus Bowl
Kingsville, TX — WSSU’s Martin Hicks led the East team in rushing on Friday evening with 76 yards and a touchdown but the West team proved to be too big and strong as they got up early and often on the East squad and cruised to a 49-33 win. at the Sixth Annual Cactus Bowl Game at Javelina Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Wesley Beschorner, of the University of South Dakota, completed 12-of-17 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 87 yards and another touchdown in a little over a half of play. He set Cactus Bowl records for total yards (387), passing yards, long pass (72) and the record for touchdown passes. For his play he was named Cactus Bowl Offensive MVP.
Richie Ross (Nebraska-Kearney) and Tonae Martin (West Texas A&M) each reached the 100-yard mark in receiving for the West Squad. Ross’ 131 yards set a new Cactus Bowl record, while his two touchdown receptions tied the previous mark. His 72-yard touchdown reception was a new record for longest reception.
Clayton Farrell of Albeline Christian University was a dominant force in the middle of the defensive line, recording four sacks, forcing one fumble and recording a sack for a safety. His sack total and yards lost (34) were both Cactus Bowl records. Farrell earned Cactus Bowl Defensive MVP for his play. Picking up the Jim Langer Award for the top offensive lineman was Nick Hageman of South Dakota.
23 records were tied or broken in the game. The West Squad broke the team records for points (49), total yards (560), passing yardage (408) and most passing touchdowns (4).
Hicks, a senior running back for the Rams capped a five-play, 53-yard drive that encompassed 1:58 of playing time with a 25-yard touchdown run in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Hicks was not the only CIAA player to impress as North Carolina Central’s Tory Ross reeled in a nine-yard touchdown pass in the game as well.
With the win the West improved to 8-4-1 in the game and ended a streak of three East wins in the last four games. The Cactus Bowl game is played every January at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville. It is the only postseason all-star game which is made up of players from Division II schools only. Proceeds from the game go to benefit the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.