“Leaving Sulphur Springs and all the wonderful friends, fans, and coaches, we weren’t sure how college would feel, but Landon’s offensive line brothers have been amazing and all the coaches as well!” –DeOnna Gammill Watkins
College football season began across the nation Thursday night with games televised on several sports networks. Closer to home the Texas A & M University-Commerce Lions took the field at Memorial Stadium with former Sulphur Springs Wildcat #70 Landon Watkins anchoring the offensive line. The Lions posted their 200th win at home with a 48-17 victory over Adams State, Alamosa, Colorado. The Lions are ranked 22 in NCAA Division II polls.
A first game for a college freshman is always exciting but to also start at center for the offensive line carries even more emotional clout, not just for the player but also for his parents. “Dale [Landon’s dad] was about ready to puke,” as mom DeOnna described the family preparation for the game. She described herself as more calm, “I always have faith in his ability and am the calm maker in our family…I’ve watched Landon enough I knew he would give it his everything. That’s all we ask from him.”
She said Landon called early on game day and she had asked him if he was nervous. He was. At the game, Landon’s parents and grandparents were in attendance, along with a number of Sulphur Springs’ fans and college alums.
The Lions scored first with a 26-yard field goal capping a 9-play drive in the first quarter with just over 3 minutes to play. Three TD’s in the second quarter resulted from pass plays of 20, 86, and 34 yards. Adams State got on the board with 27-seconds left in the first half. Three running TD’s, two in the third quarter and one in the fourth, and a field goal totaled Lion scoring. The TD runs were for 27, 2, and 19 yards.
Also on the Lion roster from Sulphur Springs are Jess Jenkins and David Carpenter. All three, Watkins, Jenkins, and Carpenter are first year at A & M-Commerce and were Wildcat standouts last year.