Ranked 10th in this week's Super Region 3 poll, the Muleriders (8-2, 6-2 GAC) will now wait till Sunday to see if they have any kind of outside shot at all of moving up into the top six and receiving a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
SAU's 727 yards came on 424 passing and 303 rushing, while the Wonder Boys finished with 344, getting 275 through the air and only 69 on the ground. ATU was held to negative three yards rushing in the first half.
SAU continued to re-write the school record books in blowing past the Wonder Boys (5-6, 3-5 GAC), with five team and four individual marks set during the game.
Junior Mark Johnson's (Longview, Texas) first quarter touchdown run gave him 28 for his career and past Torrence Jones' 27 (2001-2004), while freshman receiver Chris Terry's (Lindale, Texas) four touchdown receptions gave him the new single-game mark in that category and past the old record of three shared by four players.
Junior quarterback Tyler Sykora (
It was virtually over in the first quarter after SAU's four touchdowns, and it started on the opening possession with Terry hauling in a 31-yard scoring pass from Sykora at 12:37, with sophomore Jacob Carpenter (Winona, Miss.) hitting the first of six PAT's.
ATU was forced to punt from its own 38 on its first
possession, but the punt went in the back end of Tech's cover men and junior
free safety Cardarious Patterson (
The Wonder Boys finally got on the board at 6:55 in the second quarter, with Jonathan Keener catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Marsh, but Trevor Pinkston's kick failed, leaving it 28-6.
The Muleriders took only three plays to get back in the end zone, with Sykora finding Terry for a 36-yard score at 5:56, 35-6.
Freshman receiver Nate Pickett (
ATU opened the second half scoring with a 24-yard scoring pass from Marsh to James Jackson at 4:52, with Tyler Moon then connecting with Keener on a conversion pass and a 42-14 contest.
Sykora's fifth touchdown pass and Terry's fourth scoring reception ended the third quarter, coming on a 55-yard scoring throw and catch at 3:54, 48-14.
Tech ended its scoring at 4:54 in the fourth quarter on a
17-yard touchdown pass from Marsh to Darrell Freeman, and SAU finished it on a
45-yard touchdown run from freshman reserve quarterback Jacob McClain (
Sykora finished 29 of 39 passing for 424 yards, the second
most behind his school record 520 yards, with Terry catching five passes for
144 yards. Junior tight end Brooks White (Van Buren) and junior
receiver Jack Brown (
Johnson finished with 93 yards rushing on 18 carries, while McClain had 72 on six.
For the Wonder Boys, Marsh completed 25 of 44 passes for 275
yards, with Cassius
Ketrich Harmon had 45 yards rushing on nine totes.
Senior cornerback Don Unamba (
Logan Genz had a game-high 12 tackles for ATU.
The Muleriders end the year with their first winning season since 2005, and their 8-2 finish is the most wins since the 2003 team went 9-3, and provides them with the best record percentage-wise since the 1999 squad also finished 8-2.