Home Local News No. 15 Texas A&M Commerce Lions Football Team Opens Fourth Straight Playoff Trip With Trek To No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth

No. 15 Texas A&M Commerce Lions Football Team Opens Fourth Straight Playoff Trip With Trek To No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth




The No. 15 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team has qualified for the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and will take on undefeated and No. 5 University of Minnesota-Duluth in the Super Region Four quarterfinal.

WHO: Texas A&M University-Commerce at University of Minnesota-Duluth
WHERE: Duluth, Minn. | James S. Malosky Stadium
WHEN: 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 17
RECORDS: The Lions are 9-2 overall and went 6-1 in the Lone Star Conference. The Bulldogs went 11-0 in the regular season and are the co-champions of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
RANKINGS: Texas A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 15 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 18 in the D2Football.com Media Poll. UMD is ranked No. 5 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 5 in the D2Football.com Media Poll.

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network 
— KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)
LIVE VIDEO: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umd/
LIVE STATS:  https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umd/
TICKETS:  https://umdbulldogs.com/sports/2013/8/20/Football%20Tickets.aspx


  • With their qualification for their fourth straight NCAA Division II Playoff berth, the Lions have the third-longest active playoff streak in the nation.
  • Only Northwest Missouri State (15 straight) and Ferris State (five straight) have longer active playoff streaks than A&M-Commerce.
  • In Lone Star Conference history, only A&M-Kingsville (1992-98, 7 straight) has a streak of more than four appearances.
  • Don Carthel’s West Texas A&M teams qualified four straight times from 2005-08.
  • This is the Lions’ seventh all-time NCAA Playoff berth, with an 8-5 record.
  • Today’s game also marks the Lions’ 24th all-time postseason contest, with A&M-Commerce carrying a record of 15-7-1.


  • This is the second season the Lone Star and Northern Sun conferences have been paired up in a super region, and with the size of the NSIC (16 schools), that league no longer plays non-conference games in the regular season.
  • The Lions are 3-1 all-time against the NSIC.
  • This includes the wins at Winona State and Minnesota State in the 2017 playoffs.
  • A&M-Commerce split a home-and-home series with Upper Iowa in 2010 & 2011.
  • A&M-Commerce won at Memorial Stadium in 2010, 30-10, and was edged by UIU in Fayette in 2011, 15-14. (Current receivers coach Yogi Gallegos passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the game).
  • The Lions’ only other contest against a current NSIC member was in 1991, when ET beat Wayne State (Neb.) 54-16 at Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats were a Division II independent at the time.


  • Head coach Colby Carthel now ranks fifth in A&M-Commerce history in coaching wins with 58 wins.
  • He is now only five wins behind Lion and LSC legend J.V. Sikes, who sits in fourth place with 63 wins.

1 Ernest Hawkins 1964-85 132-92-6
2 Eddie Vowell 1986-98 74-71-1
3 Bob Berry 1935-41, 46-50 72-34-8
4 J.V. Sikes 1954-63 63-34-4
5 Colby Carthel 2013-pres. 58-17
6 M.A. Smith 1951-53 30-2-1


  • The 2018 senior class has tied for the school record for wins in a four-year period with 42 games won in a four year span.
  • A win would give this year’s group sole possession of the record.

Years Record
2015-18 42-9 
2014-17 42-10
1951-54 36-5-2 
2013-16 35-14
1957-60 34-7
1972-75 32-13-1
1936-39 31-8
1990-93 31-16-1



  • A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 51 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.
  • This is A&M-Commerce’s 57th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.
  • In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been recognized as a nationally ranked team 106 times since joining Division II in 1981.


  • In six home dates, A&M-Commerce drew 45,296 total fans in 2018. That total attendance ranked second in Division II.
  • In terms of average attendance, the Lion faithful turned out at a rate of 7,549 per game. That ranked eighth nationally.
  • Over the last five years (available in the NCAA rankings database), the Lions have nearly doubled their average turnout since the 2013 season. The next closest season since 2009 was over 2,400 fans per game fewer.



