Texas A&M’s Kendrick Rogers came up with a pair of catches late to help the White to a 30-24 victory over the Maroon in the Aggies’ Maroon & White Game on Saturday afternoon at Kyle Field.
Rogers scored on a 4-yard swing pass from fellow sophomore Kellen Mond with 39 seconds left to break a 24-24 tie.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Rogers had made an acrobatic 32-yard catch three plays later to put the White in scoring position. Maroon sophomore Travon Fuller had good coverage, but the leaping Rogers made the grab and maintained possession as he hit the turf.
The Maroon, which had scored twice in the fourth quarter to wipe out a 24-10 deficit, had a chance to win the game after defensive lineman Ondario Robinson blocked the White’s extra point.
Maroon quarterback Nick Starkel moved his team 41 yards on four completions, but his final pass from the White 24 intended for tight end Jace Sternberger was broken up by White sophomore safety Derrick Tucker.
Sternberger, a junior college transfer, had eight catches for 147 yards with two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon added six catches for 124 yards. Starkel, who started five games last season, completed 26 of 42 for 373 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Rogers had eight catches for 90 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Camron Buckley added five catches for 65 yards and a score for the White. Mond, who started eight games last season, completed 19 of 26 for 180 yard with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Maroon had a 524-336 edge in total yardage, but was hurt by two turnovers. The Maroon also was only 4 of 12 on third downs, while the White was 7 of 16.
The Maroon squandered the game’s first scoring chance when senior running back Trayveon Williams couldn’t handle Starkel’s pitch. White sophomore linebacker Buddy Johnson recovered at the White 14. On the previous play, Ausbon had a 58-yard catch and run to the White 8. The White defense made a late substitution on third-and-13 and it seemed as if some players thought the play had been blown dead.
The Maroon did score the next time it got the ball as Sternberger had an 11-yard catch from Starkel with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
The White was able to get a touchdown before a first down as defensive Roney Elam cut in front of Sternberger and made an interception, returning it 17 yards to the Maroon 4. Sophomore tight end Ryan Renick, a transfer from Kansas who played at Iola, caught a touchdown on the next play to tie the game.
The White took the lead on a 55-yard touchdown run by senior Kwame Etwi with 9:39 left in the second quarter. The Maroon’s Daniel LaCamera hit a 30-yard field goal with 3:16 left in the half. The 14-10 lead lasted until the half as LaCamera missed a 60-yard attempt on the final play.
The Mond-led White dominated the start of the second half, which featured a running clock. The White scored on its first two possessions for a 24-10 lead. Buckley caught a 26-yard touchdown pass down the middle to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive. Riethman added a 37-yard field goal to end an 11-play, 51-yard drive. The scores were sandwiched by two Maroon incompletions and a sack of Starkel.
The Maroon scored early in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard catch by sophomore running back John Clark from redshirt freshman Connor Blumrick. The Maroon tied the game on a 65-yard touchdown catch by Sternberger with 3:02 left in the game.