PINEVILLE - The No. 20 Louisiana College Wildcats’ hopes for the NCAA Division III playoffs were more than likely dashed Saturday as McMurry scored 27 unawsered points in the first half and registered a 49-28 victory.
The American Southwest Conference race ends with Mary Hardin-Baylor (9-0, 7-0 ASC) winning the league title, while McMurry (7-2, 6-1) finishes second and LC (7-2, 5-2 ASC) third by virtue of a tiebreaker.
In the race for the Division III playoffs, rarely do three teams get spots. Mary-Hardin Baylor was the only team from the ASC to be picked last year.
It was a loss that put a damper on 12 Wildcats’ senior day and overshadowed a record-setting performance by senior receiver Darnell Williams.
Playing in his last home game, Williams broke the school’s single-game receiving record with nine catches for 244 yards with an 18-yard touchdown reception.
Williams’ touchdown grab put LC up 7-0 in the first quarter before McMurry, led by senior quarterback Jake Mullin, scored 27 unanswered points.
Mullin completed two touchdown passes - 66 yards to Delfonte Diamond and 16 yards to RJ Long - and a pair of fake punts set up the other two touchdowns.
Punter Stephen Warren hit Jaret Smith for an 85-yard touchdown on a fake-punt pass then ran on a fake-punt deep in War Hawk territory.
Mullin finished with 446 yards and four touchdowns on 25-for-39 passing with Diamond accounting for 145 yards and a touchdown on six receptions.
Wildcats quarterback Jamie Bunting went for 454 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-43 passing.
Mullin threw a pair of interceptions, one apiece to Reggie Calhoun and Nate Janzen, while Bunting was picked off by D.J. Baiza.
Baiza also recovered an LC fumble on the McMury 1-yard line in the fourth quarter to turn the Wildcats away.
Louisiana College will close the season on Nov. 12 at Hardin-Simmons.