  • KickerKristov Martinezscored 11 kicking points with two field goals and five PATs in the win over Angelo State.
  • The graduate student from Edinburg is now 14-for-19 on field goal attempts and 44-for-44 on PAT attempts in 2018,
  • He is now 68-of-90 on field goal attempts in his career, which is tied for second in Division II history (first place is 82).
  • Martinez is now the record-holder for most career field goals in Lone Star Conference history, eclipsing Sergio Castillo’s 62 career field goals.
  • Martinez is the Division II active career leader in made field goals, and tied for third in all NCAA divisions behind LSU’s Cole Tracy (90) and  Toledo’s Jameson Vest (70). Martinez is tied with Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone.
  • Martinez is on the preseason, September, and October watch lists for the Mitchell Award.
  • For his career, Martinez has made 220-of-227 PAT attempts and is the Division II active career leader. Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert is the all divisions active career leader with 287 made PATs. Martinez is third in all divisions behind Seibert and North Dakota State’s Cam Pederson (231), and ahead of Ohio State’s Sean Nuernberger (216).
  • In terms of overall scoring, Martinez (424 points) is chasing Castillo (437 points), and former Harlon Hill winner at Texas A&I Johnny Bailey (426 points) for the all-time LSC scoring record.
  • Martinez was named second team all-Super Region Four by the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette.
  • He has been named a second team preseason All-American by Lindy’s.
  • Martinez was also named LSC All-Academic and A&M-Commerce’s male LSC Scholar-Athlete for 2017-18.
  • Martinez has also connected on 99 straight PATs dating back to the Eastern New Mexico game in week three of 2017.


  • The Lions’ leading tackler in seniorBrucks Saathoffis also one of the leaders in the Lone Star Conference.
  • The San Antonio native is averaging 7.7 tackles per game through nine contests, ranking 122nd nationally and 11th in the LSC.
  • For his career, Saathoff has 294 tackles, which is the leading mark for the Lions.
  • This ranks Saathoff in the top five in Lion history in tackles.

1. Danny Kirk 1977-80 348
  Antonio Wilson 1996-99 348
3. Brett Bertrand 1994-97 311
4. Jesse Brooks 1999-2002 297
5. Brucks Saathoff 2015-pres. 294
6. Danny Mason 2009-12 280


  • Lion running backOvie Urevbuhad his third consecutive and seventh career 100-yard rushing game against Angelo State.
  • He earned LSC Offensive Player of the Week with his performance on his senior day.
  • He had 30 carries for 184 yards in the win, notching touchdown carries of 35 and 15 yards.
  • Urevbu now has 1,514 career yards on 230 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry for his career.


  • The Lion kicking game has been spectacular during the 2018 season.
  • A&M-Commerce ranks first nationally in kickoff return defense, as Lion opponents average 10.66 yards per return.
  • UMD ranks third nationally in this category, allowing opponents only 13.35 yards per kickoff return.
  • A&M-Commerce ranks No. 31 nationally in net punting. The Lions average 36.5 yards net per punt.
  • Tristan Perryaverages 40.2 yards per punt, which is third in the Lone Star Conference and ranks 42nd nationally.


  • This game matches up two of the top defenses in the country.
  • UMD ranks first nationally in todal defense, allowing 199.3 yards per game.
  • A&M-Commerce ranks 22nd nationally in total defense at 298.6 yards per game.


  • Lion defensive backDominique Ramseyhad a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter of the win over Angelo State.
  • Ramsey has three interceptions for 226 return yards, averaging 75.3 yards per INT return. This does not include an interception on a two-point conversion attempt in the A&M-Kingsville game, which the NCAA statistics policy does not count as an interception.
  • Ramsey’s interception return yardage leads the nation.
  • The Lions as a team average 47.1 yards per interception return on nine picks.
  • Of the nine interceptions, four have been returned for touchdowns.
  • On top of this, Ramsey ranks 26th nationally and second in the LSC in punt return average, averaging 10.8 yards per punt return.
  • He has seven plays of over 20 yards this season – three punt returns, three interception returns, and a kickoff return. Three of those plays went for touchdowns.
  • His six career interceptions are the most on the team.


  • The Lions held UT Permian Basin to minus-69 rushing yards last week to establish a program single-game record for rush defense.
  • The previous record of minus-48 yards was set against Angelo State in 1992.
  • The Lone Star Conference record of minus-77 yards was set by McMurry against Abilene Christian in 1968.
  • A&M-Commerce had nine sacks and held UTPB running backs to zero cumulative rushing yards. The Falcons did not have a rushing first down.
  • This is the second-fewest rushing yards allowed in a Division II game in the last six seasons. Limestone allowed minus-79 rushing yards against Shaw in 2016.
  • In all four divisions of NCAA football this season, the Lions have the best single game rushing defense performance.

Div Team Opponent (Date) Yds
FBS Clemson Florida State (Oct 27) -21
FCS Colgate Fordham (Nov 3) -50
II A&M-Commerce UT Permian Basin (Nov 3) -69
III Brockport Utica (Oct 27) -62


  • The Lions scored 34 points in the second quarter of the game at Western New Mexico, establishing a school record for points in a quarter.
  • The previous record was 32, which the Lions scored in the second quarter of a 39-39 tie against Angelo State in 1991.


