1. Tarleton 57,
Texas A&M-Kingsville 56, 2OT
Garrett Lindholm forced overtime with an NCAA Division II playoff record 64-yard field goal before Scott Grantham scored on a 20-yard QB keeper and a two-point conversion keeper in the second OT session to lift Tarleton State to a dramatic 57-56 road win over rival Texas A&M-Kingsville in the opening round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
2. Aledo 26,
Stephenville 23, OT
Aledo picked up fourth down conversions late in regulation and in overtime and Matthew Bishop’s 13-yard option keeper for a TD in the extra session bested German Chavarria’s field goal for Stephenville. The game pitted two of the state’s best running backs in Aledo’s Johnathan Gray and Stephenville’s James Myles. Aledo went on to win the 4A Division II state title, winning all other playoff games by double-digits.
3. Tarleton 31,
Midwestern State 28
Garrett Lindholm’s first heroic buzzer-beating field goal of the season, a 55-yarder against the wind, completed the second biggest comeback in school history for the Texans, who trailed 21-3 in the first half. Tarleton converted three fourth downs before Lindholm tied the game at 28-28 with a field goal. Midwestern fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the senior kicker returned to the field for the game-winner.
4. Angelo State 85,
Tarleton men 80, 4OT
The game kept going, and going and….you get the picture. Jeremiah Wilson made a Tarleton free throw to force OT at 61-61 before a Marlin Cloudy jumper sent the game to a second extra session at 70-70. Cloudy struck again with a three-point shot to make it 76-76 going into the third OT and Nathan Walton hit an Angelo free throw to force yet another extra session at 80-80. ASU scored all five points in the fourth OT.
5. Mansfield Legacy 3,
Stephenville volleyball 2
Mansfield Legacy was the favorite to win District 8-4A, returning every player from its 2008 league title squad. Stephenville came out on fire, winning the first game 25-14 before suffering a 16-25 set back in game two. They came back with a 25-17 win in the third set to push Legacy to the brink, but the Lady Bronchos fought off match point for the Bees in sets four and five to win 27-25 and 18-16 in dramatic fashion.
See the Friday edition of the Empire-Tribune for the five best sports moments of 2009.