With the Lone Star Conference Football Championship on this line this Saturday, the quarterbacks for Texas A&M Commerce and Angelo State are poised to lead their teams to a conference title. The only thing standing in the way of each, is the other.
Commerce’s Tyrik Rollison and Angelo State’s Kyle Washington have followed very different paths to arrive at the same destination.
Not since Odysseus’ journey following the fall of Troy has a man travelled as much to find his home as Tyrik Rollison of Texas A&M Commerce. One of the top quarterback recruits from the 2009 high school class, Rollison initially signed at Auburn, and redshirted his 2009 freshman season. In 2010, a transfer named Cam Newton joined the squad. Seeing the writing on the wall, Rollison transferred to FCS school Sam House State.
He didn’t stay in Huntsville for long however. Rollison left for Tyler Junior College after just a single season, where he made an immediate impact. He was named a third team JC All-American for his efforts.
The next season, Rollison packed his bags one final time and came to his permanent home at Texas A&M-Commerce.
The 2013 season got off to a promising start, as the newly-arrived signal caller started the first half of the season with 115 completions and 12 touchdown strikes. In the sixth game, he was injured and missed the remainder of the season. His dozen TD passes were still good for fifth in the LSC at season’s end.
2014 has been the season Rollison has always yearned for. The senior has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. His mastery of the Lions offense has produced eye-popping stats, and in final scores of 98-20 and 91-13.
The Lions roared into the LCS playoffs with a 7-2 record before knocking off Tarleton State last weekend 56-49. Rollison was an efficient 16-of-26 for 365 yards and three TDs.
The quarterback who will be on the other sideline this weekend, Kyle Washington of Angelo State, took a much more direct path to the LSC title game.
The star QB was a redshirt freshman for the Rams in 2012, and played only a handful of snaps last season.
This season has been a different story. The junior has been masterful on offense, tearing it up with both his arm and his legs. He’s thrown for 2,380 yards, 25 touchdowns, and has been picked off only six times. He’s also churned out an additional 802 yards and 9 TDs with his legs. Washington was especially brilliant on the ground in a 250-yard rushing performance during his team’s 45-31 win over Midwestern State earlier this season.
In a rematch with Midwestern State in the first round of the LSC playoffs, Washington was simply brilliant. He earned the LSC co-Offensive Player of the Week award for the second week in a row and the third time this season. Washington threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ dramatic 41-36 victory.
The stunning playoff performance bumped Washington to fourth in D2 (and first in the LCS) in total offense with 353 yards per game.
Rollison and Washington met once earlier this year. Rollison’s Texas A&M-Commerce won 41-40 on Saul Martinez’s 37-yard field goal with just two minutes to play. No matter what happens in this weekend’s conference-deciding rematch, expect to be thrilled by two versatile and electrifying quarterbacks.