  • This is not just a Willie Nelson reference for coach Carthel, even though he will appreciate it.
  • The 2018 Lions are 5-0 on the road.
  • The 2018 season is the eighth time in program history that the Lions have won five or more true road games, including an 8-1 record away from Commerce in the 2017 National Championship season and a six-win road season in 2016.
  • The Lions also had six road wins in 1951, 1953, and 1980. The Lions had five road wins in 1957 and 1990. Each of those seasons with the exception of 1951 concluded with a postseason appearance.


Jan 1, 1953 vs. Tennessee Tech W 33-0 Tangerine Bowl Orlando
Jan 1, 1954 vs. Arkansas State T 7-7 Tangerine Bowl Orlando
Jan 1, 1958 vs. Mississippi Southern W 10-9 Tangerine Bowl Orlando
Dec 31, 1958 vs. Missouri Valley W 26-7 Tangerine Bowl Orlando
Nov 25, 1972 CENTRAL ST. (Okla.) W 54-0 NAIA Semifinal Commerce
Dec 9, 1972 CARSON-NEWMAN W 21-18 NAIA Champion Bowl Commerce
Dec 6, 1980 at Central Arkansas W 27-21 NAIA Quarterfinal Conway, Ark.
Dec 13, 1980 ELON L 6-14 NAIA Semifinal Commerce
Nov 17, 1990 at Grand Valley State W 20-14 DII First Rd Allendale, Mich.
Nov 24, 1990 at Pittsburg State L 28-60 DII Quarterfinal Pittsburg, Kan.
Nov 23, 1991 GRAND VALLEY STATE W 36-15 DII First Rd Commerce
Nov 30, 1991 at Pittsburg State L 28-38 DII Quarterfinal Pittsburg, Kan.
Nov 18, 1995 at Portland State L 35-56 DII First Rd Portland, Ore.
Dec 13, 2013 vs. Harding L 3-44 Live United Bowl Texarkana, Ark.
Dec 6, 2014 vs. East Central W 72-21 Heart of Texas Bowl Copperas Cove
Nov 21, 2015 at Ferris State L 30-48 DII Regional Qtr Big Rapids, Mich.
Nov 19, 2016 COLORADO MESA W 34-23 DII Regional Qtr Commerce
Nov 26, 2016 at Grand Valley State L 32-55 DII Regional Semi Allendale, Mich.
Nov 18, 2017 at Winona State W 20-6 DII Regional Qtr Winona, Minn.
Nov 25, 2017 at Central Washington W 34-31 (2OT) DII Regional Semi Ellensburg, Wash.
Dec 2, 2017 at Minnesota State W 31-21 DII Regional Final Mankato, Minn.
Dec 9, 2017 HARDING W 31-17 DII Semifinal Commerce
Dec 16, 2017 vs. West Florida W 37-27 DII National Champs Kansas City, Kan.
Nov 7, 2018 at Minnesota-Duluth —- DII Regional Qtr Duluth, Minn.


  • The Lions are 5-3 in overtime games all-time.

Date Score/Matchup OTs
10/1/2005 A&M-Commerce 35, at East Central 28 1
9/29/2007 Central Oklahoma 21, at A&M-Commerce 20 1
10/6/2007 A&M-Commerce 41, at Southeastern Oklahoma State 39 3
9/12/2009 Abilene Christian 20, A&M-Commerce 14 (at Cotton Bowl) 1
9/29/2012 at A&M-Commerce 21, Texas A&M-Kingsville 14 1
10/25/2014 at Midwestern State 40, A&M-Commerce 37 1
11/25/2017 A&M-Commerce 34, at Central Washington 31 2
8/30/2018 at A&M-Commerce 37, A&M-Kingsville 36 2


  • 1951 – The Lions trek to San Marcos and earn a 28-21 LSC win over Southwest Texas.
  • 1956 – Southwest Texas is a 14-0 victor over ET in Commerce.
  • 1962 – ET closes out the season with a 39-6 rout of Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches.
  • 1973 – The Lions end the year on a four-game win streak with a 42-13 road victory at Tarleton.
  • 1979 – ET’s season ends in a close one, with a 20-19 road loss at Angelo State.
  • 1984 – The Lions’ season closes with a 24-14 home loss to Abilene Christian.
  • 1990 – The Lions win their first NCAA Division II playoff game in their first appearance, taking down Grand Valley State, 20-14, in Allendale. The Lions took a 7-6 lead and didn’t trail again. Gary Perry had a rushing TD, Bob Bounds completed a 35-yard TD pass to Gary Compton, and Billy Watkins kicked field goals of 42 and 35 yards. Eric Turner, Steve Peters, and Terry Bagsby had interceptions. Linebacker Mick Still helped rescue a Grand Valley alumnae from an attack the night before the game, then was named USA Today Defensive Player of the Week with an 11 tackle performance.




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