Texas A&M Commerce wins inaugural Harvey Martin Classic 27-15
Running Back Nabil El-Amin rushed for 194 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions defeated East Central Oklahoma 27-15 victory in the inaugural Harvey Martin Classic on Saturday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl. There were about 8,000 fans on hand, which got swallowed up in the massive new Cotton Bowl.
I think the State Fair and Texas A&M Commerce may be on to something here. If they can both find a way to get 20,000 folks at this game annually then they’d have themselves a game. There was little to no marketing of the game this year so imagine what TAMU-C Athletic Director Carlton could do with an increased marketing budget.
Speaking of Carlton, I think he tried to shake hands with all 8,000 people that were at the game. There were a number of players from the 1972 East Texas State NAIA National Championship Team that was lead by Harvey Martin. Cooper was excited about the inaugural contest, but looking forward to drawing more fans down the road, especially from the visiting team.
TAMU-C Athletic Director Carlton Cooper (left)
TAMU-C (East Texas) alum and Ticket host Donovan Lewis
Texas A&M Commerce is in the midst of a 3-year contract with the Cotton Bowl. Next year the Lions will play Texas A&M Kingsville at the Cotton Bowl on October 10, 2009. The two teams will also meet October 9, 2010. The Javelinas traditionally rank near the top of the Lone Star Conference and Division II in attendance and the State Fair should be a draw for a Texas school. Also you have to hope that TAMU-Commerce alumni will hear about the success of the inaugural game and make it a point to attend next year.
I’m willing to give the Lions another shot to see if they can push 15,000 next year. A little more marketing muscle would help to make the Harvey Martin Classic a State Fair staple.